Former Presidential Photographer Pete Souza Reveals Favourite Moments

Former Presidential Photographer Pete Souza Reveals Favourite Moments

Presidential photographer Pete Souza, best known for documenting Obama’s years in power, has opened up about the experiences of his career, recalling the day the manhunt for Osama bin Laden reached its climax, as well as revealing whether or not he’d like to shoot Trump’s Presidency.

Souza has been speaking of the many experiences of his career at a photo summit. In the leadup to the event, one event he recalls is the day al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden was assassinated.

While we were in that room for 40 minutes, I shot 102 pictures, and during the day, I shot more than a thousand, as a lot of things were going on.

Quite rightly, Souza says there are times he realizes his job means he is often at the center of events that are forming history. As the former Chief Official White House Photographer, he also took thousands of photos of Barack Obama during his time in charge, previously releasing his favourite images.

My job was to create the best archive of his presidency, and to hopefully show people how he was not just a president, but a person. It was my job to show him as the kind of person he was.

Quizzed on whether he’d like to photograph Trump’s presidency, his reply was an emphatic no, perhaps unsurprising, given his criticisms of Trump in recent years.

I think he is a vile human being. I think there has to be a certain amount of respect if you want to photograph someone every day during the presidency. I don’t think I can do that. I can photograph him as an outsider, but I can never be his White House photographer.

Lead image: White House/Pete Souza via Flickr CC

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29 Comments

Louza’s comments revealed that he less of a “pro” and more of a partisan hack.

Eric Mazzone's picture

Awe, you mad bro?

William Faucher's picture

Not delving into a political discussion here, but I think it is important to have a certain level of respect for the subject. If you're constantly repulsed by their actions, whether they are an athlete, sports star, celebrity, politician, etc, you're not going to be so inclined to capture their shining moments, and especially not portray them in a good light.

Portraiture isnt quite the same as being a paparazzi, shooting from a distance. There is a certain level of connection required when things are more up close and personal.

He was asked if would be the WH photographer for Trump and said no and gave his reason. He didn't mention politics. How is that a hack? Having an opinion that you don't like doesn't equate to hack.

Hahaha that made me literally LOL!

Why don't you do an article or show videos about PresidentTrump's current photographer...
https://youtu.be/_MJaxnWquV4

Eric Mazzone's picture

There is one, trumpets got pissed because the article talked about how crappy of a photographer the photographer is.

Lee Christiansen's picture

I've just looked at Ho's portfolio... Some quite dreadful stuff in there that shouldn't ever have seen light of day, never mind headlining his website.

Simon Patterson's picture

Souza needs to write a book on how to market yourself. He's gotta be the grand master of self promotion - it's amazing how much publicity he regularly garners.

Overrated.

My favorite moment was was turning down the press pass my Senator Mike Crapo offered to my for the first inauguration. Yes, in retrospect I could have used the photos from a plum photo perch; however, it was a very sad day for me and America because his socialist associations were were to blatant. Fast forward to now, socialism isn't even something people hide anymore. As I said, it was a sad day for America

It is though fun seeing the look on peoples faces when I tell them this story, especially if they are Obama sycophants or socialism activists. Being a nature photographer I know plenty of them.

Eric Mazzone's picture

Your favorite moment has zero to do with this guys favorite moments, but go ahead and continue throwing tantrums about not getting what you feel entitled to.

Why thank you Eric but I recovered from my tantrums in 2016 at which time I learned from the new batch of Presidential opponents that as tantrum thrower, I was really a slacker. Cheers~

user-239119's picture

Check it out: two stupid mugs in one photo.

I'm enjoying this accelerated economy Marcus, I can't understand why democrats don't like prosperity. A special forces friend who were the first into the Tora Bora Caves after Bin Laden wanted one of these cups, but they sold out to quickly so I have him this one. The military hate Obama's ignorant rules of engagement that caused so many so many deaths.

My stupid mug cheers you :)

user-239119's picture

Sad how you see "democrats" and "the military" as some singular entity that can only imbibe one personality trait, as opposed to the heterogeneous collection of people they are actually made of. Stupid mug indeed.

Interesting that you endorse the reckless rules of engagement Hmmm......

user-239119's picture

You best check yourself: I didn't endorse most things Obama did, but I respect the United States and the office of the President as Commander in Chief. And so should you and the supposed "friend" you had in the military. Any real American wouldn't peddle this assine mug around and be boastful of their disrespectfulness and lack of patriotism.

You serve? What branch?

Eric Mazzone's picture

You're especially mentally deficient if you truly believe no service members aren't democrats.

Oh I know some are; however I can't understand it, so many democrats hate this country, "most" in the military love the country. There are those though who only go in for the college benefits or free sex change operations.

Eric Mazzone's picture

I swear to god. Bigots are not worth my time.

bigot/ (ˈbɪɡət) /
noun
a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, esp on religion, POLITICS, or race

Now Eric, I will admit to being a political bigot. I hate Pelosi, Shumer, Sanders, AOC, the Clintons and Obama etc. for all the same reason, their socialism and cultural decadence is ruining the country. Of course you would go to the intellectually vacuous, cheap disparagement, of racsism.

All you have to do is look at todays democrat candidates and see the Obama made being a socialist cool and popular and the democrats have come out of their socialist closet.

You are white, you support socialists hence I am a bigot against you too.

What ever you feel about politics I am sure you will agree Pete Souza's photographs are wonderful. Unfortunately the current Whitehouse photographer may not have the same experience to bring to the job, but they are photographing a President who does not see the benefit in documenting the day to day life of the President.

user-239119's picture

No nicknames: President Donald Trump.
FIFY

This is about a photographer and his work. It is on a photography website. Why must some of y'all make it political?

Can't we stick to photography and Souza's work in particular?

Far more revealing about photography documenting Obama were the ethics a certain photographer was willing to cast aside in service thereof, albeit under pressure, to hide the truth from the public to by his own admission, influence the election. Unfortunately, while this photojournalist finally decided to placate his guilty conscience (and sell books) after Obama was safely out of office, we'll likely never know what else was hidden using similar tactics. So this begs the question, is a hiding a photograph from the public eye, for overtly partisan purposes, ever justified? Is it professional?

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/now-it-can-be-seen-long-lost-obama...

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-appearances/the-politics-of-...

""The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man." -- Louis Farrakhan in 1984."

Recall this is in the context of the scrutiny of another of Obama's relationships with a figure spewing hatred towards Jews, and America as a nation, Reverend Wright.

Or all those stories hidden in David Peckers's safe,

This was an article about Obama. Well, that, and I can distinguish between a tabloid being bought off to not publish unsubstantiated claims about consensual affairs and a journalist employed by National Public Radio intentionally hiding Obama's support of a powerful figure who celebrates and advocates for the resumption of the slaughter of millions of people.

Trump is a "vile human being"? Based on what? I am not even American, but I can see that Trump has done more for workers and the economy than Obama ever did. The "Trump is vile" stuff is all propagated by the media, whose word I will never just take out of hand again.