The Obama presidency through the lens of White House photographer Pete Souza

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">An image of President Obama from behind as he meets NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and his team to honor Busch&#39;s 2015 Sprint Cup Series championship. (Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer)</span></div>
President Barack Obama's two terms in office have been documented in detail since 2009. But even counting all of the media photographers and citizens who capture images of Obama on a daily basis, Pete Souza has gotten the most intimate images of our 44th president.

Souza has served as the Chief Official White House Photographer since Obama was inaugurated in 2009. He has covered Obama's time as commander-in-chief in impressive detail.

Throughout Obama's time as president, people have been able to enjoy Souza's photos on his social media platforms, with many of his images of the president receiving over 10,000 likes. The photographer will often explain his photography process in detail, providing context to what Obama was doing or experiencing at that moment and how he captured a specific image.

In 2015, Souza wrote at length about how he captured an iconic shot of the president waving as he boarded Air Force One, with his hand placed perfectly in a rainbow. "I guessed right where the President would land when he waved, with his right hand framed right in the middle of the rainbow. But the sun was no longer illuminating the President, so it was more of a semi-silhouette."

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Souza also provided in-depth context to this recently-posted image of Obama, sitting out of focus at a desk as first lady Michelle Obama stands in front of him with her arms around her back.


From Souza's caption: We were on our first overseas trip in April 2009. As the President signed the guest book at Prague Castle, I framed the First Lady's hands in the foreground as she watched. I went back and forth with the focus point, first on the President and then on the First Lady's hands. In the end, I liked the latter one better.

Souza also shares images of the president in tense and difficult moments. This 2011 image shows Obama, head resting in hand, as he monitors Hurricane Irene, which caused massive damage and dozens of deaths along the east coast.



But Souza's photographs of Obama's presidency have also been heartwarming and humorous, showing that just because he is commander-in-chief, doesn't mean that he can't have a playful side. In this image, Obama can be seen playing with the daughter of Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting.


And here Obama flashes a big grin as he holds a koala at the G20 Summit in Australia.



"When people ask me how I do what I do, I often recite the words of Bob Dylan: 'I was just doing what I could with what I had where I was,'" Souza wrote."That kind of sums up my approach to my job as the President's photographer."

As the president's second term comes to a close in January, so will Souza's time with Obama in the White House, leaving behind a distinguished legacy of intimate photos and stories brought to life.

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