As he has just two days left in office, some of these photos are sure to jerk some tears.
As Obama counts down the days until he hands over the presidency to Donald Trump, his official photographer has been sharing particularly moving photos that capture defining moments from his last eight years in office. Pete Souza, the Chief Official White House photographer, has been with Obama through both of his terms, and he has taken as many as 2,000 pictures of Obama each day. It is estimated that he has captured upwards of 2 million photos of the president during their time together.
During his recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Souza takes viewers through some of the most iconic shots he has snapped since taking the job in 2009. In fact, Souza had actually had been photographing Obama a few years before that while working for the Chicago Tribune, and in the below clip, he shows off a picture of Obama and his family right before he announced his run for president in 2007.
Souza's goal in portraying Obama was to "show him not just as a president but as a human being." Indeed, some of the more compelling photos are not just of historic political triumphs but also of more tender moments, like when Obama let a little black boy touch his hair or when he and Michelle held hands during the commemoration of the Civil Rights March.
The video ends with Bill Plante asking Obama about what he hopes Souza will capture with his final photo of him as president. "I hope he captures my wave as I have a big grin and I say, 'I'm going on vacation,'" he says with a laugh.
Though Souza is unable to single out his favorite photograph that he has taken of Obama, he did reveal that his favorite day at work was a snow day in 2010, when he got to photograph Obama playing in the snow on the White House lawn with Sasha and Malia. He shared photos of that day on Instagram.
People are always asking me to choose my favorite picture of the President. But I just can't do it. So let me tell you about my favorite day. It was a Saturday in February 2010. Washington was under siege with snow. I slept in my office overnight, knowing I probably couldn't drive to the White House the next day. And then I guessed...and yes, hoped...that the President of the United States would be a dad and play with his girls in the snow. And he did. Two more pictures will follow.
For eight years, my boss has referred to me, I think with reverence, as the Azorean. Both sets of my grandparents were born in the Azores, Portuguese islands in the mid Atlantic. I think he thought it was cool since he had never met anyone from the Azores. Then it turns out that his political director in the second term, David Simas, and his Energy Secretary, Ernie Moniz, also had Azores roots. So it became even cooler that I was Azorean. This past November, it just so happened that Air Force One was refueling in the Azores as we traveled from Greece to Peru. The President, who usually doesn't disembark from the plane during refueling stops, told the Secret Service he was going to get off the plane to "take a picture with Pete." And then, because of the beautiful setting, we walked around the tarmac for 90 minutes. Thanks to my colleague Chuck Kennedy for snapping this photo. Disclosure: the wind was blowing my shirt open.