3 Jan 2016

President Obama's official photographer shares the most captivating pictures from the White House in 2015

January first marks not only a new year, but the last of Barack Obama's presidency. So perhaps that's the reason White House photographer Pete Souza found it so hard to come up with his yearly 'best photos' list.
Souza, who has been photographing the president throughout his entire administration, released Wednesday his annual 'Year in Photographs' list, and failed again at keeping the album under 100 images.
'Editing photographs, especially for a project like this, is both subjective and personal,' Souza wrote in a post about the collection on Medium. 'I not only found key historic moments from the year, but also chose moments that give people a more personal look at the lives of the President and First Lady. I’ve also included many photographs that rely more on their graphic qualities, including light and composition.'
The photographic selections paint a picture of the events that have shaped America in the past year, like the White House being lit in rainbow colors after the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.
Other photos show the president in more private moments, hamming it up with staffers' children, visiting a museum with eldest daughter Malia and taking in the view from the top of a crater in his home state of Hawaii this holiday season.
Office visits: The president's daughter Malia stopped by the Oval Office one afternoon to see her dad and, while they were chatting, she wiped something off from his face (February 23, 2015)

Larger than life: It’s definitely true that former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal is a big guy. But I’ll admit that I used a wide angle lens and this angle to accentuate his size when he stopped by the Oval Office for a quick visit (February 27, 2015)
The 50th anniversary of Selma: For Presidential trips, I usually have another White House photographer accompany me so he or she can preset with the press and obtain angles that I can’t, as I usually stay close to the President. Lawrence Jackson made this iconic image from the camera truck as the First Family joined others in beginning the walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge (March 7, 2015)

Loving touch: I was moving around trying to capture different scenes away from the stage during the event to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches. When I glanced back towards the stage, I noticed the president and first lady holding hands as they listened to the remarks of Rep. John Lewis. I managed to squeeze off a couple of frames before they began to applaud, and the moment was gone (March 7, 2015)
Obama in Selma: The march was a defining moment for America
Still in love: The First Lady snuggled against the President during a video taping for the 2015 World Expo in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House (March 27, 2015)
Official business: President Obama is pictured above during the P5+1 negotiations with Iran in the Situation Room (March 31, 2015)

Rainbow tour: The President’s wave aligns with a rainbow as he boards Air Force One at Norman Manley International Airport prior to departure from Kingston, Jamaica (April 9, 2015)

Those famous arms: The First Lady demonstrates her boxing skills during a #GimmeFive video taping (May 12, 2015)

Successful host: President Obama hosted a summit meeting at Camp David with the Gulf Cooperation Council. Above the leaders are pictured in front of the Laurel Cabin as Obama greets Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said (May 14, 2015)

German-American relations: We were at the G7 Summit in Krün, Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel asked the leaders and outreach guests to make their way to a bench for a group photograph. The President happened to sit down first, followed closely by the Chancellor. I only had time to make a couple of frames before the background was cluttered with other people (June 8, 2015)

Support: President Obama hugged Vice President Joe Biden after delivering a eulogy for Beau Biden at St Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware (June 6, 2015)
Obama delivers eulogy at memorial service for Beau Biden
Presidents past and present: We had just stopped by the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park and we were already driving away underneath the stadium. The President asked the Secret Service to stop the motorcade when he spotted The Racing Presidents (they compete against each other in a running race during every game). My vehicle was 100 feet ahead so I jumped out and ran back in time to catch them in a group photo for posterity (June 11, 2015)

Victory: The President was in the midst of his daily intelligence briefing. An aide popped his head in the door to inform him that the Supreme Court had affirmed the Affordable Care Act subsidies ruling, and with a telephoto lens, I made this sequence of his initial reaction (June 25, 2015)

Love wins: It was a festive atmosphere as the White House was lit with the colors of the rainbow in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. I chose this angle from several options because I like that much of the White House staff had stayed late on a Friday night to take part in the celebration (June 26, 2015)
Father-daughter bonding time: While visiting the Whitney Museum in New York City, the President hugged his daughter Malia as they looked at the art work (July 17, 2015)

Backstage: The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City (July 18, 2015)

Fishy situation: 'He was just excited to see you,’ one of the salmon fisherwoman exclaimed after a salmon spawned on the President’s feet at Kanakanak Beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska (September 2, 2015)

Too cute: The President exchanges a wave with Alya Dorelien Bitar, one-year-old daughter of Maher Bitar, the outgoing National Security Council Director for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, and his wife, Astrid Dorelien, during a family photo in the Oval Office (September 21, 2015)

Visitor from the Vatican: David Lienemann scoped out a great vantage point from the Blue Room Balcony to capture this moment as the President and First Lady escorted Pope Francis back inside the White House following the State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn (September 23, 2015)

On top: President Obama's legs dangle as he sat on top of the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office while talking with two aides (October 1, 2015)
Quick game: President Barack Obama, along with Cabinet Secretaries and Members of Congress, watch a shot during a basketball game on the White House court (October 8, 2009)

Wedding crasher: The President was playing golf at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California. As he was finishing his round, he began to shake hands with guests waiting for a wedding ceremony about to begin. The bride and groom were waiting inside but when they looked out the window and saw the President, they decided to make their way outside. I made a grab shot as the bride, Stephanie Tobe, and her soon-to-be husband, Brian Tobe, came running to greet the President. I made sure to send a copy to the happy couple and both wrote back to me that they were extremely grateful to have the President ‘crash’ their wedding (October 11, 2015)

Making friends with one elephant: This is the first time the same child has made two appearances in the Year in Photos. But it was difficult to not again include Ella Rhodes, daughter of Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, after the President lifted her in her elephant costume that she was wearing for a Halloween event at the White House (October 30, 2015)

All smiles: The President and First Lady react to a child in a Pope costume and mini popemobile as they welcomed children during a Halloween event on the South Lawn of the White House  (October 30, 2015)

Great discussion: The President talks with a young refugee at a Dignity for Children Foundation classroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She was working on a painting (November 21, 2015)

Roses for the fallen: After arriving in France to attend the Climate Change Summit, the President, with French President François Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, made an unannounced stop just after midnight at the memorial in front of le Bataclan, the site of a Paris terrorist attack (November 30, 2015)

Knock knock: Legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the Oval Office window to start a segment for his series 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' as President Obama sits at the Resolute Desk (December 7, 2015)
Barack Obama and Jerry Seinfeld joke around for new TV show
Reflecting on the year: When some of my friends heard that the President had hiked the grueling Koko Head Crater Trail, they sent me messages on whether I had made it to the top. The trail is 1,048 wooden steps, which climb more than 1,200 feet up the crater’s ridge. Some call it the ‘Stairmaster from Hell.’ I’ll admit that I was huffing and puffing up the trail, but to my friends, this photograph is proof that I indeed made it to the top with my boss (December 22, 2015)


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