Obama photographer Pete Souza paints ‘Intimate Portrait’ of president, from fist bumps to phone calls – Chicago Tribune

It’s been a rough year for Democrats and other Trump skeptics. Have you passed through Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ five stages of (political) grief, from denial and anger to acceptance? Pete Souza’s beautiful photographic portrait of Barack Obama’s presidency will induct you into the sixth stage: nostalgia.

As chief official White House photographer, Souza, who also held that post during the Reagan administration and is the Chicago Tribune’s former national photographer, had formidable access to Obama and his family. This well-edited visual history reflects the good use he made of it.

In his foreword to “Obama: An Intimate Portrait,” the former president describes Souza as a constant shadowy presence with a “remarkable talent for making himself invisible” and an ability “to capture the mood, the atmosphere, and the meaning” of a moment. In a witty juxtaposition, the facing page shows Obama peering through the lens of a Canon camera.

Encountering Obama as a newly minted U.S. senator from Illinois, Souza remembers wondering if he might be observing a future president. The relationship blossomed as Souza covered Obama for the Tribune, and later for a 2008 book, “The Rise of Barack Obama.” For the White House post, Souza requested unfettered access to the president and produced almost 2 million photographs, from which these images were culled.


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