While hilarious Joe Biden memes are blowing up social media feeds around the world, White House Photographer Pete Souza is taking a more restrained approach to bidding the Barack Obama presidency goodbye.
Souza snapped an estimated 2 million photographs during Obama’s eight years in office, and shared them with the public in real time on Flickr and Instagram. He was there for countless historic moments, both good and bad – from glamorous balls and state dinners, to meetings in the Situation Room and the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Souza was also there for the lighter moments. He photographed birthday cakes, fist bumps, and movie nights in the White House Family Theater. He caught tender moments between the President and First Lady. He captured Obama playing with pets, goofing around with children, and making faces with an Olympic gold medalist. He even snapped a battle between the President and Spider-Man (who happened to be trick-or-treating just outside the Oval Office).
In an interview with NPR, Souza said, “There’s a certain daily grind to my job, but I’d say, once, twice, three, four, 10 times a week, you realize that you are an eyewitness to history. And I always try to keep that forefront in my mind.”
The photographer, along with the rest of the world, is now preparing for the Obamas to leave the White House. In honour of the outgoing president, take a look at 30 of Souza’s best images in the gallery above. The photographs were compiled by Twisted Sifter from Souza’s annual ‘Year In Photos’ albums, each a collection of 75-100 of his favourite pictures from the previous 12 months. View Twisted Sifter’s full list of 55 at the source.