From eyewitness to history maker, Pete Souza provides behind-the-scenes photographs from the White House and beyond. Pete was the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama and an Official White House Photographer for President Reagan.
He was the former Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama and the Director of the White House Photo Office. Additionally, he was an Assistant Professor of Photojournalism at Ohio University, the national photographer for the Chicago Tribune, a freelancer for National Geographic, and an Official White House Photographer for President Reagan. His books include the New York Times bestseller The Rise of Barack Obama, which documents the president’s meteoric ascent from his first day in the United States Senate through the 2008 Pennsylvania presidential primary, the #1 New York Times bestseller Obama: An Intimate Portrait, and Pete’s new book, Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents is a portrait in Presidential contrasts, telling the tale of two Presidential administrations through a series of visual juxtapositions which is now available. Souza is currently a freelance photographer based in Washington, DC, and is a Professor Emeritus at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication.
In addition to the national political scene, Pete has covered stories around the world as a photojournalist for newspapers and magazines. After 9/11, he was among the first journalists to cover the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan, after crossing the Hindu Kush mountains by horseback in three feet of snow.
Pete has lectured many times on his photography including at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Harvard University, Boston University, and has appeared on dozens of TV and radio news shows. He has exhibited his photographs at many venues around the world and is planning his new traveling exhibit, “Two Presidents, One Photographer,” for 2019-2020.
Pete is also a Professor Emeritus at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication and was recently awarded the Hugo X. Shong Lifetime Achievement Award for Communication from Boston University. Pete is currently a freelance photographer based in Washington, D.C. His daily Instagram feed @petesouza is a source of subtle yet respectful commentary on today’s political environment.
Eyewitness to History
As the Chief Official White House Photographer for both Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, Pete was in a unique position to spend rare and intimate moments in the Oval Office observing two transformative Presidents of the United States. He shares some of his iconic behind-the-scenes photographs, along with his poignant detailed stories, all leading to a bold and dynamic depiction of true leadership.
Two Presidents, One Photographer
Two Presidents, One Photographer showcases fifty-six of Souza’s photographs of two presidents. It includes Souza’s favorite images of Reagan and Obama, providing us with candid moments that are windows into their humanity. What we see in Souza’s photographs are two presidents who clearly respected both the office they held and the people with whom they interacted, no matter the circumstance.
Obama: An Intimate Portrait
During Barack Obama’s two terms, Pete Souza was with the President during more crucial moments than anyone else–and he photographed them all. Souza captured nearly two million photographs of President Obama, in moments highly classified and disarmingly candid.
“Pete is humble, humorous, and is a great storyteller. He is a true national treasure.”
—ELIZABETH PAHL, Ohio University
“Pete was incredible. He held the room in the palm of his hand, making them laugh and cry with his powerful presentation. We have already received wonderful feedback from our guests — many of whom want to know when he is coming back.”
—MARY MCMURRAY, Truman Library Institute