Are you wondering what President Barack Obama was up to this year? Pete Souza, the official photographer for the White House, knows. He follows the Commander in Chief around all day, waiting for the right time to pull out his Canon 5D Mark III. Earlier this year, Souza was caught mixing things up with a Sony, Nikon, and sometimes, a Leica.
Once in a while, Souza shoots with an iPhone. Yes, the same Apple device that you probably have in your pocket, only Souza’s has been around places where even dogs and the gardener need high-level security clearance. As a treat for his 300,000 followers on Instagram, he released the images from his smartphone cam. The photos are not as sharp as his normal photos, but they are more intimate. Remaining in line with his signature style, they are also very symmetrical and square.
The Head Photographer explained his choice for using a smartphone in a recent blog post:
“Many followers have inquired about whether a certain photograph is taken with an iPhone or DSLR (digital single lens reflex camera). In choosing the photographs for my year on Instagram, I decided to select only iPhone photographs that were captured in the square format on an iPhone. For many purists, the square format was the original inspiration for Instagram. And I certainly admire those that continue to post only square photos taken with a smart phone.”
There are several notable pics from the batch that Souza released on his blog. In particular, the shots of Obama’s dogs, Sunny and Bo, showed that animals in the White House are well accounted for. The canines are elegantly groomed and always ready to play fetch. Candid photos of a secret agent waiting mysteriously in the corner of a stage also made the cut, thought the agent didn’t look to thrilled to be photographed.
Unsurprisingly, there are also a bunch of images of Obama doing normal guy things. A shot of him wielding a GoPro camera on a stick mount during an outdoor excursion instantly invokes fuzzy feelings of familiarity and awe. A closer look at the photo shows that the compact shooter is pointed outwards, in the right direction. Souza clearly has the President’s back when it comes to all things related to cameras.
Souza likes to take random photos just like everyone else. It’s great to actually see this side of his work, which normally wouldn’t make it to the public. Those who are interested in checking out the complete collection should head over to his Instagram page. His past releases from Medium are equally impressive. You’ll find shots of Obama huddled with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as breathtaking scenery from that time the White House crew went to Alaska.
“Many followers have also asked if I post the photographs and captions myself. Yes, I do — and I try to read as many of your comments as I can and answer your questions. (Speaking of comments, thank you to all those who’ve caught typos.),” wrote the Chief Official White House Photographer. Classic Souza!