Official White House photographer Pete Souza has just released the final “year in photos” of the Obama administration’s eight years in the White House.
The image collection, with a relevant explanation accompanying each one, is a stunning walk through of the last twelve months of what has been a historic presidency. Obama’s presidency quickly turned into a historic thing on account of so much more than the fact that he is the first African-American president.
Obama has presided over eight years of the history of the United States that has seen historic advancements in the way that the nation runs itself both at home in abroad, from the nationwide legalization of gay marriage to the serious moves to, for example, mend the United States’s long frayed relationship with Cuba.
The year in photos collection captures Obama and those closest to him, be they his family or his aides, in moments ranging from the serious to the refreshingly lighthearted.
The collection, released via a blog post on Medium, is prefaced by a statement from Souza himself, reading:
‘For the eighth and final time, I am presenting my annual Year in Photographs. All of them were taken either by me or a White House photographer on my staff… As always, the editing for this project is both subjective and personal… I was looking for behind-the-scenes moments that give people a more personal look at the President and First Lady [a]nd… just cool photos. I hope you enjoy this final Year in Photographs of the Obama administration. It’s been the honor of a lifetime to be a witness to history these past eight years.’
A selection of the photos, alongside their respective backstories, as provided by Souza, are featured below.
One of the most emotionally striking comes first. It is explained as follows:
‘With sunlight streaming through a window in the Green Room, President Obama listens to his introduction by Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son Daniel was killed during the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Later, as he made remarks in the East Room, he began to cry as he recalled the day of the shootings; he called it the worst day of his Presidency.’
Other photos in the collection, as featured below, include images of the president in contexts ranging from preparing for a State of the Union address to joking dancing with an aide of his to “help her practice for her upcoming wedding.”
There’s even an image of Vice President Joe Biden shooting kids with a water gun.
Yes, really — and it’s featured below.
The rest of the images are, as mentioned, featured in Souza’s Medium post.
Featured Image via Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images.