A lesson about real life from the guy that photographed the president

Boy and lovies on escalatorEscalators at the airportHaving fun riding the escalators at Tampa International Airport. Real life family documentary photographer. Tampa, FL

Have you ever heard the name, Pete Souza? 

Today I took my kids to ride the escalators and watch planes take off and land at the airport. What I thought would be cheap entertainment, ended up costing me 16 bucks in parking, but it was worth every penny. Let's just say the had a blast. There was singing on an empty stage, lots of yelling and pointing, plus Wendy's Frostys.

One the way home I happen to turn on one of my favorite radio shows, Fresh Air with Terry Gross and today's interview as fate would have it was with Pete Souza. 

Pete Souza is a freelance photographer working as a photojournalist for National Geographic, Chicago Tribune, and many other very recognizable names. His top job was official Whitehouse photographer for 2 presidents, including all eight years with President Obama. 

When he was approached to document the life of President Obama, he stated that he had one requirement, he wanted unlimited access to the President. He wanted to be there for the day in, day out routine of the life of a president. 

The response that he was given 
"Don't worry, the President Gets It!"

Those words "He gets it", struck a chord with me. I know that not everyone gets the way I photograph. I know this photojournalistic style of real life doesn't strike a chord with everyone, and that is ok! It's more than ok, it means that I have lots of photographer friends that I can refer people too that don't want my style of work! Total win-win! 

Souza talked about how President Obama hated to pose for a portrait. He put the value in real life photographs over those posed, stiff pictures.

In the forward of Souza's book "Unguarded Moments: Behind-the-Scenes Photographs of President Reagan," Former Sen. Howard Baker Jr. said that Souza recorded "some of the most intimate, honest and humanizing scenes of the presidency I've ever seen."


The way he talked about photographing the President of the United States is exactly how I photograph families. 

Today I had it confirmed to me that people that get this genre of photography, really get it. They get me! They are my kind of people. The kind you spend 2 hours just talking about family and life with after the kids have gone to bed and you have been photographing their family for last 13 hours. 

Today I learned that you don't have to be president to be photographed like one!

Want to hear the whole interview with Pete Souza? 
Check this link out:
Photographer Pete Souza Reflects On 8 Years (And 1.9 Million Photos) Of Obama

Then tell me your thoughts about having your family photographed this way! Are you in the "I Get It Club?" 



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