The closing piece


By Sterre Sprengers 

It might be an occupational hazard, but I have even more respect for Pete Souza sticking to his job for eight years than for Obama. It is probably because I simply cannot imagine what it would be like to be the President of one of the most powerful countries on earth. I can imagine how it must be to take pictures of the same subject for such a long time. Quite difficult. Of course Souza says he is never bored, because it is great to be allowed to take picture of the President from up close. This is imagebuilding too. He is a good photographer, and he has an extraordinary position. But I cannot imagine that he doesn’t sigh once in a while when he enters the Oval Office: what photographic trick shall I perform today to get an interesting result?

@ Pete Souza/ The White House

@ Pete Souza/ The White House

You can see the entire collection here.


For eight years, White House photographer Pete Souza took 20,000 pictures a week of Obama. That’s right, 20,000 a week, many of which were posted on the White House Flickr account. Sterre Sprengers, image editor at De Correspondent, has followed his work for years, in search of patterns – patterns that reveal relationships of power, etiquette, love. And patterns that subtly reveal the image of the president that Souza created with his images. As time went on, once he had firmly established the presidential image, he took fewer solemn portraits and more images that were lighthearted or artistic. Gradually his work for the White House came to reflect his own personal taste. That is an achievement.

Until Jan. 20th, when Obama’s successor Trump will be inaugurated, the John Adams will present once a day an image and a text from the project Sterre Sprengers published on the daily online news medium ‘De Correspondent’. You can see the entire project here.