For eight years, Pete Souza served as White Home Chief Photographer for President Barack Obama. Throughout that point, not solely did he take arguably probably the most full photographic report of a president, he additionally performed a task in rolling out the White Home Flickr feed (now archived) and Instagram account (@obamawhitehouse). Various end-of-term retrospectives helped increase consciousness of Souza’s work, and he now boasts 1.four million followers on Instagram (@petesouza), the place he often
trolls makes use of his photographs to supply photographic commentary of, um, present occasions. His upcoming e book, Obama: An Intimate Portrait: The Historic Presidency in Pictures, will likely be launched this November.
Most just lately, Souza was employed to shoot some promotional photographs for Netflix’s acclaimed collection Home of Playing cards with fictional President Frank Underwood performed by Kevin Spacey. The collection has its Season 5 premiere on Could 30, 2017.
We spoke to Souza by way of e mail.
Spending the day with President Underwood.
How did this gig come about? Had been you shocked to be approached by the manufacturing firm?
Kevin Spacey’s publicist referred to as me out of the blue. She advised me her concept and requested if I’d have an interest. I mentioned I’d.
Was there a shot record? Or did they need you to method the shoot such as you would with President Obama?
There was no shot record. I recommended some places however there have been a number of individuals concerned within the ultimate location decisions. The concept was to only present up at these places and doc no matter occurred. I recommended going to the Nationwide Mall so we may have the U.S. Capitol within the background. Kevin encountered some highschool children throwing a soccer round and tossing a Frisbee, and he simply joined in.
How did taking pictures a film star pretending to be the president examine to taking pictures an actual president?
Kevin stayed in character your entire day as did Michael Kelly, who performs his chief of workers, and two “Secret Service brokers” from the present. I attempted to seize their interactions with actual individuals at every location. It was humorous as a result of lots of the individuals referred to as him “Mr. President”, particularly after we confirmed up in entrance of the White Home.
You had been the primary White Home photographer within the age of social media, and have turn into considerably of a rockstar. Have you ever been shocked on the response your pictures obtained each earlier than and after the presidency?
I attempt to not take the eye that severely. I’m the identical particular person and identical photographer that I used to be earlier than I photographed President Obama’s two phrases.
Zoe warned me to not get too shut.
You’re engaged on a retrospective e book of the Obama presidency. What has been probably the most difficult a part of enhancing down all the photographs you took to 300 or so?
It was much more difficult than I assumed it might be. I stored asking myself these questions: Does the stand by itself? Does the let you know one thing about his presidency? Does the let you know one thing about him as an individual? Will the e book be damage if I pass over this or that ?
I used to be additionally attempting to stability the narrative versus the aesthetic, and that’s not a simple factor to do when a lot occurred in two years. Ultimately, I trusted my intestine instincts on which images to incorporate. Nevertheless it was very painful to go away out a few of my favorites.
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