Wednesday, March 13, 2013

White House Photography, or Why I Need Pete Souza to Follow Me Around

Editor's Note: This post is in no way an endorsement or condemnation of specific policies or of the President himself, it's simply a commentary on excellent photography. Outside of politics I do happen to think of the POTUS as a cool guy, so we're pretty much the same person.

By Justin Cates

Pete Souza is the current Chief Official White House photographer for President Obama and was also the official photographer during Ronald Reagan's second term in office.

That means he's had incredible access to people and places few could ever dream of. This presents a truly remarkable opportunity for an artist with a perpetually refreshing canvas.

One doesn't need extraordinary skill to make photos interesting, but great photographers like Souza have the innate ability to make everyday actions carry an unexpected weight.

"No I'm still getting a PC Load Letter error..."

I don't need someone to take candid pictures of me sitting around in sweatpants, but a shot of me silhouetted against a setting sun as I gaze thoughtfully into the distance would make a lovely Mother's Day gift.

Plus I do lot's of amazing things that go sadly unnoticed. When leaning on something, I too kick a foot on it's toe. I'm not even trying to be a badass, it just happens!

"Look, if you want seconds governor just ask."

Granted, I don't hold as many press conferences as I probably should, but I think my personal pho-tog would still have plenty to cover. 

I often stand idly while waiting for someone to tell me where to go, I sometimes walk with purpose and rarely do I attend an event where I don't think, "Man, I bet I look absolutely terrific in the foreground."

"Man, I bet I look absolutely terrific in the too honey"

What about kids you say? I don't usually hang out with them, but when I do it's undeniably adorable. They love me even when I have a scary beard. Lot's of opportunity for some heart-warming moments...which come to think of it takes care of Christmas for all the grandparents.

"Hurry kid! Michelle's going to make us eat vegetables!"

Ultimately, my friends and I simply don't take enough pictures and most of the ones we have are either unfit for publication or staged. I'm all about in the moment naturalism when it comes to this stuff and you're lucky (or probably a girl) if you can convince me to pose for a picture. 

It makes remembering life easier when you have a visual reference, plus how else will you bore your relatives and Facebook friends?

So I guess this is an open casting call to anyone with some free time who would be interested in documenting my existence. 

Silence? FINE. I'll just do it myself then, as soon as I can figure out the timer on this stupid camera...  

Yep, it's a walk-off. Where's David Bowie when you need him?

Check out some more of Pete Souza's work at his official website where you can find everything from portraits of world leaders to the Chicago Cubs (see what I did there?).

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