President Barack Obama is briefed by Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor, and others in the Oval Office, March 29, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. 
Macon Phillips, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Digital Strategy 2009-2013: “This combination of preparation and humanity in this shot of Chief McDonough's binder sums up the unique culture of the Obama White House. After this photo was made into a "jumbo" and hung on the wall in the West Wing, we started seeing pictures and art on the front of other colleagues' binders: motivational reminders that the next generation was counting on our progress.”Pete Souza—The White House
President Barack Obama is briefed by Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor, and others in the Oval Office, March 29, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. 
May 8, 2009“A temporary White House staffer, Carlton Philadelphia, brought his family to the Oval Office for a farewell photo with President Obama. Carlton’s son softly told the President he had just gotten a haircut like President Obama, and asked if he could feel the President’s head to see if it felt the same as his.”(Official White House photo by Pete Souza)This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama join staff aboard Air Force One during their flight April 3, 2009, from Stansted Airport in Essex, England,  en route to Strasbourg, France. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and the First Family are joined by former President George W. Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., former foot soldiers and other dignitaries in marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches, at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., March 7, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
President Barack Obama fist-bumps custodian Lawrence Lipscomb in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building following the opening session of the White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth, Dec. 3, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
Oct. 30, 2015"This is the first time the same child has made two appearances in the Year in Photos. But it was difficult to not again include Ella Rhodes, daughter of Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, after the President lifted her in her elephant costume that she was wearing for a Halloween event at the White House." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
Macon Phillips, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Digital Strategy 2009-2013: “This combination of p
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Pete Souza—The White House
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The Photos That Moved Them Most: The Obama Administration

Jan 12, 2017

Large 20x30 prints, known as jumbos, line the walls of the West Wing and the cramped offices of the EEOB (the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House). Photography has played an important role in the White House for decades, but beginning with Obama's administration, an unprecedented number in the thousands have been made available for public consumption.

In April 2009, the White House's photo office released on Flickr 291 photos celebrating the President’s first 100 days. The idea was to be transparent and show what life behind the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was like – from the President's first morning meeting to his walk home along the Colonnade at night.

Since then, with the proliferation of social media, Pete Souza, the president's chief photographer and leader of the White House photo team, has shared his photographs widely on Flickr, Instagram and Medium. Fueled by social media, these pictures have been passed and shared and many have become viral sensations now etched in our minds.

For the hard working staffers, who spend long hours at the White House in less than glamorous quarters, these pictures are a reminder of the historic nature of their work. Like a living yearbook, they are surrounded by the memories of the highs and lows – the drudgery and the inspirational, the mundane and the fun.

TIME asked eight White House staffers – from Josh Earnest to Valerie Jarrett – to name their favorite picture taken by Souza, the President’s ever-present shadow.

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