Pete Souza is the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama; he is also the Director of the White House photo office. Souza has worked as a freelancer for National Geographic, an Official White House Photographer for President Reagan, the national photographer for the Chicago Tribune, and as an assistant professor at Ohio University's School of Visual Communication.
Souza's life as the Chief Official White House Photographer was documented by National Geographic for a film produced for PBS Television. "The President's Photographer", which also touched on previous presidential photographers, aired nationally and internationally on PBS in 2010. An accompanying book was also published by National Geographic.
Souza extensively documented then Sen. Obama's first year in the U.S. Senate for the Chicago Tribune and accompanied Sen. Obama to seven countries including Kenya, South Africa and Russia. Souza's book, "The Rise of Barack Obama," was published in July 2008 and includes exclusive photographs of the Senator's rise to power. The book was on the New York Times bestseller list for five weeks.
In addition to the national political scene, Souza has covered stories around the world. After 9/11, he was among the first journalists to cover the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan after crossing the Hindu Kush mountains by horseback in three feet of snow.
As a freelancer, Souza has photographed two articles on assignment for National Geographic Magazine and three photo essays for Life Magazine. His photographs have also been published in many other magazines and newspapers around the world including on the covers of Fortune, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report.
In 1992 Souza produced and published "Unguarded Moments: Behind-the-Scenes Photographs of President Reagan," a coffee-table book based on his 5 1/2 years in the White House. A newer book, "Images of Greatness: An Intimate Look at the Presidency of Ronald Reagan," was published in June 2004 by Triumph Books. Former Sen. Howard Baker Jr. said in his introduction to the book that Souza recorded "some of the most intimate, honest and humanizing scenes of the presidency I've ever seen." Souza was also the official photographer for the June 2004 funeral of President Reagan.
Souza published another documentary book entitled, "Plebe Summer at the U.S. Naval Academy." The book chronicles one company of incoming midshipmen through the six-week indoctrination period of Plebe Summer.
Souza has won numerous photojournalism awards including several times in the prestigious Pictures of the Year annual competition, the NPPA's Best of Photojournalism, and the White House News Photographers Association's yearly contest.
He has lectured many times on his photography including at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Harvard University, Boston University, Ohio University, the University of Kansas, Western Kentucky University and Kansas State University. He has appeared on the ABC news magazine show 20-20, Nightline, Good Morning America, CNN Special Reports, Fox Friends and Family, and on National Public Radio.
Souza has had solo exhibits of his White House photographs of President Obama at the Leica Gallery in New York City and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library. He has also had solo exhibits of his work at Kansas State University, Fermilab, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Navy Museum, the University of North Carolina, Boston University, and the National Press Club in Washington. His photographs have also been part of group exhibits at the National Archives, Smithsonian Museum of American History, Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Newseum, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
He is a native of South Dartmouth, Mass. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in public communication from Boston University and received his master's degree in journalism and mass communication from Kansas State University.
Follow Pete Souza on Twitter @PeteSouza.
Pete Souza's Posts
- July 24, 2015 at 3:35 PM EDT
President Obama is visiting Kenya — the 50th country he has visited during his Administration. To mark the occasion, Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza highlights a photograph from each country that he's visited.
- June 5, 2015 at 9:00 AM EDT
President Obama and the First Lady welcomed more than 35,000 guests to the South Lawn of the White House for the 137th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Take a look at the big day in photos.
- May 7, 2015 at 11:00 AM EDT
- April 13, 2015 at 11:51 AM EDT
- March 9, 2015 at 12:48 PM EDT
We’ve chosen a gallery on the 50th anniversary of that day in Selma to kick off a new way of presenting photographs. This "Behind the Lens" series of galleries will present different perspective on life here at the White House or on the road.
- December 30, 2014 at 10:52 AM EDT
For the sixth-consecutive year, Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza shares his annual Year in Photographs.
- June 20, 2011 at 2:20 PM EDT
Check out new behind the scenes photos from the month of May.
- May 13, 2011 at 4:40 PM EDT
Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer and Director of the White House Photography Office, releases a new series of behind-the-scenes photographs from the last two weeks of April 2011.
- April 13, 2011 at 7:18 PM EDT
Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer and Director of the White House Photography Office, releases 85 new behind-the-scenes photos and discusses a favorite from March.
- December 30, 2010 at 6:11 PM EDT