President Barack Obama meets with Richard Phillips, the captain of the U.S. cargo ship that was held hostage by pirates last month, in the Oval Office of the White House on May 9, 2009. Phillips was joined by his wife, Andrea.

(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.


  • The Lamb Family 6y

    President Obama has apparently decreed a "business casual" dress code for weekends:

    Both Captain Phillips and his wife technically fit into the business casual guidelines with their clothing, but I think Captain Phillips is a little more appropriately dressed, while his wife is a tad too close to the "casual" end of the spectrum. I would have worn a blazer/jacket with the outfit, or a skirt, or something to dress it up just a little more for a meeting like this.

    I'm surprised at how many people are jumping down the throats of those who think Mr. & Mrs. Phillips should have dressed up more. Many generations before us would have not been caught dead dressing so casually to meet the CEO of their company, much less the President of the country. I know this is a more relaxed time and Obama is a more relaxed president, but I still think there's room for appropriate guidelines in how to dress. And there's room for people to express their opinions about the clothing shown here while still acknowledging that Captain Phillips and his wife displayed noble, heroic behavior and are to be commended for it, no matter how they choose to dress on this or any other occasion.
  • Ivan Safyan Abrams 6y

    Mr. Smokes apparently thinks it's amusing to insult people who've done him no harm, for the simple reason that he wants to make what he calls jokes. I'm the sort of "nutter" who finds that sort of behavior to be crude and callous. He hasn't brought a smile to many faces with his comments about this photo, so far as I can tell.
  • sprinklegrandma 6y

    Lamb Family,

    I respectfully agree with you "to a point". But, perhaps they do not have funds to spend on what may be acceptable to "other people". We can all speculate for months as to "why" they wore what they wore. It is not important. The reason they are there is important.

    Here is a DIRECT quote from the site you were kind enough to provide for us to review;

    "Mr. Obama has also brought a more relaxed sensibility to his public appearances. David Gergen, an adviser to both Republican and Democratic presidents, said Mr. Obama seemed to exude an “Aloha Zen,” a kind of comfortable calm that, Mr. Gergen said, reflects a man who “seems easy going, not so full of himself.”

    Your remarks and opinions are just as important and welcome as anyone elses, as they are well thought out and not rude or unkind or hurtful and you make sense.


    Again, your words make you a champion ---- in my eyes and in others.

    Mr. Smokes----enough said. This is not the place for such verbage. If you feel the need to say such things, send the Flickr member a "private" flickr mail. That is a very good way to avoid such unpleasantness. I'm very sad to hear you are so ill, and I cannot imagine what you must be going through. However, I do believe if I were in your place, I would try to understand things and people a bit better. May God Bless you in your trials.

    Now, I suppose I'll be a target. So be it.
  • Jason Gill 6y

    This pretty much says it all. www.twitpic.com/3b8jb
  • noyou2002 6y

    How surreal is this to see my cousin Andrea & Her husband Richard in this picture not to mention in the Oval office with President Obama, OMG... Just so Happy For Richard, Andrea & their 2 children Danny & Mariah.... Who care how they are dressed,, All that is important is that she didn't have to put on BLACK for her husbands funeral,
  • (deaf mute) 6y

    sprinklegrandma "send the Flickr member a "private" flickr mail"

    Which bit of "blocked" do you not understand?
    In a "free" country, you're allowed to say whatever you like, no matter how offensive it might be to some people.
    Now take your stupid God and shove him up your arse.
  • Ben Roberts 6y

  • Michel Jones 6y

    its so good to have the ability to view whats going on inside the white house from a camera's point of view
  • beleatherman 6y

    Ivan - well said.

    Arty - you seem to enjoy making jokes (and making yourself the center of attention) at the expense of others. Maybe you were picked on too much as a kid. You my friend (and I mean that in the least affectionate sense of the word) are the punchline. You are free to say whatever you want to in this Country - but what you say shows right through to your character (or lack thereof).
  • Ben Roberts 6y

    arty is a well known flickr prat and is best ignored.
  • sprinklegrandma 6y


    I'll take the bait again.

    Wow, we have a "real man" here don't we??

    Yes, OUR country encourages Freedom of Speech. A right to be treasured and respected. Uhhh, as far as I can tell, you don't live in our Country. Thank GOD!! Yep, there is the "G" word.
  • (deaf mute) 6y

    benroberts The trouble is, Ben, that people can't ignore me. ;)
    God might, though, if He existed.
  • Phool Proof 6y

    Forget the shoes. The REAL scandal revealed by this picture is that the moonphase display on the grandfather clock is off by about seven days, and that nobody at the White House seems to have noticed and corrected this sad state of affairs.
    Such sloppiness is obviously a blasphemy against Tanit. Is nothing sacred ?

    Even this site, notwithstanding its affiliation with the US government, acknowledges that the moon at about 11:13AM EDT on May 9, 2009 was a nearly full moon.

  • Jerry Kelley 6y

    It's very understandable how it could be off, the clock was scared out of it's wits by the last administration.
  • sprinklegrandma 6y


    Good one!! LOL
  • Bonniema 6y

    Bless all three of these people who believe in the well being of our world enough to be of service to others, working to make the world a better place.
  • jousterusa 6y

    These photos are posted too slowly and too late to be of use to online news sites that value breaking news urgency. Please get your photographers equipped to upload directly from their flash cards via laptop to this site. While it might be fun to try to vet each one they send, it's not fun to wait for a day to run an old breaking news photo. This is 2009, folks - we understand that the White House has all those layers of approval, but one level it should not be approving is the artistic and news sense of their staff photographers. Whoever makes the final decision on which photos to post can do so after the fact. You can simply say the White House is providing but has not yet approved photos and only makes them accessible for the convenience of journalists who require breaking news imagery. In general, the White House has always done a poor job of presenting media - recordings, broadcasts, photios, etc. - on a timely basis to the media. It appears to stem from an old media paradigm in which provviding timely media would be seen as competition to established publications that may need a full overnight cycle before they can publish, such as print dailies, and perhaps also from the fact that someone has a job vetting images and other media. . That was long ago and far away. Your photos are days out of date. Please catch up with us!


    Joe Shea
    The American Reporter
  • Robert Carrier 6y

    Joe Shea, I must say I don't share your sentiment. This flickr stream is not supposed to be a "breaking news" source of information. Its intent (at least in my mind) is to provide us with behind the scenes images and photos that are a more expressive and artful representation of the White House and the Presidency. I'm not convinced that half of the photos on this stream would be what the AP and Reuters were looking for - they're too good! ;)
  • Richard Wanderman 6y

    Ditto rmcarrier1. Pete Souza and his crew post as they find time and the pace seems great to me, usually the same day the event happens.
  • 劉 秉儉 6y

36 faves
Taken on May 9, 2009
  • EF24mm f/1.4L II USM
  • ƒ/2.8
  • 24.0 mm
  • 1/125
  • 500
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
  • Show EXIF
This photo is in 2 albums
This photo is in 1 gallery

Additional info

  • Viewing this photo Public
  • Safety level of this photo Safe
  • S Search
    Photo navigation
    < > Thumbnail navigation
    Z Zoom
    B Back to context