Open for Questions with Pete Souza

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    Join us for a live chat with Pete Souza on Thursday, October 28th at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

    Ask your questions in advance in the comments section of this image. Please include the URL if referencing a specific photo in your question.

    Kooklamou - MA., USA, joecrowaz, and 46 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. bsabarnowl 72 months ago

      The president is coming to Charlottesville this Friday October 29th.
      Will you be there and will you add your images to the Charlottesville Group?

    2. tzeenech2 72 months ago

      Whats the most dificult part of working for the White House? Any regrets?

    3. Greater Manchester Police 72 months ago

      PCSO Andy Smith, based at
      Hi Pete,

      Sorry…just a couple more questions. Apologies if they have already been asked but I haven’t spotted them.

      How many staff do you have working with you and how many images do you produce as a unit in the course of an average year?

      If you had to sum up your own style and ethos in one sentence…what would it be?

      Many thanks for running this event and I hope you repeat the exercise sometime soon.

      Many thanks from here in the UK.

    4. kbenker 72 months ago

      Mr. Souza,
      I'm a big admirer of your work and saw your dedication when I attended the President's speech at USC last week and noticed you climbing up on a ledge in order to get a different angle (here's a photo I took if you'd like to see)!

      White House Photographer Pete Souza photographs the President at the Moving America Forward rally at USC

      How else do you keep photos of the same man fresh even after taking tens (more likely hundreds) of thousands?

      Also, I suggested in my White House internship application this semester that the White House Photo Office create a new position of "Administration Photographer" to highlight the work the rest of the President's administration is doing in an effort to increase accountability and transparency, as well as to publicize and personalize the work being done by hardworking though less public figures in the administration. What do you think of this idea?

      Thanks for taking the time to do this Q&'s very exciting for people like myself who are both politics and photography nerds!

      - Kayla

    5. Jonathan Cherry 72 months ago


      What first inspired you to take photographs?


    6. madfeline 72 months ago

      Mr. Souza: If I mail my copy of "The Rise of Barack Obama" .... your wonderful 2008 photo/text essay book .... along with return envelope, would you autograph for me? Your work stunning.

    7. BrittBradley 72 months ago

      (Haven't read all of the questions -- I'm at work right now! Apologies for duplicates...)

      - How many people work on the White House photography staff, and how are photo assignments handled? (Are staff members assigned different subjects for a reason? Divided by specialty? Simply by schedule?)

      - Have you become numbed to the environment you work in, or are you still struck by the weight of what you cover? Do you ever feel the responsibility is more than you can handle?

      - Has it become difficult to keep finding new, interesting and creative shots when you work in the same rooms and with the same subjects day after day? How do you keep a fresh perspective?


    8. waitimaprincess 72 months ago

      Q: How does one obtain photos? My daughter is in a few from this summer when she visited the White House as part of the Let's Move Campaign. There is a shot where the President has his hand on her head that I'd love to have a copy of.

    9. adigitalnative 72 months ago

      Mr. Souza, you shoot amazing images. I wonder - how much retouching do you do? I'm guessing you adjust color & curves (because after all, you are shooting in all locations and all weather so there are going to be times that the white balance needs adjusting after-the-fact), but do you go further to simplify backgrounds, etc or is everything pretty much happening in-camera?

    10. fredjm127e 72 months ago

      Hello Pete,
      I remember you working in Chanute, Ks several years ago at the Chanute Tribune. My father-in-law was the press foreman there during the time you were there. I really admire what you have accomplished in your career. Keep up the great work of documenting history!
      Fred M

    11. J_sauce 72 months ago

      Is takeing photographs of presidents and their time in the white house diffrent than any other work you've done? Whats your favorite photo you have taken so far at the white house? What do like about working at the white house? whats your least favorite thing about working at the white house?

    12. Will Parson 72 months ago

      Considering that former White House photographer David Kennerly became good friends with President Ford, what has your relationship with the President Obama been like? Has your approach to photographing the president changed between the time you spent photographing him as a freelancer and the time spent on the White House staff?

      Also, is there a balance that has to be struck while taking photos for the historical record, knowing they might be released into the current daily news cycle?

    13. blklabfotomom 72 months ago

      What is your favorite moment in your job over the past year?

    14. SFMONA 72 months ago

      I've had the pleasure of meeting you and seeing you in action in San Francisco. i actually stepped over a pregnant woman's foot to get to you last year. you kind of brushed me off, but you were working. I gave you my card. It has the picture of Obama/Biden at the DNC 2008 Convention. I was the only professional photographer allowed at the Podium at the Mile High Stadium.

      Anyway, I was Exec Dir of DNCC Rev Leah Daughtry's personal photographer at the DNC. I can understand how easy it is to work 24/7, period but especially when you're traveling with the subject. I can guess. But what are your "normal" hours per week? How long can your day last?

      It was challenging for me to photograph the some person over and over again without repeating the same image. How do you challenge yourself in photographing the President in interesting ways? i.e. how many different ways have you tried to shoot the President in the Oval office when he's by himself?

      Who gets an official photographer beside the President and VP Biden?

      Because you've worked under both the Reagan and Obama Administration, do you find yourself apolitical? Or does it matter what their platforms are? Did you apply to be a WH Photographer under the George W. Bush?

      Can you guess how many times you've brought out your flash? most of your images are shot with available light, I've noticed.

      Who decides what gets posted on flickr or any release to the press? The Press office or your editor or you?

      When the first family is on vacation, do you get days off or do you go with them?

      Will you go back to teaching after your stint? Do you plan on being around for a 2nd term?

      p.s. in case you didn't know it, i took a photo of Pres Obama and Speaker Pelosi, and you last year that was printed in San Francisco Magazine.

      Mona T. Brooks

    15. Sushi493 [deleted] 72 months ago

      Mr. Souza, How do you chose the subjects you photograph for the Obama administration. Are specific photographs requested or do you photograph events as they unfold?

    16. SemperNovus 72 months ago

      Mr. Souza. We photographers have all missed a shot that we have never forgotten. Since covering the POTUS and his family which moment sticks with you?

    17. acschult 72 months ago

      When you go on vacation, do you take photographs..? What do you enjoy photographing when you are not at work? Do you like the finishing process and is there an effect/filter that you would like to try at work?


    18. acschult 72 months ago

      Do you try new techniques or do you stick to "tried and true" techniques? You said you are always working to make things fresh, have you gone into a situation with a completely new piece of equipment (lens, etc) just to see how it works?


    19. liz elkind 72 months ago

      Mr. Souza,
      How did you first get the opportunity to be an assistant White House photographer?
      Thank you!

    20. tzargregory 72 months ago

      That was a ton of fun - thanks Pete!

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