Obama Administration: Behind the Scenes at the White House

16.1.17

The White House is a special place in itself, and one of the joys of the past eight years has been Pete Souza's photographs documenting the people and spaces that make up the Executive Mansion. I've been fortunate to visit the White House on a few occasions, the many years of history and beautiful architecture making it a special place. Here are just some of the fantastic photographs from the Obama Administration providing a behind the scenes glimpse of life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


Detail of the Resolute Desk as the President was talking with two aides in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Aerial view of the White House taken from the cockpit of Marine One upon arrival from Baltimore, Md., Jan. 15, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama walks toward the West Wing of the White House, Sept. 26, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)


2013 USO Service Member Honorees watch from the Green Room of the White House as Marine One takes off from the South Lawn, Oct. 25, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


Sunny waits by the door in the Diplomatic Reception Room Vestibule of the White House, Nov. 8, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


White House Butler Jorge Davila visits with Bo and Sunny in the Butler's Pantry, Dec. 1, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)


Chief of Staff Denis McDonough's feet are pictured during a meeting in the Oval Office, Nov. 14, 2013. The Oval Office rug has several quotations around its perimeter, including one from Abraham Lincoln which reads, "government of the people, by the people, for the people." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visit with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Samantha Cameron during a State Dinner reception on the Truman Balcony of the White House, March 14, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama descend the Grand Staircase to greet guests at a holiday reception in the Grand Foyer of the White House, Dec. 15, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Marine One departs the South Lawn of the White House, Nov. 26, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


First Lady Michelle Obama and White House chefs join children from Bancroft and Tubman Elementary Schools to harvest vegetables during the third annual White House Kitchen Garden fall harvest on the South Lawn, Oct. 5, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


President Barack Obama exits Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House following a trip to Fort Stewart, Ga., April 27, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Bo, the Obama family dog, lounges in the West Garden Room of the White House, Sept. 15, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a meeting with newly elected governors at Blair House in Washington, D.C., Dec. 2, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


President Barack Obama walks from the White House to Blair House in Washington, D.C., to attend a working meeting with business leaders, Dec. 15, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama has lunch with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office Private Dining Room, Dec. 20, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama listens to the University of Texas Pan American Mariachi Aztlan band in the Grand Foyer before signing the Executive Order for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans in the East Room of the White House, Oct. 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Snow blankets the White House south grounds during a blizzard Feb. 6, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


The White House blanketed in snow after a snowstorm on the morning of Feb. 3, 2010. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama, upper right, stands near a carpet bearing the presidential seal before making remarks in Washington, D.C., Feb. 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


The Presidential limousine gets a quick cleaning before a trip taking President Barack Obama to a conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Feb. 3, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


President Barack Obama stands in the Outer Oval Office, viewed from the Cabinet Room of the White House, Jan. 7, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama whistles as he walks along the Colonnade of the White House following a holiday reception, Dec. 14, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


A Marine Sentry stands guard outside the West Wing entrance of the White House, Dec. 14, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)


White House Chief Floral Designer Laura Dowling arranges a bouquet in the Vermeil Room of the White House, Dec. 1, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


Snow covers the East Garden at the White House, Dec. 21, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


Bo, the Obama family dog, waits near a Christmas tree in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Dec. 3, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)


The sky is seen above the Truman Balcony of the White House, Sept., 29 2009. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


Cranberry garland decorates a fireplace mantle in the Red Room of the White House, Dec. 1, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


A team of volunteers decorates the official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room of the White House, Nov. 30, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


Pumpkins decorate the Navy Mess in the West Wing of the White House, Oct. 26, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


The Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial are seen at dusk behind the the South Lawn Fountain of the White House, Oct. 22, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


A shadow is cast across a place setting in President Barack Obama's private dining room on Oct. 13, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obama Administration: Landmark Moments and Special Visitors

13.1.17


The President and First Lady bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, before they departed Winfield House in London following a dinner in honor of the Queen.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


The President signs the health insurance reform bill. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


"Much has been made of this photograph that shows the President and Vice President and the national security team monitoring in real time the mission against Osama bin Laden. Some more background on the photograph: The White House Situation Room is actually comprised of several different conference rooms. The majority of the time, the President convenes meetings in the large conference room with assigned seats. But to monitor this mission, the group moved into the much smaller conference room. The President chose to sit next to Brigadier General Marshall B. “Brad” Webb, Assistant Commanding General of Joint Special Operations Command, who was point man for the communications taking place. WIth so few chairs, others just stood at the back of the room. I was jammed into a corner of the room with no room to move. During the mission itself, I made approximately 100 photographs, almost all from this cramped spot in the corner. There were several other meetings throughout the day, and we've put together a composite of several photographs (see next photo in this set) to give people a better sense of what the day was like. Seated in this picture from left to right: Vice President Biden, the President, Brig. Gen. Webb, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Standing, from left, are: Admiral Mike Mullen, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; National Security Advisor Tom Donilon; Chief of Staff Bill Daley; Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; Audrey Tomason Director for Counterterrorism; John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper."(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama and Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi pet Bo, the Obama family dog, at the conclusion of their meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 19, 2012. Danny Russel, Senior Director for Asian Affairs, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton watch at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama pauses to look back at the scene before leaving the platform following the inaugural swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2013. Standing behind the President are First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and Marian Robinson. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


Four Presidents during the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Filling in for David Lienemann, Lawrence Jackson made this photograph of the real Vice President, with Julia-Louis Dreyfus, star of the HBO show Veep', in his West Wing office of the White House.
(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


The President and First Lady wave to supporters as they ride in the inaugural parade. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Meetings happen everywhere including on the escalator. Here, the President continues a conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following their meeting with other leaders at the NATO Summit in Newport, Wales. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


The President signs the H.R. 3547, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, which at the time provided fiscal year 2014 appropriations. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan walk from the Reflecting Pool toward the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., April 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama laughs with Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, in the Oval Office, April 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden discuss the Resolute Desk with Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, prior to a meeting in the Oval Office, March 19, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


First Lady Michelle Obama and Meryl Streep participate in a photo shoot for MORE magazine in the Blue Room of the White House, Feb. 24, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)


President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany participate in a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 9, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


Two days after the visit of Pope Francis, the President and First Lady hosted President Xi Jinping of China and Madame Peng Liyuan for another State Visit. Before the formal State Dinner, the President showed President Xi and Madame Peng the Gettysburg Address in the Lincoln Bedroom. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


The President and Pope Francis walk along the Colonnade. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


A festive atmosphere as the White House was lit with the colors of the rainbow in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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