Santa Fe New Mexico Family and Children Photographer – David Moore» Blog Archive » Be the White House photographer in your house

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This is the photography blog for photographer and writer David Moore. He's based in Santa Fe, New Mexico but speaks with a funny accent.


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    January 31st, 2011

    Be the White House photographer in your house


    I’ve just finished watching the National Geographic documentary, The President’s Photographer, about the White House photographer Pete Souza (it’s available on Netflix on demand streaming if you’re a US subscriber).

    It’s a fascinating look at an amazing job, and I admit to having a bit of a photographer’s crush on Souza. Partly it stems from his great book of images from President Obama’s career in the Senate and from his campaign, The Rise of Barack Obama.

    One of the key things that struck me from the documentary was the sense of purpose that all the official White House photographers interviewed had in documenting everything that happens with the President. Every image captured ends up in the Library of Congress, for future scholars and historians to access.

    This includes the formal events, the countless handshakes and speeches, but it also covers the more domestic and personal moments.

    In fact these smaller scale images (particularly from Souza) are some of my favourites – and because of the White House’s enlightened picure usage policity, I include some of them in this blog post. These have an importance to a wide audience because of the post the man occupies, but a lot of them would be great images even if he wasn’t the President.


    We’re not heads of state, but the idea of documenting the day to day life of our families also has great merit. These moments are priceless, too, if only to us.

    And now because of digital cameras, phones that can shoot video and essentially limitless storage, we can capture and keep records of our own lives more easily than ever before.

    Waiting until the special occasions or holidays to bust out the camera misses most of what’s really important in a family – the daily details, triumphs and joys.

    So let’s all be our own official photographers, bearing witness to our lives and keeping a record for ourselves later and for future generations. It won’t be in the Library of Congress, but it’s no less important for all that.


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