White House photographer releases his favorite photos with new commentary

White House photographer Pete Souza released an album this week on Flickr.com of his favorite images from a year of shadowing President Barack Obama.

The gallery of 82 photos includes the first commentary Souza has issued in his tenure as the White House shutterbug; each photo contains a note about what Souza was thinking when he photographed a particular image, or what was really going on in the photo. 

Souza typically posts a shot every day at the official White House Photo of the Day, but never comments on them.

Below are some of the more interesting photos and captions from the gallery. To view the entire series, click here.


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Souza revelas that this memorable picture of Obama and the Portugese water dog that would become their family pet, Bo, was taken the first time the Obamas met the dog, for an hour-long trial session. Souza only released the photo after the family decided to keep the dog and name him Bo.


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While it would appear that the president caught a fish in this photo, taken on a fly fishing trip to Montana, Souza reveals that the elation was short-lived. There was no fish on the line. Obama jokingly called this his "catch and release" plan.


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President and Mrs. Obama watch a 2009 Super Bowl commercial with 3-D glasses on. They would don the glasses again in December to see James Cameron's "Avatar."


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Souza wrote that family dinners are considered "private time," and rarely photographed, but this one on a rooftop in Moscow was a rare exception owing the dramatic view it afforded of the Kremlin. 


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Obama, snowball in hand, chases White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel outside the West Wing. Souza writes that Emanuel went running into the Rose Garden to escape the pitch, only to land unexpectedly in two feet of snow.


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This photo of a presidential press pool was taken in a mirrored reflection, and illustrates Souza's sense of humor about who, and how, he photographs. It was hung in the West Wing, where White House staffers wondered for months whether it was accidentally upside-down before Souza finally explained the joke.


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Like many White House photographers before him, Souza is struck by how closely the president's dual roles as family man and Commander-In-Chief coincide. In this photo, taken in Hawaii over the holidays, Obama gives daughter Malia a friendly squeeze while NSC Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough prepares to patch him into a conference call about the Christmas Day terrorist attempt over Detroit, Mich.


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Souza marvels at the some of the characters that come through the White House gates. Here, he photographed the president chatting with two of his favorite performers, actor Robert De Niro and rocker Bruce Springsteen, both of whom were 2009 Kennedy Center Honors recipients.


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One can tell by his photos that Souza shifts naturally between participating in the president's day, and remaining an impartial observer. More often, he chooses the latter, but here he's clearly in on the joke as Sasha Obama sneaks into the Oval Office to surprise her father.