Former President George W. Bush was trying to take a selfie following the dedication for Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and turned to his successor for help.
A video clip shows Bush tapping President Obama for help to take the photo.
Both presidents spoke at the dedication to the African American museum, which opened to the public Saturday more than 100 years after it was first proposed and 13 years after it was authorized by Congress.
During his address, Obama said the museum explains "the fact that our stories that our stories have shaped every corner of our culture. The struggles for freedom made our constitution and real and living document."
Bush called the museum a symbol of the country's "commitment to truth."
"A great nation does not hide its history," Bush said. "It faces its flaws, and corrects them."