Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in Photographs

Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in Photographs

By Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer | December 31, 2015

One of the best and most challenging aspects of my job is whittling down a year’s worth of photographs to the final selections for my annual Year in Photographs. Every year, I attempt to keep it less than 100 photos — and every year I fail in that goal. But I am excited once again to present this gallery for the seventh consecutive year.

Each photograph, taken either by me or a White House photographer on my staff, is accompanied by my personal observations about the image. Some images require little explanation. However, for several images, I’ve included the backstory behind the image to provide further context or to share why that image was particularly important to me.

Editing photographs, especially for a project like this, is both subjective and personal. I not only found key historic moments from the year, but also chose moments that give people a more personal look at the lives of the President and First Lady. I’ve also included many photographs that rely more on their graphic qualities, including light and composition. And yes, I’ve included a couple of photographs of the President with Ella Rhodes, because she was certainly the best subject of the year.

I hope you enjoy this gallery. I look forward to doing this one last time next year.

1*uyOoP6MtrgXtd63sFTMlKA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJan. 20, 2015
“Recently released from prison in Cuba, Alan Gross pumps his fist in the air from First Lady Michelle Obama’s box after President Obama acknowledged him at the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol.” (Official White House Photo By Chuck Kennedy)

1*EO8NjT9uHCNS afXc7ZzZw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJan. 22, 2015
“While we were in Lawrence, Kan., we stopped at the Community Children’s Center–one of the nation’s oldest Head Start providers. The President sat next to Akira Cooper, right, and reacted to something she said to him.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*EikWg5 T5DkLHX4wqwRYmg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsFeb. 8, 2015
“David Lienemann, the Vice President’s photographer, made this image in Dachau, Germany, of the VP and his granddaughter Finnegan Biden touring the concentration camp with Max Mannheimer, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor.” (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

1*CzlCXgBpjWLMYGwOe14W6A - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsFeb. 23, 2015
“The President’s daughter Malia stopped by the Oval Office one afternoon to see her dad and, while they were talking, she wiped something from his face.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*SnOcIzTdrSCYW  LDV5zyg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsFeb. 27, 2015
“It’s definitely true that former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal is a big guy. But I’ll admit that I used a wide angle lens and this angle to accentuate his size when he stopped by the Oval Office for a quick visit.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*wL5IBY8sRYinKnlig25JcA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in Photographs Feb. 27, 2015
“Chuck Kennedy captured this scene at dusk as the President entered the Outer Oval Office with Shaun Donovan.” (Official White House by Chuck Kennedy)

1*lbFE8uSdI8irukbogRNLZw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMarch 7, 2015
“I was moving around trying to capture different scenes away from the stage during the event to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches. When I glanced back towards the stage, I noticed the President and First Lady holding hands as they listened to the remarks of Rep. John Lewis. I managed to squeeze off a couple of frames before they began to applaud, and the moment was gone.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*KDi8Vw5721mjhEsfm X5UQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMarch 7, 2015
“For Presidential trips, I usually have another White House photographer accompany me so he or she can preset with the press and obtain angles that I can’t, as I usually stay close to the President. Lawrence Jackson made this iconic image from the camera truck as the First Family joined others in beginning the walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.” (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

1*ravxJMY7I3gZVvme9ZtK2Q - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMarch 7, 2015
“I tried to line up the First Family as they boarded Air Force One at Maxwell Air Force Base following the events in Selma. If you look closely, you can see that the President is whistling as he follows the First Lady, Marian Robinson, and Malia on the stairs.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*F3cTdO0rc5XDVo8JvtfRZw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMarch 10, 2015
“Although he doesn’t play competitive basketball anymore, basketball is still a big part of his life. He had just given a speech on education and college affordability at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, and when we passed through the gym on the way back to the motorcade, he took a few minutes to try and drain some three-point shots.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*I8iXZrTi nV8sNiyIvjoqw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMarch 13, 2015
“While we were visiting Phoenix, the President made a side trip to visit Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, a wounded warrior that he had first met in Normandy before he was injured and, then again at Walter Reed hospital after he had been injured in Afghanistan. Cory and his father, Craig Remsburg, greeted the President at Cory’s newly finished home in Gilbert. Earlier in the day, Cory had received the keys to the house, which was purchased by the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund and renovated with the help of Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*f4ulRemgNf9FpQ6FXlbxHw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMarch 19, 2015
“I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition focused on just the feet as the President sat on the Resolute Desk during a casual meeting with from left, Beth Cobert, OMB Deputy Director for Management, Valerie Green, Director of Presidential Personnel and Anita Decker Breckenridge, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1* Z uLr7EuYdfJfqhf7tMMA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMarch 20, 2015
“Amanda Lucidon captured this intimate moment as the First Lady, along with senior monk Eigen Onishi, had tea with Amb. Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, and her son, Jack Schlossberg, at the Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan.” (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

1*3JLfJ lIiSojIO8oDQvRFQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMarch 24, 2015
“Chuck Kennedy triggered a remote camera as the President concluded a joint press conference with President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan in the East Room of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

1*YDee0e QIs3njA1XXXx8wA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMarch 27, 2015
“The First Lady snuggled against the President during a video taping for the 2015 World Expo in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

1*h1ocdcBY5o5jfniuyL0D8Q - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMarch 31, 2015
“Throughout the first half of the year, the President met often with our team during the P5+1 negotiations with Iran. Several times he conducted secure video conferences from the Situation Room while the negotiators were on the ground in Switzerland.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*qQ2nj0QxAneZ5sr3oxSI6Q - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsApril 9, 2015
“The President’s wave aligns with a rainbow as he boards Air Force One at Norman Manley International Airport prior to departure from Kingston, Jamaica. Read my Behind The Lens account of this photograph: http://bit.ly/1NMjCjHtk .” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*Zg4Ai4j FonWuYL4Zrpr1g - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsApril 10, 2015
“We had just visited the control tower at the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks in Ancon, and I stayed atop the tower to capture this view of the President as he walked back across a lock, but not before telling the Secret Service to not leave without me.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*Arqfz4paMoUw2xHsa9ccVw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsApril 11, 2015
“The culmination of years of talks resulted in this handshake between the President and Cuban President Raúl Castro during the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*ICHh5ONAQmNqhABwTPdU7w - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsApril 14, 2015
“The Queen of Soul — Aretha Franklin — was waiting for her cue during ‘The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House’ when I noticed her close her eyes in silence for a few seconds while standing in the doorway between the Green Room and East Room before she was ready to begin her performance.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*hf nkZIw6PUyXYJDM jHQg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsApril 16, 2015
“The President was about to sign H.R. 2 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 in the Rose Garden of the White House so we had Lawrence Jackson pre-position on the roof of the Colonnade and he captured this picturesque scene of the President walking to the signing table.” (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

1*vUCSEQpCi3z49U0bosNXpw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsApril 17, 2015
“Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes needed some assistance with his wardrobe so the President joined Brian Mosteller, Director of Oval Office Operations, and Personal Aide Ferial Govashiri in helping to spruce him up.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*tf3z1gOBcp0jXdD6FGv1qQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsApril 27, 2015
“I ran up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial ahead of the President and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to capture this scene of the two looking towards the Washington Monument.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*wjpFbTOrKy6XFmUEisq8hw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsApril 29, 2015
“An amusing moment as the President made a last minute plea with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., following their meeting at the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*SH HtZPQ61zVKaHE8Z39zg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsApril 29, 2015
“Visiting wounded warriors at Walter Reed, the President signed a patient’s military banner at his request.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*3m gdbkimtRme9T8d1H8tQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsApril 30, 2015
“Framed by a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. and a painting of Abraham Lincoln, the President has some last words with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, following a signing ceremony for S.535, Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*FVhQF06b3gFAyZIfc0JtkA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMay 12, 2015
“The First Lady demonstrates her boxing skills during a #GimmeFive video taping.” (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

1*QaKob77QcuKKJ8ivrR4ZDA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMay 14, 2015
“The President had hosted a summit meeting at Camp David with the Gulf Cooperation Council. At the conclusion of the summit, each of the leaders was introduced before a final group photo in front of Laurel Cabin. Rather than shoot a tight shot of each leader, I used a wide angle lens to show more of the atmosphere of Camp David. Here, the President greets Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers’ Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*J P4qsBBjVis6pe  oplvw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMay 18, 2015
“The President talks with students and law enforcement officials about community relations and programs that build trust between youth and the police in Camden, N.J. Earlier that day, we had toured police headquarters with the Chief of Police J. Scott Thomson. Several months later I was giving some friends a tour of the West Wing when I ran into Chief Thomson, who was on the same tour with another White House employee, and I told him how much the visit to Camden had meant to the President.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*PLDTHBzvoSXgGSR6e59jLw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMay 18, 2015
“After returning on Marine One, the President walks from the helicopter to the Oval Office holding an umbrella for aides Valerie Jarrett and Anita Decker Breckenridge.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*9vjSbrVnOiMg avwGCw9vQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMay 18, 2015
“’Show us the Jeremy dance,’ the President said to departing Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard, during a farewell ceremony for Jeremy in the State Dining Room of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*dubXf9D7NclAIOoOF4CADw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMay 22, 2015
“Great timing by David Lienemann to capture the Blue Angels flyover as the Vice President and other officials applauded during the commencement ceremonies at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.” (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

1*p4nDXCGDhnOsDEV32jQVnQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsMay 29, 2015
“Beekeeper Charlie Brandts works with the beehive on the South Grounds of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*jeEyosJTl jcNG Qwn2KXw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 4, 2015
“At the President’s insistence, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes brought his daughter Ella by for a visit. As she was crawling around the Oval Office, the President got down on his hands and knees to look her in the eye.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*2YTQuKnZWhIn CVO60DGCA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 6, 2015
“The President hugs Vice President Joe Biden after delivering a eulogy during the funeral mass for Beau Biden at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*isR Xq43mD3NF msxXsyDQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 8, 2015
“We were at the G7 Summit in Krün, Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel asked the leaders and outreach guests to make their way to a bench for a group photograph. The President happened to sit down first, followed closely by the Chancellor. I only had time to make a couple of frames before the background was cluttered with other people.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*7pnDl2 vpTC 3jpLXkQMbQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 9, 2015
“After a group photograph with Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Space Shuttle Columbia alumni, the President helped some of the participants move a sofa back in place in the Oval Office.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*nUJJZQajRSBFJdVxcj dQg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 11, 2015
“We had just stopped by the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park and we were already driving away underneath the stadium. The President asked the Secret Service to stop the motorcade when he spotted The Racing Presidents (they compete against each other in a running race during every game). My vehicle was 100 feet ahead so I jumped out and ran back in time to catch them in a group photo for posterity.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*DWoVLnBCzBBH opbQCZ6lg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 12, 2015
“To discuss the upcoming vote on fast-track Trade Promotion Authority, the President took his case directly to the House Democratic Caucus at the U.S. Capitol.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*jE7vC DH9ZqL5BM1JrsWyQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 15, 2015
“I love mirrors. Here the President is reflected in the mirror as he talks with Amy Rosenbaum, Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, and the Vice President in the Outer Oval Office. Amy was the key legislative aide in dealing with Congress on trade issues.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*BBVvCjW78xxOXeZf8mbnvQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 17, 2015
“The President carries the twin boys of Katie Beirne Fallon, Director of Legislative Affairs, into the Oval Office just a few months after they were born.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*kxyvgdkrYWm6vHsiLJ16Og - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 18, 2015
“The First Lady and First Lady Agnese Landini of Italy tour the Mirror Room in the Italian Pavilion at the World Expo in Milan, Italy.” (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

1*fSf2VaIQZu m3Zg4IA2K g - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 23, 2015
“The President checks out a thunderstorm brewing outside.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*OOFC1mWy7oA4QGoKLsqwjw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 25, 2015
“The President was in the midst of his daily intelligence briefing. An aide popped his head in the door to inform him that the Supreme Court had affirmed the Affordable Care Act subsidies ruling, and with a telephoto lens, I made this sequence of his initial reaction.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1* eaJ1yEFER9uvoOxinDmKQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 26, 2015
“Amanda Lucidon captured this scene as White House staff listened from the White House Colonnade as the President delivered a statement regarding the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.” (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

1*z7J7IraUoHAL kY3k PH8w - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 26, 2015
“Following the mass shooting at a church in Charleston, S.C., that claimed nine lives, the President pauses while giving the eulogy at the funeral of one of the victims, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, at the College of Charleston. Rev. Pinckney’s family is seated in the front row at lower left.” Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*EPOvcGEgHvljS1KtxQXMKw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 26, 2015
“It was 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. I chose this angle from several options because I like that much of the White House staff had stayed late on a Friday night to take part in the celebration.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*218C7Ev55AINs3ODjm8lHg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJune 30, 2015
“Girl Scouts participate in the White House Campout, part of the ‘Let’s Move! Outside’ initiative on the South Lawn of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

1*KcOvOkMn3oevXALnUcx9Aw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 1, 2015
“I kept my focus on the background as the President finished shaking hands with supporters during a downpour at Nashville International Airport in Nashville, Tenn.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*Eil1k8tCiyKPkUCH5gnwQg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 2, 2015
“I walked up into the balcony and found audience members standing on treadmills as they listened to the President make remarks at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*jOxLPHAh7qsgkWYKJKJ4pQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 5, 2015
“The Vice President leads the cheers for the U.S. Women’s soccer team after they scored their first goal in the Women’s World Cup final inVancouver, Canada.” (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

1*hhJae5ksyM0K6QOsg1AUHw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 6, 2015
“With Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, the President meets at the Pentagon with senior Defense Department, national security advisors and military leadership regarding the campaign against ISIL.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*ywZzHx2FCq3IKkPuH0AWrQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 7, 2015
“Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus applaud the Vice President after the President acknowledged their partnership during a meeting and reception in the State Dining Room.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*cj4mgzRwEEL40KT Liydmg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 10, 2015
“Sometimes the most telling photograph doesn’t even include the President or First Lady. Here guests line up in the State Dining Room to have their picture taken with the First Lady prior to the Kids’ State Dinner.” (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

1*S8V4oUB12BxRwwQKbhPbog - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 13, 2015
“The President and his national security staff are all smiles shortly after being notified of the nuclear agreement with Iran.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*6Ny3bTl3zXigAbHObRykXA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 16, 2015
“In July the President became the first sitting President to visit a federal prison. Here the President departs El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma with Valerie Jarrett and Secret Service agent Rob Buster.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)1*9FtKEeUU8DZR3BAKWImPSg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 17, 2015
“The President greets nine-month-old Josephine Gronniger, whose father, Tim Gronniger, brought his family by the Oval Office for a family photo.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*omJv5qbeGGyuW52XVL isA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 17, 2015
“While visiting the Whitney Museum in New York City, the President hugged his daughter Malia as they looked at the art work.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*wAxp0LdF1FXbMh0kKeTSJA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 18, 2015
“The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*JL0ta wAlz4PmKqCFTHTMA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 20, 2015
“There’s almost always a cloak and dagger routine in trying to surprise senior staff aides on their birthday. Here the President surprises Anita Decker Breckenridge while she is in a meeting in Chief of Staff Denis McDonough’s office. Chase Cushman, Director of Scheduling and Advance, watches in the background.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*4iqYQ4mwKNAOMyszqUxG Q - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in Photographs

1*4iqYQ4mwKNAOMyszqUxG Q - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in Photographs

July 20, 2015
“During photo lines, there’s this routine called ‘push and pull.’ One social aide helps push the next guest towards the President and another helps pull them out of the room. During a photo line to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, Alice Wong, Disability Visibility Project Founder, participated via robot. So after her photograph had been taken, social aides gestured to ‘pull’ her out of the room as the next guest entered.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*IrdLuUR4sZq8HVi7a2GL2w - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 21, 2015
“Underneath a picturesque sky, the President boards Air Force One prior to departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1* R3y5fD1aI1N XqeB3eC0Q - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 25, 2015
“I love looking at all the individual faces in this photograph of the President greeting children at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*tJG8cNHOOTaOXuLGgjMh8g - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 26, 2015
“Secret Service agents had to keep the crowd from pushing forward as the President greeted audience members after his speech at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*DYCIzntM2a86bPWm EZgHQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsJuly 29, 2015
“There are formal meetings listed on the President’s schedule, but usually throughout the day there are other impromptu meetings. Often the President will ask his Personal Aide Ferial Govishiri, ‘Can you see if so-and-so is around?’ Or the Chief of Staff will ask Ferial when’s a good time to stop by with one or two other staff members. Here the President has an unscheduled meeting with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and National Economic Council Director Jeffrey Zients.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*Jzs7JnEvWUIZvJGQbHig7w - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsAugust 4, 2015
“On his birthday, the President listens to a prayer during a phone call with pastors.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*mUMxO uVyHgXHGafZpXviA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsAugust 4, 2015
“The President reacts to a comment during a meeting in the Cabinet Room with American Jewish community leaders to discuss the Iran nuclear agreement.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*7IU5agr 7ggYMC8XEmQI g - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsAugust 27, 2015
“Nice pajamas. The President greets residents in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans. The area experienced significant flooding during Hurricane Katrina ten years ago, and much of it has been rebuilt.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*qvzhpoac4Az3JtazsD5JGw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 1, 2015
“The President tours Kenai Fjords National Park by boat. The trip to Alaska may have been the best domestic trip of his Presidency. Being on a boat on a picturesque day certainly helped.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*NwJgaVNJ c S2wBI2HYi5g - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 2, 2015
“’He was just excited to see you,’ one of the salmon fisherwoman exclaimed after a salmon spawned on the President’s feet at Kanakanak Beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*oj4SvioEFyOWEGvt2GqHjw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 2, 2015
“The President joins locals during a cultural dance performance at Dillingham Middle School in Dillingham, Alaska.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*MoXZDnRnLCZJlOPxtNgFow - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 4, 2015
“Four-year-old Malik Hall greets the President, almost in disbelief, before a departure photo with Malik’s uncle Maurice Owens, center, and his family.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1* 5JTHVyMEAyfoBoC8hsc8g - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 11, 2015
“The President and First Lady walk back towards the south entrance of the White House following a moment of silence with White House staff for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I hid behind a planter on the Truman Balcony to make this photograph.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*9uQN0F EnoT Khmp rvANQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 18, 2015
“This has to be the suit of the year. Matthew Lesko met the President before having a family photo taken with his son, Max Lesko, who was departing the White House after working in the Counsel Office.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*cDUkJnp5shCuCmKUDWRTEA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 21, 2015
“The President exchanges a wave with Alya Dorelien Bitar, one-year-old daughter of Maher Bitar, the outgoing National Security Council Director for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, and his wife, Astrid Dorelien, during a family photo in the Oval Office.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*4tLqUsCl23eyIDge3iHxfw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 22, 2015
“The Obama family and Biden family greet Pope Francis as he arrives in the United States for the first time at Joint Base Andrews.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*kbgkLDS8rd aa6S4pBEpQQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 22, 2015
“Following their brief meeting with Pope Francis at Joint Base Andrews, the President and First Lady wave as the Pope drives away in a small Fiat.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*BYj5sWNVqmAsdWWsC Dt0A - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 23, 2015
“David Lienemann scoped out a great vantage point from the Blue Room Balcony to capture this moment as the President and First Lady escorted Pope Francis back inside the White House following the State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn.” (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

1*0GXW481uUZzlJ00 V61kxw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 23, 2015
“Though there were many poignant moments of the President and Pope Francis to choose from, but this frame, as they walked along the Colonnade, was one of my favorites because of the light and the way the President was interacting with His Holiness.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*sRSoQZrkovDtf52QH9maqg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 24, 2015
“His Holiness Pope Francis, with the Vice President and House Speaker John Boehner and the rest of the Escort Committee, delivers remarks from the Speaker’s balcony following a Joint Session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol.” (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

 1*NLVYLDAvk1hWCr5jwwLx6A - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 25, 2015
“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)

1*8jLWPA1GvKlHvp1oCkAuBw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 28, 2015
“I took advantage of the interesting backdrop when the President had a pull-aside conversation with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine prior to the Leaders Summit on Peacekeeping at the United Nations in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*8bSYyALmOqRG Qp5UFLQMA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsSept. 29, 2015
“The President asked everyone to leave the room so he could have a private conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi following the Leaders Summit on Countering ISIL and Countering Violent Extremism at the United Nations.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*xoeesdp5M 3JThvHNVF4Ng - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in Photographs

Oct. 1, 2015
“I focused on the detail of the Resolute Desk as the President was talking with two aides in the Oval Office.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*A4ftkAOEmZcu2OhGxTEimQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsOct. 4, 2015
“The President greets families of firefighters during the reading of names at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*RgUICNLe7rKdEdshYNpPJg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsOct. 11, 2015
“The President was playing golf at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif. As he was finishing his round, he began to shake hands with guests waiting for a wedding ceremony about to begin. The bride and groom were waiting inside but when they looked out the window and saw the President, they decided to make their way outside. I made a grab shot as the bride, Stephanie Tobe, and her soon-to-be husband, Brian Tobe, came running to greet the President. I made sure to send a copy to the happy couple and both wrote back to me that they were extremely grateful to have the President ‘crash’ their wedding.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*Da vDhhTy0gZnvvBtjoT5w - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsOct. 15, 2015
“Chuck Kennedy made this photograph of a member of the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club waiting in the Green Room of the White House prior to a reception for Hispanic Heritage Month and the 25th Anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.” (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

1*qAj3H Y8fEGsUsu06eebIw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsOct. 16, 2015
“During the autumn months, as the sun dips lower in the sky, the light in the Oval Office changes throughout the day. Here, late one afternoon, the sun illuminated the President as he spoke on the telephone with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*bBgdrDJW 7btUCJg4 g dA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsOct. 21, 2015
“When Vice President Biden decided not to run for President, he asked to make the announcement in the Rose Garden. The President looked over remarks as the morning sun splashed through the Oval Office. In all honesty, as I was making this photograph, I didn’t know yet the Vice President’s decision. But either way, I thought it was important to symbolically include the President’s chair in my frame. In retrospect, I soon realized that if he had decided to run for President, the Vice President would have made the announcement from somewhere other than at the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*920UxCn TFwjjtekRjfthQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsOct. 23, 2015
“Afternoon autumn light bathes the President as he works at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*ADyT9pHyjXGLQXc1WqGsKQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsOct. 26, 2015
“After their meeting with the President, Katie Beirne Fallon, Director of Legislative Affairs, and Shaun Donovan, Director Office of Management and Budget, knock on wood–the Resolute Desk–in hopes that the budget would pass through Congress.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*LWtBSeAhQ9hYctRYcLCZMw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsOct. 27, 2015
“The President participates in a group selfie in the East Room with the United States Women’s National Soccer Team celebrating their victory in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.” (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

1*IWvO5Y2eoo9A tTM6EhVuA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsOct. 30, 2015
“This is the first time the same child has made two appearances in the Year in Photos. But it was difficult to not again include Ella Rhodes, daughter of Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, after the President lifted her in her elephant costume that she was wearing for a Halloween event at the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*BRqpwXuI ejqocEor  LFA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsOct. 30, 2015
“The President and First Lady react to a child in a pope costume and mini popemobile as they welcomed children during a Halloween event on the South Lawn of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*xlwtR9gnP2DA5akRi4Sk5A - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsNov. 2, 2105
“At dusk, the President boards Marine One at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*mKWh04iHSB5yAbuMhDv7rg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsNov. 3, 2015
“The President high-fives Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., during a meeting with her and Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., left, in the Oval Office. At right is OMB Director Shaun Donovan.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*0axvsNwaPvpkvvJEhBa1Pg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsNov. 15, 2015
“With a Russian security guard at left, the President meets with President Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice and a Russian interpreter sit alongside the two leaders.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*gYfNR  KU2LpMZNycETVoQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsNov. 17, 2015
“The President talks with Captain Vince Sibala during a tour of the BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15) in Manila Harbor, Philippines. The ship was a former U.S. Coast Guard cutter acquired by the Philippines after it was decommissioned.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*3hNHaXGzxCsAaaeedwJs6g - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsNov. 17, 2015
“Taking advantage of the lights set up for a press statement, I maneuvered behind the President to make this photograph of him talking with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia as they concluded their meeting in Manila.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*dWtuVhfIFt402h1J11Zvag - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in Photographs

Nov. 19, 2015
“The President watches the sun set over Manila Bay from his hotel balcony in Manila.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1* 94o0Iqdne LD5DA2OCEbA - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsNov. 21, 2015
“The President talks with a young refugee at a Dignity for Children Foundation classroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She was working on a painting.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*OvkLJXR29as7AWWYXj9CSg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsNov. 24, 2015
“With the U.S. Marine Band playing the score from the movie, ‘E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,’ the President feigns riding a bicycle in the sky as happened in the 1982 movie directed by Steven Spielberg, who had just been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*pMO2 jw8iTKrqNJz hjRiQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsNov. 25, 2015
“The President and his daughters Sasha and Malia participate in the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey pardon ceremony in the Rose Garden with National Turkey Federation Chairman Jihad Douglas.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*qfIfFjBEOI5nn 3tY2721w - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in Photographs

Nov. 30, 2015
“After arriving in France to attend the Climate Change Summit, the President, with French President François Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, made an unannounced stop just after midnight at the memorial in front of le Batacian, the site of a Paris terrorist attack.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*woE7M5OPGqG4lKrPAu 96Q - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsDec. 3, 2015
“Following a meeting to discuss the latest information on the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., the President has some last words with, from left, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, FBI Director James Comey (seated on sofa), Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*Bu jCHBU40cK6TTlzjwooQ - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in Photographs

Dec. 4, 2015
“The President snuggles with his niece Savita Ng after his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her family dropped by the Oval Office.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 1*VsJikXb3T yGvTupxc4JVw - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsDec. 4, 2015
“The President acquiesced to a selfie with 11-year-old Jacob Haynes and four-year-old James Haynes after taking a family photograph with departing White House staffer Heather Foster.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1* PTKH4Rx3n s236jDeMLKg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsDec. 5, 2015
“A rare moment of weekend laughter with the President’s key national security aides, from left, National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco, and Deputy National Security Avril Haines as they joke about a cartoon in the New Yorker that resembled the three women.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*0nvT0PvtoiCO2lXDdFKGjg - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsDec. 6, 2015
“While I was inside the Oval Office, Chuck Kennedy made this photograph from the Rose Garden as the President addressed the nation on the mass shootings in San Bernardino and defeating terrorism.” (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

1*J6YDOYkLAv8HPEhyk ZE1A - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsDec. 7, 2015
“Comedian Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the Oval Office window to begin a segment for his series, ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.’” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1*KuoKxOu2Oz86uhtAOKLO1Q - Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in PhotographsDec. 22, 2015
“When some of my friends heard that the President had hiked the grueling Koko Head Crater Trail, they sent me messages on whether I had made it to the top. The trail is 1,048 wooden steps, which climb more than 1,200 feet up the crater’s ridge. Some call it the ‘Stairmaster from Hell.’ I’ll admit that I was huffing and puffing up the trail, but to my friends, this photograph is proof that I indeed made it to the top with my boss.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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