In pictures: 21 intimate photos of Barack Obama's time in office

By Kirstin Buick
19 January 2017

Sometimes pictures tell a story far better than words ever could.

This is certainly the case of the incredible photos taken by the official White House photographers during former US president Barack Obama's time at the helm.

We look back on Barack's time as leader of the United States.

1. Day one


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President Barack Obama rides the elevator to the Private Residence of the White House after attending 10 inaugural balls and a long day, including being sworn in as President, on 20 January 2009.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


2. All smiles


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President Barack Obama conducts an interview with a news magazine onboard Air Force One en route to giving the commencement address at Arizona State University, 13 May 2009.


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


3. "Hey, you"


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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance together during the Governors Ball in the East Room of the White House, 21 February 2010.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


4. Tense negotiations


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President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel during a phone call from his hotel suite in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 19 November 2012.


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


 5. Fighting fair

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for photos at the Instagram #GimmeFive photo booth in the East Room of the White House during the annual Easter Egg Roll, 6 April 2015.


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


6. Just shoot


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President Barack Obama feigns a jump shot during an Affordable Care Act video taping for BuzzFeed in the White House Library, 10 February 2015.


Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon


7. View from the top


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“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


8. Let's chat


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"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


9. I see you


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"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


10. When it rains


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"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


11. Shall we dance?


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"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


12. Blossoming


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"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


13. At the end of the rainbow


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"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."


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


14. Next to every great man


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"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


15. First family in flight


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"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


16. Daddy's girl


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"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


17. Back to school


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"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


18. 106 years young


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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet 106-Year-Old Virginia McLaurin during a photo line in the Blue Room of the White House prior to a reception celebrating African American History Month, 18 February 2016.


Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson


19. Ground control to Major Tom


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President Barack Obama talks on the phone with NASA astronaut Commander Scott Kelly upon his return from a nearly yearlong mission on the International Space Station, in the Oval Office 2 March 2016.


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


20. How do you do?


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President Barack Obama with First Lady Michelle Obama meets Prince George as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watch at Kensington Palace in London, 22 April 2016.


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


21. An important meeting


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President Barack Obama hugs Mari Copeny (8) backstage at Northwestern High School in Flint, Mich., May 4, 2016. Mari wrote a letter to the President about the Flint water crisis.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

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