Behind the Lens: A Trip Across the Pond
By Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer
It’s a year of “lasts” for President Obama — the last State of the Union, the last White House Easter Egg Roll, the last official visits to foreign countries. This week marked what may have been our last trip to three different countries: Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, and Germany. And yet, probably the only photographs that people will remember from the week-long trip are the ones featuring Prince George in his robe and slippers.
But in reality, my colleague Lawrence Jackson and I had an extremely busy week photographing the President throughout the trip. As I’ve written before, access in other countries is largely dependent on our hosts. I’m always grateful to the staff of British Prime Minister David Cameron for being more than accommodating in granting me great access at 10 Downing Street. The same can be said for the staff and official photographers of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Without their respective help, I would never have been able to make the photographs that I did.
Saudi Arabia has always been a challenge for access and it’s difficult to gain any special access in that country. But I do what I can.
Now back to Prince George. I was somewhat surprised that Kensington Palace allowed me access to capture him greeting the President and First Lady. They then gave me further time to photograph several candid moments of their continued interaction, including when the young Prince was playing on his rocking horse (a gift from the President and First Lady when he was born). In these situations, I am always trying not to interfere with the situation playing out in front of me. Thus, I was using a quiet camera with no flash even though it was extremely dark in the room. And I really have to thank the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for trusting me enough to allow me the needed time to make a few good photographs.
In addition to the photographs of Prince George, I hope you enjoy looking through the complete gallery of our week-long trip.