Behind The Lens: Photographing Alaska (For Real This Time)

by Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer


A few months ago, I posted a Behind the Lens gallery on photographing the President in all 50 states. And while there was a photograph from Alaska in that gallery, it was kind of lame — just a shot from one of our many brief refueling stops in Alaska, traveling to or from Asia.

But this week, the President really had a chance to visit Alaska.

And so did I, along with my colleague Chuck Kennedy. The trip was intended to highlight the important issue of climate change, which it certainly did. And for me, it was a chance to photograph the President in some amazing scenic settings in four different cities and towns.

I hope you enjoy this gallery. You should also check out some of the Instagrams that I posted during the trip — and follow along @petesouza to see my day-to-day shots of the President and life at the White House.

Speaking of which: I had a new competitor on Instagram this week — that being my boss. The President himself posted some Instagrams of his own on the @WhiteHouse account.

Until next time!

Greeting Air Force One cockpit crew with Alaska Gov. Bill Walker en route to Anchorage, Aug. 31. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Denali seen from Air Force One over Alaska. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Watching the descent into Anchorage with Gov. Walker. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Getting a high five from a young greeter in Anchorage. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
With a patriotic greeter upon arrival in Anchorage. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Participating in a roundtable with Alaska Native leaders in Anchorage. Victor Joseph, President of Tananarive Chiefs Conference, is seated in the foreground. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Talking to the press following the roundtable with Alaska Native leaders. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Speaking on climate change at the GLACIER Conference. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Looking at a private float plane in Anchorage. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Sitting in the float plane cockpit. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Dropping in to the Snow City Cafe in Anchorage, Sept. 1. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Greeting a young girl at the Snow City Cafe. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Sharing a laugh with patrons at the Snow City Cafe. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The view from the cockpit of Nighthawk 4 Osprey helicopter flying to Seward. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Greeting a fire fighter at Seward Airport. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Hiking at Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Meeting 4th grader Samantha Insalaco and her teacher Jenna Fabian in Kenai Fjords National Park. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Examining moose poop along the hike to Exit Glacier. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Melt runoff from Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. About ten years ago, this spot would have still been part of the glacier. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Collecting melt runoff from the ice of Exit Glacier. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Hiking in Kenai Fjords National Park. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Stopping for a break in Kenai Fjords National Park with Exit Glacier in the background. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Shooting a GoPro video along the hike. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Heading for ice cream in Seward. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Waving to a youngster through a window outside the ice cream shop. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Taking a boat tour of Kenai Fjords National Park. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
A sea otter surfaces during the boat tour. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Aboard the boat with White House staff. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
A sea lion watches from the rocks. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
The President’s boat heading toward Bear Glacier. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Seas kick up during the boat tour. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Advance lead Nora Cohen aboard the boat. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Seeing the effects of climate change on Bear Glacier. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Inside the boat cabin. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
A view of the glacier from Marine One. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Flying back to Seward in Marine One. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Arriving in Dillingham, Sept. 2. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Greeting people at the Dillingham Airport. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Visiting Kanakanak Beach to watch Bristol Bay salmon fishermen. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Getting a hands on demonstration from salmon fisherwomen. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Reacting after a salmon spawned on his shoes. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Talking with salmon fisherwomen at Kanakanak Beach. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Posing with their catch. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Getting a demonstration at the fishing prep station. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Participating in a cultural dance performance at Dillingham Middle School. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Getting help to his feet after a group photo with the performers. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Greeting audience members. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Stopping by the N & N Market in Dillingham. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Meeting a young resident at the N & N Market. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The view from Air Force One of Kivalina Island, an Arctic town that’s receding into the ocean as a result of rising sea levels. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Taking in the sights from Air Force One. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Greeting people upon arrival in Kotzebue, a town 26 miles above the Arctic Circle. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Participating in a traditional greeting at Kotzebue High School. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
A photo line participant wears traditional clothing in Kotzebue. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Greeting audience members after speaking at Kotzebue High School. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The view from the motorcade of Kotzebue residents. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Touring the Kotzebue Shore Avenue Project. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Holding one of Iditarod champion John Baker’s pups. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Checking out John Baker’s racing sled. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Waving goodbye to Kotzebue from the doorway of Air Force One. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)