As a Washington DC photographer, knowing who the official photographer for the President is (or will be), is a big deal. It's even a bigger deal when the photographer chosen was one of the official photographers for President Reagan. Such is the case as Pete Souza, a friend and colleague, has accepted the offer as White House Photographer for President Obama.
The NPPA's article reporting this cites a very important point - Souza "said he accepted the offer today after...reaching an agreement that the primary function of the White House photography office will be to document Obama's presidency for the sake of history." This point - while nuanced to those who are not photographers, is critical and key from a historical standpoint.
What is being said here, is that the function of the photographer is to document history in the making, and not serve as an arm of the press office. That's not to say that the press office needs won't be exceptionally well fulfilled, but rather, Souza will have the accessibility he needs to record history for generations to come. Following in a long line of photographers who had this approach - David Hume Kennerly, David Valdez, Bob McNeely, and others, making images for the ages, and not the days' news cycle is a remarkable opportunity, and a huge responsibility.
With that, congratulations go out to Pete as we welcome him back to Washington.
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