Being a White House Photographer is an immense honor, and responsibility. While Pete Souza has returned to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for President Obama, resprising his role that he began with President Reagan, photographers Eric Draper (at right during the President's last State of the Union address in January of 2008) and Paul Morse (below prior to an event in the East Room in February of 2007) have exited the Presidential fold.
Draper, following the conclusion of his appointment serving the President, gave an interview - Bush gives fist bump as farewell to official photographer - which is worth a read.
While it remains to be seen what role in the photographic community Draper takes, he is no doubt weighing some options. President Clinton's former photographer Bob McNeely has had a successful career post-Clinton, and David Valdez's first post-Bush (the first President Bush) job was in service of Disney and the Magic Kingdom. Since then, he has pursued other photographic endeavors.
Morse, on the other hand, now has a successful freelance photography business in Washington DC (paulmorsephotographs.com), and was interviewed recently by PhotoShelter - Paul Morse: From Newspapers, to the White House, and Beyond. Paul has become a friend of mine over the years, and I know personally he's doing well. I have interviewed him for the upcoming post-inaugural wrap-up video, which will run shortly.
Being a Presidential photographer isn't easy, but it's the ultimate honor and responsibility to document history in the making.
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