Souza’s Take on the WH Photographer

Pete Souza’s appointment is getting a lot of play this morning. I still don’t intend to make much comment on him, but I did want to link to an article from Photo District News in October, Photographers’ Advice for the Next President. I extract some of Souza’s advice below:

I think whoever is president should hire a White House photographer whom he trusts, who has a good sense of history, who understands that the role of White House photographer is to visually document the presidency for history. That should be the number one priority for the White House photographer and the people he or she hires. I ‘m concerned that both candidates now have photographers and their main mission is to provide a public relations service. It’s fine if the White House press office wants to use photographs taken by the White House photographer for their own purposes, as long as the photographer is documenting for history. If those pictures don’t get seen for 20 years, so be it. The president doesn’t have to be friends with the photographer, but they certainly have to trust and know him or her well enough to give that person essentially unfettered access to the oval office.


I think the job of White House photographer has to be more than taking hand shake photos. It’s really important that whomever the next president chooses has a conversation with him before the administration starts to iron out exactly what that role is. The primary function has to be to document for history. Let’s hope that happens for everyone’s sake.

I recommend you click through to the article to read Pete Souza’s full essay.


~ by David Cupp on January 5, 2009.

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