I was born in the early 70’s, but all my cool memories are from the 80’s, one of them is a photo from 1984. Ronald and Nancy Regan are standing talking to each other, Michael Jackson is standing between them. It is obvious they are in the White House, Jackson is 80’s Jackson, full out sash, white gloves, black shoes, white socks and one of his sequined jackets. It is not posed, or at least it does not appear to be, I remember seeing it, not sure if it was on TV, paper, magazine, but I know when I saw it I had what might had been an unexpected thought for a kid my age, “who gets to take photos like that?” A candid in the White House, is there a guy that lives there with a camera? I wondered if it was Regan’s kid? I wanted to know. Is that a job? Years later I found out it was Pete Souza – and it was a job, his job, Chief Official White House Photographer for U.S. President Ronald Reagan and eventually Barack Obama.
Now I am not an autograph, wait in line to meet people kind of person. I have been fortunate to meet more than my share of famous people, many by chance, I heard Pete Souza was coming to Cambridge for a book signing at Harvard Book Store I instantly went online to buy my ticket, this is someone on the short list of who I would wait in line to see. Nothing was going to stop me, unless I had a wedding on the only date he would be there, huh… I had a wedding on the only date he would be here. So I clicked the option ‘order a signed book’ and forgot about it.
Today I had 20 sessions at my studio for Holiday Cards. Families, Kids, Pets, it was a great, but very long day. I get home to a few boxes waiting for me, no rush, put them aside. When I get the chance to finally focus on them I am surprised and excited to see one from Harvard Book Store. I had completely forgotten about it. As far as I am concerned this is the man with the camera, the rest of us are just trying… I can get lost in his work. Follow him on Instagram, check out his website. His photos are effortless, though I am sure they are not, but that is his super power. I see patience when I look at his photos, I can see him waiting for the right second to click. Photography to me is emotional and now and then I need to be reminded how much, his work can do that.
I have many goals, I will share two related to this post. One, I will continue to look for chances to actually meet Pete Souza, even if it just for a moment so I can say thank you. Two, I hope I get to a place where I can have a book, or set of my work that reminds others of those emotions that photos can hold.