Photos - The Real Deal
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    A photograph is worth a thousand words…Every picture tells a story. We’ve grown up with these ideas.
   That’s because images have often proved to be more powerful than written language. Pictures do a great job communicating ideas and feelings. Don’t you cherish snapshots taken on vacation and candids from special gatherings with friends and family? 
   I can’t think of a better way to chronicle and re-create the days of our lives than with a good photo. 
   And so I enjoyed the recent issue of President Obama’s “100 Days” in office photographs. These many shots might be considered just White House “hype” by some; however, in today’s media glitz of perfectly crafted press releases, staged TV interviews and planned photo opps, I think they are the real deal. 
   The 100 Days images show life behind the lens of Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza. Sure, he’s the staff photog; however, he’s admitted on TV that he basically goes around taking shots of the president and “hopes he’s not taking something he shouldn’t.” Souza admits he respects the Obama family’s privacy, but he’s also a photographer in search of that one good photo that best captures the first 100 Days. He’s got a job to do.
   Describing what it’s like to trail Obama in action, Souza was quoted on CBS as saying, “You know, he’s kind of oblivious to my presence.”
   The photo-fun website, Flickr, lauded the White House for releasing the images under a Creative Commons Attribution License, which means everyone can share and reproduce the photos. Flickr posted the pixs as a photo stream at with photo captions. I like the shot of President Obama in his private Oval Office study where he’s watching Press Secretary Robert Gibbs give a press briefing on TV.
   I also enjoyed other great 100 Days photos, taken by other photogs, appearing in both print and online medias. There were shots of the “pres” attending a Sunday meeting dressed in his Nike socks and shoes, a cold dinner still waiting for him to arrive home, a visit from his daughter in the Oval Office, a thoughtful moment with his head in his hands. 
   I think the shots showing President Obama interacting with others are priceless as we all know the importance of relationships. We see how he’s doing in the trenches, so to speak. Shots of staff in action and behind the scenes give us a peek at how our government works—I like the shot of everyone huddled around one telephone and another of a filled-to-capacity cabinet meeting with microphones extended on long steel arms to reach President Obama. Then there’s the shot of President Obama meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a picnic table. Images showing the president doing “this and that,” everyday things, let’s us get to know him better as a person. One of my fave “person” shots shows President Obama running down a White House hall with First Dog Bo; the puppy runs free, his leash trailing behind him. 
   The 100 Days photos remind me of how much I miss the photo documentaries appearing in past publications, such as “Look” and “Life.” While these magazines folded decades ago, they inspired many of us to pick up a camera. “Look” is credited with “blending the frivolous with the serious,” and covered everything from politics to fashion through a camera lens. Five million of “Look Magazine’s” images are safely stored in The Library of Congress. It is the largest, single collection in the library’s photo division. The photos will forever show the fabric of American life from 1937-1971. 
   I hope the popularity of the 100 Days images sparks more portfolios of photos showing the days of our lives. Seeing is believing.
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