In case you missed it, former White House photographer Pete Souza released his book titled SHADE: A Tale of Two Presidents in October 2018. But, today is a perfect day for us to get a preview of it, being Presidents’ Day and all. In this interview with Jim Braude of WGBH News, we get to revisit some of Souza’s most telling photographs from his stint, and how his silent commentary on President Donald Trump eventually became a book.
As the interview showed, Souza took some of the most compelling and memorable photos during his time as the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama and the Director of the White House photo office. Little did he (and everyone) know that over a hundred of these unforgettable snaps would bring new meaning and power in the form of another book.
Fierce and witty, SHADE: A Tale of Two Presidents may have started as a silent commentary on Instagram, but it’s now immortalized in a book — perhaps one of the boldest photography projects out there. Souza’s photos of the former president tells a fascinating story when juxtaposed with the tweets, news headlines, and quotes from the first 500 days of the Trump administration.
“I don’t consider myself a political activist. I think I’m a truth-teller, that’s what I do,” Souza said on his motivation for SHADE. Indeed, photographers who have been in the position of documenting the daily life in the office of a powerful global leader carry that responsibility of telling the truth through the lens. While his new book was shaped by his own perspectives and opinions as an individual, what’s great is that his tale of the two presidents still doesn’t stray from the truth.
SHADE: A Tale of Two Presidents follows the best-selling Obama: An Intimate Portrait published in 2017. Visit Pete Souza’s website for more details and info on where to grab a copy.
Screenshot image from the video by WGBH News