Behind the Lens: Photographing the President in 50 Countries

Today, President Obama visits Kenya — the 50th country he has visited during his Administration. It’s also my 50th country traveling with the President.

To mark the occasion, as I did when the President visited his 50th state, I chose one photograph from each country that we’ve visited.

Traveling abroad with the President is very different.

Often times, I am at the mercy of the host country for access. Some countries are more accommodating to me than others. I am lucky to have counterpart official photographers in many countries who are extremely helpful to me in this regard. I of course try to return the help to them when they visit the White House with their head of state.

We’re also rarely in any one country for more than a couple of days, which gives us only a partial glimpse of each place. And because of security, the sites we are able to visit are often limited too.

All that said, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to visit the Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in the United Kingdom, the Great Wall in China, Petra in Jordan, and the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar (Burma). (So I really shouldn’t complain too much.)

I hope you enjoy this gallery. And stay tuned — we’ll be adding a photograph from Kenya and additionally, Ethiopia, following his visit next week.

Afghanistan, 2012

Boarding Air Force One at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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My Day One: September 6, 2012

September 6, 2012 was my first day as a citizen of the United States of America. I raised my hand, took the oath of allegiance, and the United States officially became my country that day. At the naturalization ceremony, I received the following lette... Read more »

Behind the Lens: Photographing the President in 50 States

This week, the President will visit South Dakota, marking the 50th state he has visited during his administration (as such, it's also my 50th state with him). To mark the occasion, I chose one photograph from each state that we’ve visited. This was not as easy as I thought it would be. With help from photo editor Phaedra Singelis, I tried to depict a variety of situations. Some are more lighthearted; some are sad, and some are poignant. Some are with the Vice President; some are with the First Lady, and a couple are with the entire family. A selection of photos are centered on policy, and others on politics. Some focus on the President as Commander-in-Chief -- others on his role as consoler for the nation.

I hope you enjoy this gallery. And stay tuned -- we’ll be adding a photograph from South Dakota following his visit there on Friday.

Alabama, March 7, 2015. Marching at the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Alabama, March 7, 2015. Marching at the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Alaska. Nov 12, 2009. Air Force One refueling at Elmendorf Air Force Base. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Alaska. Nov 12, 2009. Air Force One refueling at Elmendorf Air Force Base. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Arizona, Aug. 16, 2009. Viewing the Grand Canyon. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Arizona, Aug. 16, 2009. Viewing the Grand Canyon. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

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Weekly Address: Tuition-Free Community College

President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address at Hill Air Force Base in Layton, Utah, April 3, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) In this week’s address, the Vi... Read more »

Weekly Address: Reaching a Comprehensive and Long-Term Deal on Iran’s Nuclear Program

President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address at Hill Air Force Base in Layton, Utah, April 3, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) In this week’s address, the Pr... Read more »

Continuing Our Focus on Solar Energy

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Today, President Obama visited Hill Air Force Base in Salt Lake City, Utah to host a roundtable on clean energy, tour solar installations on the base, and talk about the importance of clean energy jobs.

With the United States generating 20 times more solar electricity than when the President took office, we’ve made substantial progress -- and in his remarks today, the President announced more actions to drive growth in the solar industry while supporting our nation's veterans.

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Week in Review: A Historic Announcement on Iran, a Dedication in Boston, and a Commitment to Fairness

This week, the President made a historic announcement on Iran, helped dedicate the new Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, granted 22 commutations for those impacted by unjust and outdated drug sentencing laws, traveled to Louisville to see a job training program in action, and held a roundtable in Utah about the importance of solar energy.

Find out more about the past week in our latest weekly wrap-up.

Preventing Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon

In November 2013, the P5+1 and Iran took an important first step toward that goal with the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), which halted the progress of Iran’s program and rolled back it back in key areas for the first time in nearly a decade. The IAEA has verified that Iran has met all of its obligations under the JPOA.

On Thursday, after many months of principled diplomacy building on the JPOA, we have achieved a framework for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Full video: President Obama delivers a statement on #IranTalks: http://t.co/e94eTqLJNO

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 2, 2015

Learn more about the President's Iran deal.

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Round-Up: Editorial Boards From Around the Country Respond to the 47 Republican Senators

Earlier this week, 47 Republican Senators sent a letter to Iran’s leaders that was expressly designed to undercut the President in the midst of sensitive international negotiations. This letter ignores two centuries of precedent and threatens to ... Read more »

Local Climate Action Takes Center Stage at the National League of Cities Conference

As mayors from across the country gather today with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. for the 50th National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional City Conference, local climate action is taking center stage. Since the effects of climate ch... Read more »

Local Climate Action Takes Center Stage at the National League of Cities Conference

As mayors from across the country gather today with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. for the 50th National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional City Conference, local climate action is taking center stage. Since the effects of climate ch... Read more »