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A Year in Photographs


Please be sure to have a peek at chief official White House photographer Pete Souza's "Year in Photographs 2012," found here, which includes this stunning shot of the president and first lady, captured during the June 2012 wedding of Laura Jarrett and Tony Balkissoon in Chicago.

Reader Comments (19)

I think this is my favorite photograph out of this deck of really great photographs. There is a joy and serenity that emanates from both POTUS and FLOTUS. Just truly lovely.

Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 11:02 AM | Registered Commentermeta

I saw these a few days ago and have been back to look at them several times. That one is my favorite shot of the bunch I think!

Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterHelen

Hands down, the best picture ever of my favourite couple. It sums up everything about them and what they stand for. I can hardly wait for the inauguration.

Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 11:50 AM | Registered CommenterJestina ( London, England)

This is one of my favorite pictures ever of Mr. & Mrs. O. Such joy, tenderness and love emanates from both of them. Ah...

Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterouapiti

Wow! Great photo! Their clothing is complementary in color..what a wonderful outfit she is wearing.One moment in time captured...I LOVE THEIR LOVE! SWOON!

Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdear

Lovely photograph.

Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterdalejamaica

Beautiful. Innocent yet sultry, their familiarity is touching and also there is still passion in the relationship. That we can all look that way with our spouses after 20 years!

Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterbice710

What a lovely photo of the First Couple.

Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterLois Walker

In this picture, President Obama looks absolutely besotted with his wife AND that is absolutely wonderful! All husbands should look at their wives like this, especially at weddings!

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 1:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterDr. Cheryl

This is also my favorite picture in the series.
I just love and admire President and Mrs Obama so much! Their love and bond is such a beautiful thing to behold. May they live long and strong!

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 3:31 AM | Registered CommenterC.

Never really see the POTUS in light colored suits ....I like

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered Commenterjazzjmg

Out of the collection of photos of 2012, I picked this one out as my favorite. It is hands down the most touching and beautiful!

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterKywstgal

With the zillions of pictures that have been taken of both the President and the First lady, we often see their facial expressions repeated in multiple photographs. But I don't recall ever seeing either of these expressions before. I adore this picture! The wedding setting, a private affair...they were totally relaxed, caught up in the atmosphere and each other.

I wish we could have seen more pictures of the First Lady's beautiful outfit. It's nice to see the President in a light color. He's so often in dark blue or black. This tan really becomes him! Often when they're pictured together, her outfit trumps his. In this picture I honestly think he looks as good as she does! :)

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 5:11 PM | Registered CommenterVivienne

WOW i just love the way the president is looking at michelle! beautiful couple I also love the creativity Secretary Clinton choose when she was FLOTUS

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterobamabiden2012

Very lovely photograph. I too enjoy the casual intimacy displayed in the way they are sitting comfortably with each other ... Mrs. O leaning back against her husband with her left arm laid across his knee, and her right arm touching her heart as she looks at her dear friend, Valerie Jarrett's daughter, reciting vows. Mrs. O seems a bit overcome with emotion, likely remembering Laura Jarrett as a young girl, but now all grown up and joyfully entering the holy state of matrimony. Surely Ms. O is also thinking a little bit about her own daughters, and how fast they've grown.

The President seems very relaxed in a somewhat unguarded way which is nice to see. His right arm is lying comfortably around Mrs. O, and he appears to be gazing off toward the congregation, likely in tune with Valerie Jarrett and the rest of family/ friends loving reactions to the blessed event.

This is definitely one of the best photographs posted by Pete de Souza for 2012. A close second is the one with POTUS sitting in a chair surrounded by the young siblings and cousins of Emilie Parker (one of the children who died in Sandy Hook tragedy). I also like the photo of VP Biden and POTUS sharing a laugh prior to a campaign rally, and the one of POTUS mugging "so unimpressed" with McKayla Maroney. Another memorable photo is the one with Mrs. O sharing a prayer with a church congregation on the campaign trail.

My favorite WH photo from last year though is one that I don't see posted in this compilation. It is the deeply touching photo of a young terminally ill girl receiving her wish from Make-a-Wish foundation to meet President Obama. She stands in the oval office against the wall, coincidentally underneath a photo of Abraham Lincoln, with both hands covering her eyes, fighting back tears, as her mother smiles down at her with joy (surely mixed with a bit of heartbreak). POTUS holds the mother's hands with both of his in heartfelt greeting:


Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:17 AM | Registered Commenterflotusrocks

Any photograph of President Obama holding Mrs Obama close and she him, is always my favorite! I love their love!
It's just so palpable in its intensity, authenticity, sweetness, simplicity and purity. And it makes my heart and that of so many people the world over, sing.
Their strong and unbreakable bond and unabashed love for each other and their beautiful expressions of intimacy (the hand-holding and the first lady unconsciously massaging his hands with her gorgeous hands, the way he always spontaneously and unconsciously reaches for her in public, his arms always protectively around her waist/shoulders or she holding on to his hand with both of hers) is one of the most attractive and compelling things about this president and first lady.
I hope they both continue to cherish and guard that love and intimacy very jealously for there are so many who will do anything to destroy it - and them by extension.
They are both lovely, wonderful, smart, extraordinary people, but so are so many others.
It is the powerful, beautiful, scandal-free, untarnished love, bond, intimacy, respect, commitment to and prioritizing of each other and partnership between them which they unabashedly express that completely sets them apart and undoubtedly elevates them together and makes them just incredibly irresistible, compelling, heartwarmingly attractive and just so beautiful and powerful.
So many couples and families the world over are striving to do better because of the example set by this spectacular couple.
A friend of mine in England says her husband now takes her out on date nights at least once a week. He figures that if the leader of the Free World can prioritize quality couple time to spend with his wife, so can he! Another friend in Denmark had their first family portrait taken (complete with arms interlinked!) inspired by the official Obama family portrait. The stories of the soft power the Obamas wield in this way - and their positive impact are endless.
Maybe someday somebody will do a compilation of these stories from far and wide of how President and Mrs Obama have had such positive influences in all these circumstances on so many marriages and families the world over.
They ever lose that beautiful thing they have between them, and he'll just be another ho hum smart but sorry politician.
Stay loving and rocking President and Mrs Obama!!! You are great role models for prioritizing healthy marriages and family and the rewards for really, really working hard at and truly commiting to it and investing time and energy in keeping it thriving and fresh.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM | Registered CommenterEleroy

What an awesome pic! I love the expression on the First Lady's face and how often do we get to see President Obama in anything other than a grey or navy suit?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:01 PM | Registered CommenterStrong Foru

Thanks so much for the link to the year in pictures it was enjoyable and touching to view!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterKahalia

@Eleroy...what a moving post. Thanks for your thoughts!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdear

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