The Way I See It
Review by Myla Tosatto
Pete Souza wrote two books, Obama: An Intimate Portrait and Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents. He was The Chief Official White House photographer for the Obama Administration and was a member of Raegan’s photography staff. He has worked on newspapers and as a freelance photographer. Now he is the subject of The Way I See It, a new documentary directed by Dawn Porter.
Pete Souza isn’t a big presence. He doesn’t command the room. He doesn’t make the camera follow him. That’s why he is a perfect photographer. As he tells tales of his time in the Reagan White House and his thoughts of President Obama, we see the compelling photos he took of these two larger than life political figures. His weary, raspy voice sometimes aches with emotion speaking about Obama and he may have disagreed with Reagan politically, but he seemed to like him as a person. Nancy Reagan even requested him to be the official photographer of Mr. Reagan’s funeral.
Is this documentary political? Yes. In case you weren’t aware of what Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents is about, let me give you a heads up: he answers Trump’s tweets with a startingly beautiful photo of President Obama and a snarky comment directed at the king of Twitter. Souza himself explains that he didn’t mean to get so political but saw the need after being with a president that was so caring and empathetic and seeing how values (not to mention official policies) were being shaped by social media in a destructive way.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go online to my favorite independent bookstore and pick up Obama: An Intimate Portrait and Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents. I’m not sure why they aren’t in my collection already.