Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In White House Photos, Food Edition

White House Photo Office releases a collection for the end of 2010, including some previously unpublished shots from food events...
Pete Souza
, President Obama's chief photographer, has selected 72 photos as his favorites for a 2010 Year In Photos gallery. Some have never been released before, including the selection of food event shots posted here. They're an excellent behind-the-scenes companion to the ObFo list of Top White House Food Stories 2010, and include personal comments from Souza in the photo captions, a rare occurrence. Souza is Director of the White House Photography Office, and gets both historic and funny in the shots he's posted; the photo, above, was taken when President Obama was on a Spring farm tour, and stopped in to Peggy Sue's cafe, in Monroe, Missouri.

"Sometimes the unexpected happens," Souza wrote for the caption. "At a cafe in Missouri, I was trying to capture patrons snapping photos of each other with the President when this guy did what wise-guys do."

Souza took the arty shot, above, at the only State Dinner that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted in 2010, held on May 19 in honor of Mexico.

"I had recently watched an old National Geographic documentary film on the White House and adapted the idea of shooting this angle from a scene in the film as the President and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico descended the Grand Staircase before a State Dinner at the White House," Souza wrote.

The dinner was the second State Dinner of the administration. 2011 kicks off with the third State Dinner of the Administration, when the President and Mrs. Obama welcome People's Republic of China President Hu Jintao to the White House on January 19.

Above: On Oct. 30, 2010, when President Obama was on an 11th-hour multi-state campaign swing for the midterm elections, which included stops at a number of eateries. The President had lunch with Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) at the Famous 4th Street Deli in Philadelphia.

"I love the woman in the background on the phone, probably alerting her family about her lucky seat," Souza wrote.

Below: On Halloween, the President and First Lady welcomed more than 2,000 local kid trick-or-treaters to the White House for the second year in a row.

The cellophane treat bags included White House M&Ms, dried fruit, and oversized cookies made with honey from the White House beehive. After the trick or treating, the President and Mrs. Obama hosted a separate Halloween party inside the White House, for military families.

"It was Halloween at the White House for military families and the First Lady began dancing with some of their children," Souza wrote.

Souza likes photos of the First Lady dancing; he includes another photo of Mrs. Obama dancing at a different White House event in the 2010 gallery (see below).

Above: On April 6, 2010, President Obama hosted Christian leaders from across the country for an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House. The White House released a transcript and a video of the President's remarks, as well as a partial guest list for the breakfast. In the summer of 2010, much was made of the fact that, according to polling, almost 20 percent of Americans believed the President is actually Muslim, and not Christian.

"Before a prayer breakfast, the President met privately with clergy members in the Blue Room at the White House. At the conclusion of the meeting, a final prayer was delivered as they held each other's shoulders," Souza wrote.

The following photos were previously published by the White House, and here at ObFo, but they're included again because they're a good representation of the year in White House food.

Above: On Feb. 21, 2010, the President and First Lady hosted the second annual Governor's Ball for the National Governors Association, the first of only two formal dinners held at the White House in 2010. It was a gala bipartisan affair, featuring a surf and turf menu paired with American wines, with Baked Alaska as the dessert. Dinner was in the State Dining Room, and dancing was in the East Room.

"The President and First Lady were dancing along to the music of the Harry Connick, Jr., Big Band at the Governors Ball. Mrs. Obama turned towards me and, for one split second, looked right at me. Usually I strive to capture moments when the subjects are unaware of the camera. But this an exception where I actually liked that she was looking at me," Souza wrote.

Above: On Nov. 14, 2010, as he finished a ten-day tour through Asia, President Obama stopped in Japan and re-visited the Great Buddha of Kamakura. The recreation of the President's boyhood trip with his mother included eating the same green tea ice cream treat he'd enjoyed as a child.

"Visiting the Great Buddha of Kamakura, in Japan, the President had a green tea ice cream bar with his hosts. He had visited this Buddha as a young child and said he remembered sitting in the exact same place having an ice cream bar," Souza wrote.

Above: ObFo selected the White House Gulf Seafood Support Campaign as one of the Top White House Food Stories for 2010. Between August and December 2010, the White House made a high profile attempt to encourage Americans to help the flailing Gulf commercial fishing industry, which was devastated by the oil spill following the BP Deepwater Horizon rig explosion on April 20, 2010. The multimedia White House campaign included the President and other White House staffers publicly eating and lauding Gulf seafood, and videos of Gulf seafood being cooked in the White House kitchen. Souza took this shot when President Obama visited Camardelle's bait shop and restaurant on June 4, 2010, in Louisiana. The President is in the gingham checked shirt.

"To call attention to the safety of the seafood in the Gulf Coast, the President ate some shrimp and crawfish with locals in Grand Isle, Louisiana. I noticed all the hands digging into the food and thought it made an interesting angle," Souza wrote.

Above: President Obama's visit to Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, Virginia, on June 24, with Russian Federation President Dmitry Medvedev is also one of ObFo's top stories for 2010. Souza included this photo of the two presidents, seated in the presidential limousine and looking at a Ray's menu, in his gallery.

"President and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev look at the menu en route to Ray's Hell Burger where they stopped and had burgers for lunch," Souza wrote.

President Obama's order: A cheddar cheeseburger with onions, lettuce, tomato, and bread-and-butter pickles, washed down with bottled iced tea. President Medvedev had a cheddar cheeseburger with onions, jalepenos and mushrooms, washed down with a Coke. The two presidents shared an order of fries.

Above: On March 21, 2010, after the Affordable Care Act was passed, the President celebrated with a champagne reception on the Truman Balconey of the White House, which overlooks the South Lawn and the Capitol, where the Bill was approved by Congress just a few hours earlier. Souza reveals that President Obama was the last to join the party.

"Aides greeted the President as he walked out to the Truman Balcony to celebrate passage of the health care reform bill. He had invited everyone in the White House that had helped–both senior aides and support staff–but was the last one at the party because he had been making congratulatory calls to members of Congress," Souza wrote.

*Photos by Pete Souza/White House