In the days leading up to the presidential inauguration in January, Barack Obama’s supporters began mourning the outgoing White House administration.
Prolonged disbelief over the outcome of the 2016 presidential election had given way to the realization that even deep disappointment would not stop the march of time. People shared their grief for the future and their gratitude for the quickly dissolving present where they share everything these days: on the web.
Pete Souza was among them. In the twilight of the Obama presidency, Souza—who served as the White House photographer for Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan—used his official Instagram account to publish some of his favorite images from the Obama years.
There was the president, making snow angels with his daughters after a 2010 blizzard. There was the president, painting the tiny section of a monarch butterfly’s wing on a mural of Martin Luther King Jr. There was the president, feet on desk, in the drab office where his Senate career began. There was the president on the White House basketball court, chucking a ball into the air with a grin.
And, finally, there was the president and the first lady relaxing with their daughters—Malia between them and Sasha on her father’s lap. It was the last photo Souza posted to the account. “So proud of this family and how they have represented our country the past eight years,” Souza wrote in a caption. “A great honor to have documented their lives for history.”