A Few Words On Pete Souza’s #TheWayISeeIt
I have started watching documentaries in my late teen years. And I have quite a few favorites out of them. Pete Souza’s new documentary will be at the top of my list for quite sometime now.
I am not an American (however, the results of the American Presidential Election has an indirect impact on different nations, including mine). Neither am I aware of the direct repercussions of the Obama Presidency. However, as a budding photographer, and as a human being, this documentary has been quite a huge inspiration about who I want to be both as a person and a photographer in the years to some.
Things that I took away from Pete Souza’s #TheWayISeeIt:
1.When documenting through your photography, document both events as well as the emotions to bring out the human element.
2. Leave gracefully – (Time Stamp 4:05) Obama leaving a note in a drawer in the oval office for Trump and his wife – Obama also personally bidding farewell to the household staff.
3. “MAKE AUTHENTIC PHOTOGRAPHS” – Pete Souza handled the conflict between his loyalty towards a Government job as the Cheif Official White House Photographer and his job as a non-opinionated photojournalist – he chose to call himself a historian with a camera, and hoped that what he was doing is important for history.
4. Be exactly the same way behind the scenes as in public. (Time Stamp: 17:17)
5. Best photographs don’t come from planned events – they come from between the events.
6. Bring out your empathic side when in a place of power and leadership.
7. Be non-opinionated but politically aware as a photojournalist.
8. Photographs can stop time – they are irreplaceable for Politics even in the age of YouTube.
9. Capture photos that even you don’t expect yourself to click. (Nairobi – Guy writing down Obama’s speech in bullet points on his hand.) – (Time Stamp: 26:35)
10. Photography – “Trying to take a sip of water from a fire hose that never shuts off.” – “If you want to document the Presidency for History, you got to be there all the time, because you can’t predict when an image is going to happen.”
11. Be the photographer who disappears – your subject must not be aware that you are in the room.
12. Necessary qualities to have while dealing with crisis – leadership, character, humility, self confidence, communication, and empathy.
13. Welcome dissent, debate and discussion. You will make the best decisions if you expose yourself to the greatest array of counter arguments or alternative viewpoints.
14. Constantly remind yourself why you got into the business in the first place, especially when it gets hard.
15. Take care of the people who work for (with) you.
16. Try to make a good picture for every assignment – no matter how bad it is.
17. Have a good intuition about when to give your subject his private space and stop shooting.
18. “When you are face to face with people, those images are burnt in your brain.”
19. “We need to have real moments of real history, not posed moments of history.”
20. Be involved with every moment that comes out of your mouth. (Time Stamp: 37:30)