Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Zoom Meeting 6:30 PM (details and links coming January 5)
Mr. Souza 7PM

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CoPA is proud to present an evening with photographer Pete Souza. Souza is an American photojournalist, the former Chief Official White House Photographer for Presidents of the United States Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama and the former director of the White House Photography Office. Souza was a photographer with The Chicago Tribune, stationed at the Washington, D.C., bureau from 1998 to 2007.

To make the #1 New York Times best-selling book, Obama: An Intimate Portrait, Souza’s unique look at the Obama presidency told through photographs and Souza’s own stories, Pete Souza spent more time alongside President Barack Obama than almost anyone else. As a result, during his eight years with President Obama, Souza made more than 8 million photographs, which gave him an intimate behind-the-scenes view of the unique gravity of the Office of the Presidency — and the tremendous responsibility that comes with it.

Three years later, in 2020, Souza delivered a potent commentary on the Presidency and our country in his new book; Shade: A Tale of Two PresidentsIn 2020, as a concerned citizen observing the Trump administration, the formerly apolitical Souza, who had great respect for Ronald Reagan, felt he had to stand up and speak out.

3-1-1988 President Reagan aboard Air Force One during a trip to Belgium, Pete Souza

Shade is a portrait in Presidential contrasts, telling the tale of the Obama and Trump administrations through a series of visual juxtapositions. Here, more than one hundred of Souza’s unforgettable images of President Obama deliver new power and meaning when framed by the tweets, news headlines, and quotes that defined the first 500 days of the Trump White House.

What began with Souza’s Instagram posts soon after President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 has become a potent commentary on the state of the Presidency, and our country. Some call this “throwing shade.” Souza calls it telling the truth.

To get the most of out the CoPA meeting with Pete Souza, we highly recommend everyone watch Dawn Porter’s 2020 documentary on Souza’s work, The Way I See It, which has generated considerable Oscar buzz. The film encapsulates Souza’s approach to photography as well as revealing the deep human connection and respect Souza has for his subjects. Roger Ebert’s review of the docu is well worth reading. The Way I See It, which can be screened free of charge at Peacock.com, is a brilliant introduction to not only a gifted photographer, but an engaging and entertaining speaker, as well. (Have your tissues at the ready-the film is filled with laughter and a poignancy that moved us to tears.)

Mr. Souza will speak promptly at 7PM followed by an exciting Q&A. The event is open to CoPA members and one guest each.

CoPA is grateful to Mr. Souza and his agent Diane Goodman for waiving Mr. Souza’s standard speaking fee in order to accommodate our small non-profit budget.

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