Candid Canons: White House photographer Pete Souza opens up his camera bag
posted Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 5:55 PM EDT
Chief Official White House photographer Pete Souza has spent a lot of time with President Barack Obama during Obama's tenure. In addition, Souza's career as a photojournalist spans multiple presidencies, including coverage of Ronald Reagan, and has taken him to the far-reaching corners of the globe to cover both politics and freelance work for National Geographic, Life and many more publications. He's covered war from within the Oval Office and from the front lines, including the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11.
With that said, we're photographers here so we want to know more about how Souza captures intimate, honest portraits of America's 44th President. You can get a bit of background on how Souza works in this excellent article by The Guardian.
And how about the gear that Souza uses? Popular Science recently covered what's in Souza's camera bag for their July/August issue. He packs quite light and relies on a rather small assortment of gear for his work. Then again, he has to always be ready to capture an image, so time spent switching lenses is best kept to a minimum. He carries two Canon 5D Mark III camera bodies and often uses them in silent mode.
For glass, he uses three lenses in total. Two prime lenses, Canon's 135mm f/2.0L USM and a Canon 35mm f/1.4L II USM. In addition to the fixed lenses, he carries a 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. He didn't like the first version and didn't use it, but with the improvements Canon made in the Mark II refresh of the 24-70mm it has become his most-used lens.
When shooting for personal pleasure, Souza opts instead for a Fujifilm X100T camera. He likes its compact nature. (We like it a lot too!)