This is the official portrait released by the government of President Obama. This picture was taken by Pete Souza who is the, new, official White House Photographer. One interesting fact is that this is the first presidential portrait to be taken with a digital camera instead of a film camera.
This is a successful portrait of Barak Obama because of the lighting the photographer used. The photographer decided to not use dramatic lighting in order to show Obama’s happiness of becoming president. If half of Obama’s face was dark and the other half bright, then this image would take on a hole other meaning that would suggest that Obama had a dark or unpleasant side to him (which is not something that a newly elected president would want to be told). Instead the photographer uses not too bright or too dark lighting on his face which creates the feeling of soft lighting. This lighting helps the photographer bring out Obama’s sincerity as he is about to lead the United States of America.
The choice of a background is also a key piece on making this a successful portrait of a new president. By choosing to have the American flag in the background amongst a white wall expresses Obama’s patriotism. The American flag is a symbol of strength which is a quality that the American public would want in a portrait of their president. The American flag is also accompanied by a flag with the emblem of the Presidential office, this shows which position the main subject (Obama) is in. The flags are slightly out of focus, because this is not the main subject of this photograph. If the flags were in perfect focus, then it would distract the viewer from the new president. Instead having the flag out of focus, but still recognizable, shows who Obama is representing and what position he is in, but does not take away from the president. Even the facial expression of Obama is important in this photograph. Obama’s face hides his delight of becoming president, but shows his seriousness and desire to perform his job well.