Official White House photographer Pete Souza released this week his favorite images from 2012, some depicting the happier times of President Barack Obama's year, others the worst.
A Dec. 14 photo showing the president bowing his head and closing his eyes depicts what Obama has described as the worst day of his presidency. It was the moment he learned of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
"Our hearts are broken today," he said in an address to the country following the shooting that left 26 people dead including 20 children.
"We have been through this too many times. Whether it's an elementary school in Newtown or a shopping mall in Oregon or a temple in Wisconsin or a movie theater in Aurora or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children."
Other moments in Souza's collection showed the lighter sides of Obama's tenure.
The images capture Obama jumping into the surf in Hawaii while on vacation and having frozen yogurt spilled on him while working a rope line.
Michelle Obama is shown in other images participating in potato sack race with Jimmy Fallon, getting ready to deliver a commencement address at Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium and viewing her hometown of Chicago with the president from the edge of Lake Michigan.