Callie Shell first photographed Barack Obama back in 2004 when he was becoming a name in American politics. She met the man, liking him instantly for his charm, grace and sense of humour. She was there to photograph John Kerry for Time Magazine.
Later that year Obama won the election for US Senate for the State of Illinois. Sometime later she was to meet his wife Michelle, a powerhouse of a woman; wise, strong and funny, big on family, big on hugs and very grounded.
Moving to Washington, Callie Shell was on a one-week assignment to the White House for Time magazine, which turned into 100 days. During that time, she began to capture through her lens, the man who was eventually to become the first black American President of the United States on 4 November, 2008.
Hope, Never Fear is a very personal look inside the life of a family who believe in family, hope, never say never, and always striving to do their best.
In the eight years of his Presidency it was perfectly clear that the love and respect shared by the couple, their strong family bond, their very down-to-earth attitude, along with a very deep and real concern for the people of America, was the real deal and became the Obama’s trademark.
Throughout the pages of this lovely, lovely book are some wonderful insights into the life of a President, a family man and a family who stood as one throughout his terms of office; a family whose true, real, values held firm during that time of great pressure, stress, and living life in the full, often brutal, glare of public opinion.
Each of the photographs capturing a moment in time, is accompanied by words from either Barack or Michelle Obama, specific to that time and place, making this a very insightful look into the lives of people who truly care about what they do and the effect it has on others.
The rear of the book contains thumbnails with captions detailing the location of the photograph completing a remarkable journey, by a remarkable man and his much-loved family.
The final page closes with the words from Barack Obama; words that are poignant as times have changed immensely in the White House of today, “
‘We choose hope over fear. We see the future not as something out of our control, but as something we can shape for the better through a concerted and collective effort.’ something it pays to remember in a world that is ever changing.