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Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer

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A collection of striking and intimate photographs of Michelle Obama—many never before seen—coupled with personal reflections and behind-the-scenes stories from Official White House Photographer Amanda Lucidon, presented in a deluxe format. Michelle Obama is one of the most admired First Ladies in history, known for her grace, spirit, and beauty, as well as for the amazing w A collection of striking and intimate photographs of Michelle Obama—many never before seen—coupled with personal reflections and behind-the-scenes stories from Official White House Photographer Amanda Lucidon, presented in a deluxe format. Michelle Obama is one of the most admired First Ladies in history, known for her grace, spirit, and beauty, as well as for the amazing work she did during her tenure to promote girls’ education, combat childhood obesity, and support military families. In Chasing Light, former White House photographer Amanda Lucidon, who spent four years covering the First Lady, shares a rare insider’s perspective, from documenting life at the White House to covering domestic and overseas travel. This collection of 150 candid photos—many previously unreleased—and Amanda’s narrative reflections reveal just what makes Mrs. Obama so special. From an affectionate moment with her daughters atop the strikingly empty Great Wall of China to exuberant moments with schoolchildren and quiet moments between the First Lady and President Obama, the photos are a vibrant, candid, and beautiful celebration of the First Lady, capturing the qualities and strengths that have made Mrs. Obama so beloved.


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A collection of striking and intimate photographs of Michelle Obama—many never before seen—coupled with personal reflections and behind-the-scenes stories from Official White House Photographer Amanda Lucidon, presented in a deluxe format. Michelle Obama is one of the most admired First Ladies in history, known for her grace, spirit, and beauty, as well as for the amazing w A collection of striking and intimate photographs of Michelle Obama—many never before seen—coupled with personal reflections and behind-the-scenes stories from Official White House Photographer Amanda Lucidon, presented in a deluxe format. Michelle Obama is one of the most admired First Ladies in history, known for her grace, spirit, and beauty, as well as for the amazing work she did during her tenure to promote girls’ education, combat childhood obesity, and support military families. In Chasing Light, former White House photographer Amanda Lucidon, who spent four years covering the First Lady, shares a rare insider’s perspective, from documenting life at the White House to covering domestic and overseas travel. This collection of 150 candid photos—many previously unreleased—and Amanda’s narrative reflections reveal just what makes Mrs. Obama so special. From an affectionate moment with her daughters atop the strikingly empty Great Wall of China to exuberant moments with schoolchildren and quiet moments between the First Lady and President Obama, the photos are a vibrant, candid, and beautiful celebration of the First Lady, capturing the qualities and strengths that have made Mrs. Obama so beloved.

30 review for Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aisha

    So I cried a little while looking at the photos. SO WHAT?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hayley DeRoche

    I think what I love most about this quick read is that it focuses on Mrs. Obama as a person outside of her role as a mother. It barely comes up! She is a full, multi-faceted person here, in the glimpses we see, and it's especially lovely to have that curtain pulled back just a twinge. I think what I love most about this quick read is that it focuses on Mrs. Obama as a person outside of her role as a mother. It barely comes up! She is a full, multi-faceted person here, in the glimpses we see, and it's especially lovely to have that curtain pulled back just a twinge.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    Left me a blubbering, heaving, crying mess. Miss her so much.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wendelle

    Like Princess Diana, Michelle Obama in these pictures radiates magnetic warmth, authentic interest in other people, and high wattage of charisma.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    What a beautiful tribute to a lovely First Lady! Obviously a quick read as it is a tribute told through photographs, however, it still contained significant information offering a peek into the busy life Mrs. Obama maintained in her role as First Lady and the programs that she held near to her heart.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    What a beautiful book of a most beautiful woman! In "Chasing Light", White House photographer Amanda Lucidon has put together a brilliant collection of stunning photographs of First Lady Michelle Obama. It was a delight to read and look at the photos, and remember a better time for the USA, when all but the racists had a President and First Family we could be proud of. Each photo of Michelle in this book shows what an intelligent, compassionate, graceful, and truly remarkable woman she is! What a beautiful book of a most beautiful woman! In "Chasing Light", White House photographer Amanda Lucidon has put together a brilliant collection of stunning photographs of First Lady Michelle Obama. It was a delight to read and look at the photos, and remember a better time for the USA, when all but the racists had a President and First Family we could be proud of. Each photo of Michelle in this book shows what an intelligent, compassionate, graceful, and truly remarkable woman she is!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marianne McKiernan

    Lordy, how I miss this woman. She is gracious, compassionate, funny and above all, authentic. Lucidon's lovely photos capture Michelle Obama's spirit. Lordy, how I miss this woman. She is gracious, compassionate, funny and above all, authentic. Lucidon's lovely photos capture Michelle Obama's spirit.

  8. 4 out of 5

    alisonwonderland (Alison)

    Such a lovely book about a lovely, lovely woman! First Lady Michelle Obama was a wonderful influence for good! I love Amanda Lucidon’s photographic record of Obama’s work!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cecelia

    My grandma had this sitting on her coffee table and in finished it in one sitting and may or may not have cried nbd

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    A beautiful photographic tribute to former First Lady Michelle Obama by her official photographer. Filled with many behind the scenes photos and stories that capture her essence. A book to pore over again and again. How I miss this woman!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Some great photos in here, but I also really liked Lucidon's descriptions of setting up the shots, and what she thought about the composition of her photos and how she feels about her craft. Some great photos in here, but I also really liked Lucidon's descriptions of setting up the shots, and what she thought about the composition of her photos and how she feels about her craft.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Smith

    Beautiful and inspiring

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    A one sitting book of photographs and some narrative by the White House photographer for Michelle Obama. The first lady’s enthusiasm, kindness and generosity shines through in photographs, which highlight her areas of interest- children, nutrition, exercise, girls and women, equality.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn

    I enjoyed this quick read. Powerful photos of former First Lady Michelle Obama with short pieces about her work as First Lady.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    To know me is to know that I'm a big history buff. I've had the chance to read several books on the history of our US Presidents and stories of our country's first ladies. While this book is heavily photo based, the tales behind the photos will make this book hold up against time.. And that it's told from the viewpoint of one of the only White House female photographers ever......joyous. To know me is to know that I'm a big history buff. I've had the chance to read several books on the history of our US Presidents and stories of our country's first ladies. While this book is heavily photo based, the tales behind the photos will make this book hold up against time.. And that it's told from the viewpoint of one of the only White House female photographers ever......joyous.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    I can't think of any other First Lady who did as much for children, girls, and young women around the world. Photojournalist Amanda Lucidon did an outstanding job of capturing the essence of Michelle Obama. I can't think of any other First Lady who did as much for children, girls, and young women around the world. Photojournalist Amanda Lucidon did an outstanding job of capturing the essence of Michelle Obama.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    If you do nothing more than look at the images and captions your life will be richer.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ron Turner

    A lot of great pictures of First Lady Michelle Obama. I miss my boo.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Harris

    I loved the photos and the added insight into Michelle Obama’s impact as First Lady.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    So proud of having Michelle Obama as such a intelligent and beautiful embodiment of America at its best!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I read this immediately after reading Pete Souza’s photographic memoir of Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House. I must say, while I do think that it is a beautiful and special look at this particular First Lady, I didn’t think it did as good a job as Souza’s book did of the President, for several reasons. The organization of Chasing Light made no sense to me. Photographs appear to be taken from 2013 to 2016, although there is nowhere that you will find this stated. They are organized int I read this immediately after reading Pete Souza’s photographic memoir of Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House. I must say, while I do think that it is a beautiful and special look at this particular First Lady, I didn’t think it did as good a job as Souza’s book did of the President, for several reasons. The organization of Chasing Light made no sense to me. Photographs appear to be taken from 2013 to 2016, although there is nowhere that you will find this stated. They are organized into four chapters titled “Inside the Bubble,” “The People’s House,” “Reach Higher,” and “A World of Possibility.” I could not find any thematic thread to the pictures within each chapter, and they definitely were not organized chronologically. Michelle Obama is shown over and over and over with children, and most often smiling with them or hugging them. However, her own two daughters show up in only five pictures, and she is touching them in one of those pictures. I do understand that this is a book showing her as First Lady, and I certainly understand the challenge of all working women to be respected as professionals. But it was the White House photographer’s job to chronicle all aspects of the First Lady’s life, and I found this to be an interesting editorial choice. I also thought that some of the pictures were interesting choices. There were photos included that clearly did not show the other (non-Michelle Obama) subjects in a very good light. People had their eyes closed, sat slumped in chairs, or had acne that I cannot imagine would make anyone feel good about having these pictures published in a book for the world to see. Again, some of these photos were interesting editorial choices. Were these the best that Lucidon had? Or does she not care about what the other people look like? What does that say about her as a photographer? I like the book and am glad to have this wonderful record of a classy First Lady, but it’s definitely only 4/5 stars for me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm

    Can't wait to read Michelle Obama's memoir. Since I just finished Pete Souza's newly released book that is a collection of pictures from President Obama's administration it seemed like looking at Lucidon's book on former First Lady Michelle Obama would be a good companion read although they're two very different and separate books.   Since the former First Lady obviously had a very different role than her husband the pictures are different but no less enjoyable. I'm not sure I recognized as many o Can't wait to read Michelle Obama's memoir. Since I just finished Pete Souza's newly released book that is a collection of pictures from President Obama's administration it seemed like looking at Lucidon's book on former First Lady Michelle Obama would be a good companion read although they're two very different and separate books.   Since the former First Lady obviously had a very different role than her husband the pictures are different but no less enjoyable. I'm not sure I recognized as many of these but all the same it was great to relive the administration through the eyes of the photographer as well as via the pictures who met with and/or interacted with her and her husband. One thing I would have liked that was present in Souza's book was some of the text explanations of some of the well-known photographs he took. There's a little bit of that here but I would have just liked more. :)   Again, there's not much else to say. It's a picture-heavy book that would make an excellent display on a coffee table or to have on your book shell. Thankfully it's not as large or as heavy as Souza's book, too! That's definitely a plus.    There isn't really much that's wrong with the book but I rated it 3 stars because I felt there was more that could be done. More photos, more interesting text (unfortunately I didn't feel Lucidon had as many interesting things to say but that's just me). But that said, the book is very nice and perhaps it's a mistake on my part to look at it right after Souza's. I'm also not really into photography/coffee table-style books so that could be a part of it.   Borrow from the library or skim it in the bookstore if you're not sure. But it'd probably make a nice gift for the right person, too.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Mcphail-Lambert

    A magnificent tribute to a beautiful woman! Lucidon captures very private and very public moments of Michelle Obama in her role as First Lady. Pensive and serious (pg 10) while waiting to attend a function, and hugging her daughters on the Great Wall of China. (190) Hugging children, (pg 156, 125, 98) and posing for selfies, (pg 88, 89, 132) Lucidon captures the joy people felt in Michelle’s presence as well as their joy in seeing her from afar. “It would have been easy to make Mrs Obama central t A magnificent tribute to a beautiful woman! Lucidon captures very private and very public moments of Michelle Obama in her role as First Lady. Pensive and serious (pg 10) while waiting to attend a function, and hugging her daughters on the Great Wall of China. (190) Hugging children, (pg 156, 125, 98) and posing for selfies, (pg 88, 89, 132) Lucidon captures the joy people felt in Michelle’s presence as well as their joy in seeing her from afar. “It would have been easy to make Mrs Obama central to every photo. But I’ve always found that some of the most interesting moments are the ones happening at the edge of the frame.” (Pg 19) She captures Michelle’s joy in being around people, especially children acknowledging their accomplishments and existence. (Pg 62) Lucidon shares her personal reflections of her role as the photographer who captured and witnessed 4 years in Michelle’s life. “ I’ve heard President Obama and Mrs. Obama say time and time again, ‘Once you’ve done well. . . make sure you reach back to help give others the same opportunity you’ve had.’” (Pg 218) Lucidon follows through on what she learned as she used “the opportunity to create this book, which will allow me to donate a portion of the net proceeds to Turnaround Arts.” (Pg218)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pat Mills

    A woman photographer of modest background shares her years and work recording Michelle Obama during the White House Years. A treasure packed volume of lovingly captured moments in the life of a woman I greatly admire. She took the somewhat unwanted role of First Lady and made something generous and meaningful of it for her and for me. Ah for a time when vegetables, school girls being empowered and strong female bodies were news worthy and joyously reported on in the good news cycle. It is hard n A woman photographer of modest background shares her years and work recording Michelle Obama during the White House Years. A treasure packed volume of lovingly captured moments in the life of a woman I greatly admire. She took the somewhat unwanted role of First Lady and made something generous and meaningful of it for her and for me. Ah for a time when vegetables, school girls being empowered and strong female bodies were news worthy and joyously reported on in the good news cycle. It is hard not to over idealize the Obama years when we seem so very far away from that now. There were plenty of crisis events, frustrations and set backs, but always, there was hope for better next time and acknowledgement of working for the people. I found a few of these portraits to be very moving and touching. The humour and humanity displayed is really wonderful and I found the book and its many photos quite touching. Amanda Lucidon has a rare gift and an eye for finding the extra ordinary in the moment. We are so lucky that they are willing to share it with us, the reading public. Sometimes it is good to look back and savour what was accomplished that cannot be lost.

  25. 4 out of 5

    MJ

    I saw "The Meaning of Michelle:16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own" behind the checkout counter at the Shawnee Public Library and asked to check it out. Then the librarian asked me if I'd seen the new book on Michelle Obama. When I said that I hadn't, she asked me if I wanted to see it. She carried "Chasing Light" by Amanda Lucidon from the back office to me holding it reverently with both hands and held it out for me to see. It was stunning and I said so. Sh I saw "The Meaning of Michelle:16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own" behind the checkout counter at the Shawnee Public Library and asked to check it out. Then the librarian asked me if I'd seen the new book on Michelle Obama. When I said that I hadn't, she asked me if I wanted to see it. She carried "Chasing Light" by Amanda Lucidon from the back office to me holding it reverently with both hands and held it out for me to see. It was stunning and I said so. She asked if I wanted to check it out. I said I thought it was her personal copy because of the loving look on her face and the way she held out the book. She said it was a library book and I immediately added it to my pile of books. I then carried it to my car as reverently as she had to make sure it didn't get damaged. I can't wait to read it. Fabulous! Fabulous! Everyone in America needs to read this to understand how truly marvelous the Obama family is!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Donna Lewis

    What a beautiful and inspiring visual look at Michelle Obama’s time in the White House. The photos and commentary by Amanda Lucidon are spectacular. She mentions that her father told her that “Barack Obama reminded him of his own father—a kind man with a solid ethical core. And most important, he was a man of integrity.” This is so apparent in the photographs, highlighting the events hosted by Michelle Obama. She invited children, world leaders, young people, creative people from every area of t What a beautiful and inspiring visual look at Michelle Obama’s time in the White House. The photos and commentary by Amanda Lucidon are spectacular. She mentions that her father told her that “Barack Obama reminded him of his own father—a kind man with a solid ethical core. And most important, he was a man of integrity.” This is so apparent in the photographs, highlighting the events hosted by Michelle Obama. She invited children, world leaders, young people, creative people from every area of the arts to “The People’s House.” She visited children in hospitals, and supported veterans groups. She started many worthwhile initiatives, such as Let’s Move and Let Girls Learn. She championed healthy lunches for school children, and had children work in the White House Kitchen Garden. Her work mirrored what the President was doing for the country. What an elegant woman and this book is a gracious beautiful tribute to her.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jody

    I got this book after enjoying Pete Souza's intimate portraits of President Obama. In Mrs. Obama's book, I admired the photographer's talent, and the way Amanda Lucidon captured history and an unparalleled historic figure. Classy all around. First, a practical note: I was really glad to have checked this out of the library as an ebook (well worth the wait) so that I could pinch to see greater detail on the images. Second, a comparison: I couldn't help think ahead to, someday, contrasting the rang I got this book after enjoying Pete Souza's intimate portraits of President Obama. In Mrs. Obama's book, I admired the photographer's talent, and the way Amanda Lucidon captured history and an unparalleled historic figure. Classy all around. First, a practical note: I was really glad to have checked this out of the library as an ebook (well worth the wait) so that I could pinch to see greater detail on the images. Second, a comparison: I couldn't help think ahead to, someday, contrasting the range of experiences and interactions of First Ladies No. 44 and No. 45. As these images convey, Mrs. Obama is a humane woman of humanity who is not afraid to show emotion. Congrats, Amanda, for your skill in capturing history, and grasping an extraordinary opportunity in producing this compendium of your great work.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Manchester

    I wanted to like this book and maybe the standard was too high after reading Pete Souza’s amazing photo book on Obama, but this book was a big let-down. The pictures are *ok*, but missed the whole point of what I hoped this book would show. By reading this book, I learned about what Michelle Obama did but very little of who she was. The book became more about the photographer and how she felt and her journey rather than Michelle. That’s sad at best, false marketing at worst. All I learned is she l I wanted to like this book and maybe the standard was too high after reading Pete Souza’s amazing photo book on Obama, but this book was a big let-down. The pictures are *ok*, but missed the whole point of what I hoped this book would show. By reading this book, I learned about what Michelle Obama did but very little of who she was. The book became more about the photographer and how she felt and her journey rather than Michelle. That’s sad at best, false marketing at worst. All I learned is she liked kids and pets. The parts with her initiative for female kids to be educated was probably the best part of the book. There’s only two pictures of her with her kids in this book. Two. To chase light means to chase what she loves. Outside of her imitative, I saw very little of this. Not recommended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

    *4.5 stars Although this was a difficult time for our country, it was important to show the world that we are resilient. Even in our darkest times, Mrs. Obama was a shining beacon of light and hope. I really liked this! I don’t think I saw a lot of these pictures before so most of them were quite new to me. Michelle Obamas is such a great role model and did an amazing job as the First Lady. Adding to that, Amanda Lucidon is the first female photographer for the White House which is amazing yet I *4.5 stars Although this was a difficult time for our country, it was important to show the world that we are resilient. Even in our darkest times, Mrs. Obama was a shining beacon of light and hope. I really liked this! I don’t think I saw a lot of these pictures before so most of them were quite new to me. Michelle Obamas is such a great role model and did an amazing job as the First Lady. Adding to that, Amanda Lucidon is the first female photographer for the White House which is amazing yet I couldn’t believe it took so long! She captured lovely pictures of the First Lady. However, I couldn’t get behind the organisation of this book. It seemed a bit random and I would have preferred it chronological.

  30. 4 out of 5

    K

    How could it be anything but a delight? Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer by Amanda Lucidon is White House reminiscing eye candy for Michelle fans. We see her uplifting people from around the world in every page. I could not have been represented better by any other person in the First Partner position. Indeed, the book feels a bit undersized given how well Michelle’s memoir has sold. This title sells for a mere $13.99 on Amazon, while Pete Souza’s coffe How could it be anything but a delight? Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer by Amanda Lucidon is White House reminiscing eye candy for Michelle fans. We see her uplifting people from around the world in every page. I could not have been represented better by any other person in the First Partner position. Indeed, the book feels a bit undersized given how well Michelle’s memoir has sold. This title sells for a mere $13.99 on Amazon, while Pete Souza’s coffee table behemoth of Obama sells for $50. If Michelle had been given the whole coffee table book treatment, I think it would have sold as well as Mr. Souza’s book at that increased price. She deserves that level of gravitas too.

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