Michelle Obama is gone from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue but not forgotten.
And thanks to Amanda Lucidon’s never-before-seen pictures of the former first lady in a new book, the world gets a clearer glimpse into the life of Barack Obama’s wife during her time at the White House.
Amanda Lucidon was the only woman photographer assigned to Michelle Obama during her four years (2013-2017) behind the camera. The ex-New York Times freelancer’s only job was to capture the first lady in pictures; even if she had a bad hair day. Lucidon sat down with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts on Tuesday to speak about the release of her new book, Chasing Light, according to ABC News.
“To be one of the few female photographers in [White House] history was really special. But on top of that, just to work for the administration that had appointed more women and minorities than any other administration; that was a real special thing.”
Lucidon’s book is a stunning collection of private and public Michelle Obama pictures; several unpublished until now. The author reflects on her time covering Mrs. Obama and the lessons she’s learned as a mother and human being.
As Amazon wrote on its website, “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.”
Amanda’s 150 images reveal candid moments of Michelle Obama with her daughters, Sasha and Malia, and her husband. One image shows Michelle in a touching moment with her daughters next to the Great Wall of China. Another shows how Mr. and Mrs. Obama were never shy about showing their affection for one another publicly.
Lucidon recalled how her time with Michelle Obama was more than snapping photographs of the former first lady. Being behind the lens gave her an opportunity to tell the story as it was meant to be and devoid of the media spin. It also taught her to dream big and embrace optimism.
“What the first lady has traveled around the country and the world saying candidly, which I learned from her, is that you can be anything; how you grew up and your circumstances do not define you.”
“Working at the White House was a very transformative time for me. I found confidence. I learned about myself. I learned about pushing boundaries. I learned about embracing my own story and my own background.”
Perhaps, one of the biggest lessons Amanda Lucidon learned from Michelle Obama was perception. She tells Robin that Mrs. O taught others that one should look at their challenges as strengths, not weaknesses.
Lucidon also offers a bit of tongue-in-cheek. Not only did she learn important life lessons during her tenure in Washington, but she also learned about an important rule: Don’t be late.
“The motorcade only waits for one person and it’s not you,” she writes in her new book.
Amanda Lucidon’s book, “Chasing Light,” about Michelle Obama is available now in bookstores.
[Featured Image by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images]