I had the honor of photographing President Obama in the library of the White House in 2015 for Mic News.
The buildup to the shoot was a bit nerve wracking to say the least as was the setup for the couple of hours before he arrived. I was shooting during a 20-minute video interview and very quickly became aware that in a room where everyone had stationary positions, I was literally the only moving part.
None of us in the crew of about 12 people expected to get a photo with The President, but as soon as the interview ended, he said we should take a group portrait and pointed to the back corner of the room where my assistant Michael Cardiello was stationed with all my gear.
We quickly moved the cameras to the side and when I got up from one knee President Obama was standing in front of me. I of course extended my hand and managed to get out, "Mr. President, Drew Gurian," with probably the brightest smile I've ever had. It was a short but sweet moment that I'll absolutely never forget.
In such a high stress environment, he was extremely aware of his position of power and somehow made us all feel exceptionally calm- something that I'm sure not everyone in his position would do.
Mr. President- thanks so much for your kindness and all that you've done. You will be missed dearly.