Transcript for Michelle Obama's White House photographer shares the stories behind iconic photos
No you to the stories behind some of the most famous photos you've seen of Michelle Obama. We're going behind the lens with former white house photographer Amanda lucidon who has a new book "Chasing light." How about this with the girl scouts. First ever girl scout campout on the south lawn of the white house. How cool. I said, hey, you'll probably need pictures. I need to camp out too. Reporter: Just one day in the life for this photographer, now sharing the stories behind a collection of intimate images of former first lady Michelle Obama in "Chasing light." At the us about the title. As a photographer you can spend your whole career chasing light but forme the deeper meaning is working at the white house was a very transformative time for me. Reporter: From humble beginnings she worked her way up to white house Taff photographer. One of a few women in this role in history. Someone picking up your book, what do you think they will learn about her and possibly you? I think 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. So if you're willing to be fearless, if you're willing to push your own boundaries, I'm usually on the other side of the camera. This was a little nerve-racking to be able to come here and do this but I'm here. You were listening to Mrs. Obama. I was, all the time. Reporter: For four years Amanda traveled with Mrs. Obama to over 20 countries and countless cities capturing thousands of behind the scenes photos of the first lady. Did you learn something about her? She has sump a serious role but then she also has this lightness about her. She really loves to laugh and, you know, some of the pictures like the one of her with Bo and sunny laughing are moments that I feel are -- was my responsibility to share that with people because it definitely shows another side of her. Now, didn't the president tweet this photo? Yeah. For Valentine's day. Which was pretty cool. This candid moment now one of Amanda's most widely shared. I guess that's the importance of having good editors because I'm such a perfectionist I guess I was like, okay, the picture is kind of messy because there's all these things in the background. What? Then my editor was like the moment and I'm like, oh, yeah. How about when she was with her girls and I believe that is the great wall. You know, I love that picture because it just shows for all of her in I shall tiffs and all of the important work she's done is like being a mother is still her most important priority. Can you just describe what it was working with her when it was coming to let's move and all those other initiatives. She was truly passionate about? One of the most emotional times at the white house was seeing some of these students perform at the white house talent show once a year when all of these schools that were part of turnaround arts program got to come and perform on stage. I was just in tears behind my camera because I thought it was so special to see these kids light up and that's what the first lady did for so many children. She invited people into the white house and ignited a spark in them. How are you different from that first day you walked through the Gates and the last day? Everything about me is different. I found confidence. I learned about embracing my own story and the first lady Wallace taught us that challenges you've encountered in your life are your strengths, they're not your weaknesses, they're the things that teach you resilience. If you're resilient you can overcome anything in life. I guess maybe really accepting all the sides of myself, that was transformational for me. And so I think coming out of the white house, it's -- I'm that light that I was chasing. I know. The light that she was chasing and Amanda told us she learned the importance of paying it forward from the Obamas and donating a portion of her proceeds to turn around arts, a program that brings arts into low performing schools. She said the Obamas lit up the room whenever they participated in initiatives like in that you're seeing right here, turn around arts for let's move. It really is a beautiful book and not all pictures of Mrs. Obama. There are pictures of just the times that she was with other people and she very much wanted that to be a part of it. Not just make it about her but Amanda, the way she grew in her time there. I love that picture you showed of her up there surrounded by all these men. She remembers when she was got the call and she was like, huh? She was going to be the photographer for Mrs. Obama. But and also when you see the book you're reminded of the works that the first lady did. Yeah. For her time. She clearly captured such moments because it wasn't just a picture like you felt something instantly when you looked at everything she shot. You could feel it. Those candid shots. "Chasing light" is out tomorrow.
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