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Lawrence Jackson is not the first Obama White House photographer to publish his photos, and he was originally hesitant to embark on the project because Pete Souza, President Barack Obama‘s Chief White House photographer, had already published one of his own.

But Jackson’s wife, Alicia, helped talk him into it.

“‘You have your own experience, and you’re an African-American covering the first African-American president,’ ” he recalls her saying. “‘So you have a unique voice that you should tell and show the world.’ “

For Yes We Did, the book Jackson ultimately wrote, published on Tuesday, he delved into his trove of candid photographs from the Obama administration.

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