By Seija Rankin
November 09, 2020 at 09:00 AM EST
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Credit: HarperCollins

In 2004, Barack Obama was an Illinois state senator with a very big dream, and David Katz was a recently graduated photographer with a very big camera. This holiday (and election) season, their partnership comes to the page in Barack Before Obama: Life Before the Presidency, Katz’s collection of snaps taken during Obama’s historic run for the U.S. Senate and, eventually, the presidency. As official campaign photographer — and predecessor to the famed Pete Souza — he took more than 90,000 photos, many of which showcase the Obama family before they were First. Here, three never-before-seen shots from the collection.

Election Night 2004

Credit: David Katz

Barack, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha pause for a family moment while awaiting the results of the U.S. Senate race. “There’s a lot of anticipation,” Katz says of election night, “and pressure to deliver for your supporters, family, and friends.”

The Barbershop

Credit: David Katz

“Obama had been getting his hair cut at the same barbershop on the South Side of Chicago since the late 1990s,” writes Katz of this shot at the Hyde Park Hair Salon. Throughout his 2004 Senate campaign, Obama continued to frequent the shop for touch-ups from James Zariff Smith, pictured here.

Robin & Stevie

Credit: David Katz

Katz captures Obama meeting Robin Williams for the first time, backstage at Chicago’s Park West theater. The actor, along with Stevie Wonder, was set to headline a fundraiser for the young politician’s 2004 Senate campaign.

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