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White House photos of 2016 feature Prince George, babies, Donald Trump

White House official photographer Pete Souza has released his favorite images from 2016 in the final year of Barack Obama's presidency.
/ Source: TODAY

From priceless moments of President Barack Obama interacting with children to joyous shots of memorable times with his own family, official White House photographer Pete Souza has released his favorite pictures from the final year of Obama's presidency.

"Yes, there are some historic moments included, but mostly I was looking for behind-the-scenes moments that give people a more personal look at the President and First Lady,'' Souza wrote on Medium in introducing the photos.

RELATED: White House photographer Pete Souza shares 2015 Year in Photos

Presented in chronological order and shot by Souza and his staff, the photos begin with Obama listening to the father of a boy who was killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, and end with Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tossing flowers at a Pearl Harbor memorial.

In between the solemn scenes, there were also some lighthearted moments like the one between Obama and the granddaughter of David Axelrod, the former chief strategist for his presidential campaigns.

President Obama, little girl
"The great thing about children is you just don't know what they will do in the presence of the President,'' White House photographer Pete Souza wrote. "So when David Axelrod stopped by the Oval Office with one of his sons' family, Axe's granddaughter, Maelin, crawled onto the Vice President's seat while the President continued his conversation with the adults. Then at one point, Maelin glanced over just as the President was looking back at her." Pete Souza / White House

The president also met with Prince George in April when the royal family paid a visit to the White House.

President Obama, Prince George
"Originally it was unclear whether I would be permitted to photograph the President meeting Prince George,'' Souza wrote. "But the night before, our advance team called and said they had gotten word from Kensington Palace that they would allow me access to make candid photographs during their visit. Afterwards, this photograph garnered the most attention but at the time all I could think was how the table at right was hindering my ability to be at the optimum angle for this moment." Pete Souza / White House

Obama, who has watched daughters Malia and Sasha grow from children to young women during his time in the Oval Office, had a proud moment when both of them attended a state dinner in March.

Sasha, Malia State Dinner
"What an honor to watch these girls grow up,'' Souza wrote about Malia (foreground) and Sasha Obama. Pete Souza / White House

Souza also captured a glimpse of the future with president-elect Donald Trump meeting with Obama in November ahead of the transition to Trump's presidency this month.

President Obama, Donald Trump
Obama met with president-elect Donald Trump in this photo taken just two days after Trump's election victory. Pete Souza / White House

"It’s been the honor of a lifetime to be a witness to history these past eight years,'' Souza wrote.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.