National Geographic : 2009 Jan
• INSIDE GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER MORRIS ON ASSIGNMENT Presidency in Focus Photographer Christopher Morris covered the White House for Time from 2001 to 2007. For this month's "Inside the Presidency" story, though, he didn't focus on President George W. Bush. Instead, he told the story of the Presidency by looking at the people and things around him. It was an assignment Morris was well suited to. "I like objects, like the window blinds in the solarium," he says. "That's the view of the President and the First Lady from their private space." Morris had hoped to photograph the President making himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the private kitchen. He didn't get a chance. Otherwise, he had extraordinary access. Journalists rarely ride in the President's helicopter and limo, but Morris did. After months of asking, he was given permission to shoot in the top secret White House Situation Room, at 7 a.m. on his last day of work on the story. He had only about 30 seconds before President Bush was ready to start the meeting. "He doesn't really say anything. He just gives you a look," says Morris. "That's your cue to leave." The President is known for giving nicknames to everyone around him. He sometimes called Morris "Keith"---Morris shares the fashion sense of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards---but usually just Chris. In return, it was "Mr. President or sir," says Morris. "You don't call him George, that's for sure." Christopher Morris stepped into a White House closet (above) for a better angle on the Lincoln Bedroom.