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White House Unveils Obama's New Official Portrait

The president's pleased expression and jaunty pose mark a striking departure from the sober expression of his earlier portrait

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    The White House
    President Barack Obama is photographed during a presidential portrait sitting for an official photo in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    President Barack Obama is ushering in his second term with a smile.

    The White House unveiled Obama's new official presidential portrait Friday morning, and in the shot, the president shows a little levity that was lacking in the old one.

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    The new photograph shows the president smiling broadly and posing with his arms crossed in the Oval Office. In the photo, Obama wears a watch, blue patterned tie and traditional American flag pin, and his hair has grayed since his first-term portrait was taken four years ago.

    For full U.S. news and politics coverage, visit NBCNews.com.

    Like that portrait, the new one was shot by official White House photographer Pete Souza.

    Check out W.H. photographer Pete Souza's favorite photos of 2012.

    The first portrait had pictured the president with a sterner expression, posing against a more austere gray background. It also had the distinction of being the first official presidential portrait shot on a digital camera, according to the White House.

    Typically, presidents' portraits are photographs while they are in office. Their painted portraits are typically completed after they have left office.

    President Barack Obama's second term White House official presidential portrait
    President Barack Obama is photographed during a presidential portrait sitting for an official
    photo in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

     

    President Barack Obama's first term official White House presidential portrait
    Official portrait of President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 13, 2009. (Photo by Pete Souza)