15 Before and After Photos of U.S. Presidents Serving Their Term

As holders of one of the planet's most important offices, U.S. presidents are no stranger to photographs—both through their years at the White House as well as after they've served their terms.

The first form of photography was daguerreotype, which was introduced in France back in 1839. The White House Historical Association explains: "In its primitive stages the daguerreo­type, a silvered plate of copper rendered light-sensitive by expo­sure to iodine fumes, was photo­graphically too slow for practical portraiture.

"Within a year of the announced discovery, however, inquisitive minds in all comers of the globe had devised improve­ments in chemistry and optics, enabling the establishment of photographic portrait galleries. Daguerreotypes were produced in great numbers in France and elsewhere in Europe. It was in America, however, that photogra­phy took on the proportions of a major industry," the association adds.

Among the earliest practitioners of daguerreotype was John Plumbe, Jr. His 1846 daguerreotype of the official residence of James K. Polk, the 11th president of the U.S., is the earliest known photograph of the White House.

"This photo­graph, together with views of the Capitol, Patent Office, and Post Office, was discovered in Califor­nia in 1973 and is now in the collection of the Library of Congress," the association says.

The first president to have his photograph taken while in office was William Henry Harrison, taken sometime between March 4 and 6 in 1841.

Harrison was also the first to die while in office, having caught a cold that developed into pneumonia. Dying on his 32nd day in office, Harrison served the shortest term in U.S. presidential history.

According to the photographer, "Harrison was 'delighted with the results.' In a month's time Harrison would be dead from pneumonia contracted during his lengthy inaugural address. This likeness of the ephemeral Presi­dent Harrison has never been found," the White House Historical Association website says.

The earliest existing known photograph of a U.S. president is an 1843 daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams, which was acquired by The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in 2017.

As President Joe Biden marks just over a month in office, here we look at images of different U.S. presidents, captured both during and after their terms.

Theodore Roosevelt

Term: 1901 to 1909

Theodore Roosevelt White House 1902
Theodore Roosevelt seated at his desk in the White House, pictured in 1902. Bettmann via Getty Images
Theodore Roosevelt Brazil 1913
A picture of Roosevelt (second from right) during his Brazil expedition in 1913, taken by his son Kermit. Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

William Howard Taft

Term: 1909 to 1913

William Howard Taft White House Oval Office
William Howard Taft pictured in the Oval Office at the White House. B.M. Clinedinst/Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
William Howard Taft president 1916
William Howard Taft (pictured right) and former Republican presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes arriving at Hughes' summer home in Bridgehampton, New York on June 30, 1916. Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images

Calvin Coolidge

Term: 1923 to 1929

Calvin Coolidge 1924
Calvin Coolidge sits at a writing desk on the White House lawn as he casts his absentee ballot for the 1924 general election. PhotoQuest/Getty Images
Calvin Coolidge Vermont farm 1930s
Calvin Coolidge plows a field on his farm in Plymouth, Vermont in the early 1930s. PhotoQuest/Getty Images

Harry Truman

Term: 1945 to 1953

Harry Truman 19445
Harry Truman addresses the media in 1945 in Washington, D.C. AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Harry Truman baseball first pitch 1954
Harry Truman pictured with Lou Boudreau (left), manager of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team, and Bucky Harris (right), the Senators baseball team manager, as he throws out the first ball of the season in April of 1954. Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Term: 1953 to 1961

Dwight D. Eisenhower Oval Office White House
Dwight D. Eisenhower speaks with former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (left) in the Oval Office at the White House during a radio and television broadcast on August 3, 1956. Abbie Rowe/PhotoQuest/Getty Images
Dwight D. Eisenhower 1962 Ireland
Dwight D. Eisenhower during his visit to Irealnd in August 1962. Independent News and Media/Getty Images

Lyndon B. Johnson

Term: 1963 to 1969

Lyndon B. Johnson Jackie Kennedy 1963
Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office as president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. National Archive/Newsmakers
Lyndon B. Johnson grandchildren 1970
Lyndon B. Johnson takes a walk with his grandchildren through a field of flowers in 1970. CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Richard Nixon

Term: 1969 to 1974

Richard Nixon Oval Office White House
Richard Nixon in the Oval office on February 19, 1970 in Washington, D.C. National Archive/Newsmakers
Richard Nixon golf tournament 1975
Richard Nixon receives a trophy after taking part in a golf tournament benefit for disabled children in 1975. Bettmann via Getty Images

Gerald Ford

Term: 1974 to 1977

Gerald Ford Oval Office 1974 White House
Gerald Ford talking on the phone in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., circa 1974. Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images
Gerald Ford golf tournament 1978
Gerald Ford (far right) pictured with singer Glenn Campbell at a celebrity golf tournament in Los Angeles, California in February 1978. Nik Wheeler/Corbis via Getty Images

Jimmy Carter

Term: 1977 to 1981

Jimmy Carter 1977 president Washington, D.C.
Jimmy Carter holds a cabinet meeting in Washington, D.C. to continue discussions of the nation's national gas shortage due to an unusually cold winter in 1977. Bettmann via Getty Images
Jimmy Carter Atlanta Brave baseball 1983
Jimmy Carter and his mother Lillian Carter pictured circa 1983 speaking with former Atlanta Braves baseball team manager Joe Torre at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Ronald Reagan

Term: 1981 to 1989

Ronald Reagan White House 1981
Ronald Reagan prepares a speech at his desk in the Oval Office of the White House for a joint session of Congress on April 28, 1981. Michael Evans/The White House/Getty Images
Ronald Reagan Mikhail Gorbachev 1992 California
Ronald Reagan (second from left) and his wife Nancy (far left) pictured with former leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa in 1992 in the front yard of the Reagan's ranch in Santa Barbara, California.

George H. Bush

Term: 1989 to 1993

George Bush Washington, D.C. 1989
George H. Bush answers questions from reporters during a press conference at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, formerly known as the Old Executive Office Building, in Washington, D.C. on February 6, 1989. Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images
George Bush Scotland 1995 Open golf championship
George H. Bush and his wife Barbara watching the 1995 Open Golf Championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, SCOTLAND. Steve Munday/ALLSPORT via Getty Images

Bill Clinton

Term: 1993 to 2001

Bill Clinton White House 1993
Bill Clinton talking on the phone in the Oval Office of the White House on June 14, 1993. Cynthia Johnson/Liaison via Getty Images
Bill Clinton Blues Brothers saxophone solo 2002
Bill Clinton performs a saxaphone solo with Dan Aykroyd of The Blues Brothers during the opening of the new Mohegan Sun resort and casino in Uncasville, Connecticut on June 22, 2002. Todd Plitt/Imagedirect via Getty Images

George W. Bush

Term: 2001 to 2009

George W. Bush White House 2007
George W. Bush makes a statement on the Virginia Tech School shootings in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on April 16, 2007 in Washington, D.C. Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images
George W. Bush Texas Rangers baseball 2011
George W. Bush waves to a fan at Texas Rangers baseball game in Arlington, Texas on April 1, 2011. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Barack Obama

Term: 2009 to 2017

Barack Obama 2009 White House
Barack Obama speaking in the East Room of the White House on February 23, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images
Barack Obama February 2017 Necker Island
Barack Obama takes a break while learning to kitesurf at Richard Branson's Necker Island retreat in the British Virgin Islands on February 1, 2017. Jack Brockway/Getty Images

Donald Trump

Term: 2017 to 2021

Donald Trump White House 2019
Donald Trump participates in a roundtable discussion on empowering families with education choice in the Cabinet Room at the White House on December 9, 2019. Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images
Donald Trump Mar-a-Lago Florida January 2021
Donald Trump waves to supporters lined along on the route to his Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 20, 2021. Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Correction 3/3/21: This article was updated to correctly identify Lillian Carter in a photo caption. A misspelling of Reagan was corrected.