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57 faces of the 57th inauguration

Benjamin Lowy / Getty Images Reportage for NBC News

As people attending the second inauguration of President Barack Obama trained their eyes on the historic event, photojournalist Benjamin Lowy trained his lens on them.

“There is something about Americans glancing up,” said photojournalist Ben Lowy. “As Americans we’re always looking forward to the future. It doesn't matter if we’re black, white, yellow, or brown, we look the same when we look up.”

This concept is what attracted Lowy, represented by Getty Images Reportage, to the National Mall in Washington D.C. on a chilly morning in January. His personal mission was to capture as many individual faces “watching history go by” at the second inauguration of Barack Obama. It’s indirectly a continuation of a project he started while covering the political conventions in 2012, he said.

Lowy said when he looked closely at the faces of the convention attendees, “ I couldn't really tell the Republicans from the Democrats.”

“We’re all taking part in democracy,” he said. “Whether you were a member of the 47 percent who voted for Mitt Romney or you voted for Obama in 2012, we’re Americans no matter what.”

In total Lowy captured more than 2,000 portraits on Monday, and we present 57 of his photographs in the slideshow linked above to commemorate the 57th Inauguration.

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