Behind the scenes with the Obamas: Candid snapshots of a presidential family life

The last few months have been intense and difficult for US President Barack Obama.

Although his foreign policies have been a success - he lead the search for Osama Bin Laden and followed closely the toppling of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi - he's also faced criticism for the current global financial situation.

This week, The White House have released various behind-the-scenes pictures of Barack that show his less known side.

In the candid photos taken by the White House photographer we can see a more relaxed and natural Barack and Michelle Obama playing basketball, meeting supporters and gardening.

First Lady Michelle Obama, joined by her mum Marian Robinson and her two daughters, Sasha and Malia, tours the District 6 Museum in Cape Town 

Bo, the Obama family dog, lounges in the West Garden Room of the White House 

Michelle and White House chefs join children to harvest vegetables during the third annual White House Kitchen Garden fall harvest on the South Lawn 

Guinness Book of World Records holder John Cassidy performs a balloon act for Michelle in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House 

President Barack Obama visits a wounded warrior for a Purple Heart presentation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda 

Greeting people on the tarmac after arriving at Detroit Wayne Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan 

Touring the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C 

Visiting Mast General Store in Boone, N.C., during a stop on the American Jobs Act bus tour 

Barack Obama and Jay Leno joke backstage before taping The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in California 

Talking with co-producer Michele Tasoff during a break 

Barack Obama, along with Press Secretary Jay Carney, left, and Trip Director Marvin Nicholson, right, play basketball between events at the Pepsi Center in Denver 

Offerting a toast to Dakota Meyer on the patio outside of the Oval Office 

Greeting a man in the crowd after addressing the Labor Day celebration in Detroit 

Barack and Michelle greet the family of Senior Master Sergeant Roland Paramore (not pictured) aboard Air Force One prior to departure en route to New York