Barack Obama's campaign team has released images on photo-sharing site Flickr giving a rare glimpse behind the scenes on election night in Chicago, Illinois.
Official photographer David Katz, who has followed the campaign through long months, captured the tension as the results of the presidential ballot started to come in.
Mr Obama shared a moment of solidarity with his running mate, Senator Joe Biden, who had been campaigning for him across the US.
Mr Obama watched on television as his Republican rival, John McCain, give a gracious concession speech from Phoenix, Arizona.
Assured of victory, he shared a hug with his campaign manager David Plouffe, whose wife was expecting their second child on election day. The baby eventually arrived two days later.
Only yards from their backstage area, more than 125,000 people had gathered in Chicago's Grant Park for what they hoped would be a victory speech by the Democrat.
After 21 months of hard campaigning, this was when Barack Obama would be able to stand before the nation as its president-elect.
It was a moment to savour for the 47-year-old Illinois senator, his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha, seven, and Malia, 10.
The delight of Mr Obama and his vice-president-elect at seeing the huge crowds gathered to greet them was also clear.
Mr Obama's victory speech - a historic moment for the nation - was watched by millions of people around the world, as well as his family and aides who had worked so hard to be there.