NDP candidate for Cornwall in the last Ontario Provincial Election, Maggie MacDonald, shot in her backyard and on her front steps.
for me, the best photo assignment is getting hired to shoot someone you already know or have worked with previously. that saves the whole "get to know each other" awkwardness of the shoot. so, when i worked for Capital City and got a call from their parent publication, Now, to shoot "a twenty-something NDP candidate running in Cornwall" i had agreed before the photo editor could say "Maggie MacDonald".
i had known Maggie for five or six years. she used to put on punk shows in Cornwall and do a fanzine called Saucy. i'd see her regularly at Ottawa and Montreal shows and demonstrations. in this election she was running for the NDP against TWO incumbents -- the Liberal and Conservative candidates were both members of the provincial legislature and forced into the same jurisdiction with a restructuring of the electoral grid.
Maggie didn't win the election, but she put up a good, intelligent fight, getting a lot of press in the process due to the polarity of her opponents, as well as her environmental and youth oriented campaign. it was fun doing the shoot and hanging out with Maggie for the afternoon and getting paid to do it.
when not championing social causes Maggie attends the University of Toronto and writes award winning plays.
the first shot was done in jest, we were just jackassing around and thought it was pretty funny at the time. after the fact i was hoping it wouldn't run as it could possibly harm her campaign or piss off the NDP higher-ups. the 2nd shot (on the right) was the one that ended up running in Now.
Now folded Capital City a little over a year after its inception, just as the paper was starting to turn around, or so we thought. our theory was that Now over extended itself financially in toronto by buying/moving into new offices and opening a cafe. i am sure they would argue that CC was mismanaged at the Ottawa end. whatever, CC was head and shoulders above Xpress (the other weekly paper) in the realms of design, photography and writing.
even though we were assured "the freelancers would be the first to get paid" by a clean-up VP from toronto (who was probably just trying to protect the office computers from being thrown out the window -- looking back in retrospect, i kindof regret convincing a production person who will remain unnamed from dropping a G3 three floors) all the freelancers had their 2nd last paycheques bounce if they weren't quick enough to cash them and the last paycheques were never issued. more than a year later, some freelancers received cheques from a bankruptcy firm for 20-35% of what they were owed. so much for Now's socialist facade and championing the rights of the underdogs and the little guys.
speaking of Now magazine. check out the webpage below. it showcases the photography and writing of my favourite ex-Now shooter, Rick McGinnis. his writings and diary entries are as great as his photos.
link of the day
word of the day
megilah - n. a long, complicated, account.
example: "Some days my photo-of-the-day blurbs are more of a megilah than others."
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all images (c) shawn scallen 2001. please contact before using or reproducing.