Oops, I (we) did it again!
Steve Russell, Staff Photographer
Comedian Stephen Wright once quipped, "It's a small world but I wouldn't want to paint it."
At the paper photographers always keep our eyes open for pictures that go by a variety of names depending on the photographer.
These pictures are referred to as weather, enterprise, stand-up, feature or stand alone pictures to name a few.
These pictures can find a home anywhere in the paper but usually make it into the Greater Toronto section to dress up a page with stories that do not lend themselves to good pictures or they might end up in the daily online gallery.
So, last week while I waited at Nathan Phillips Square for Mayoral candidate George Smitherman to appear for a portrait, I stubbled across Richard Thomson hand feeding some sparrows. Ding! The feature bell went off in my head.
I shot a variety of images before approaching him for his name.
Mr. Thomson chuckled and told me he had been in the Star doing the same thing before and pulled a carefully folded news clipping out of his wallet.
There it was, 2006, Richard Thomson feeding a sparrow at Nathan Phillips Square.
Lovely shot of him taken by former Toronto Star Year-long intern and now a staff photographer at the National Post Aaron Lynett.
Well, I thought, that was three years ago and maybe if we needed the picture it could be used.
When I got back to the paper and filed my pictures I looked up Mr. Thomson in the paper's archive.
Well it seems that he was shot another time as well.
Earlier this summer by then Toronto Star year-long intern Pawel Dwulit, now a Canadian Press Stringer in Ottawa.
Mr. Thomson has been feeding the birds at Nathan Phillips Square a few times a week for six years now, I'm sure I will not be the last Toronto Star photographer to shoot him!