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Race for Mayor begins with one

Steve Russell, Staff Photographer

Some days you think you have everything figured out when you walk into the office, just to see everything go wrong and send you scrambling for the rest of the day.

George Smitherman's  leap into the Mayoral race early is clever, he is the only candidate running right now. This gives us a chance to get to know him a little better.

Writer Linda Diebel was assigned to write a profile piece on him and managed to get an interview at his condo late wednesday evening. 

The plan for me was to shoot the interview and then set-up a time we could shoot a portrait of him that would be A1 worthy at Nathan Phillips Square or inside City Hall.

The interview was good and the pictures were good, but we were still short of the A1 picture that was more of a direct tie into the start of his campaign for City Hall.

I arranged a time with his handlers to meet at City Hall on Friday, I wanted a time around 4 or 5, the light would be a little more dramatic and I would have greater control over how I lit him. I would la have greater control over the location, the soft evening light would allow me to move around a little more.

Great plan, that is until just after 10 am on Friday morning, I get an email from his people. Something came up, we'd like to do the photo at city hall around 11.

Is that okay.

I'm panicking, I barely have a Plan A, I was going to go to City Hall a couple hours early to scout out some locations. Plan B does not exist!

A flurry of emails and there is no way around it it has to be at 11:30, I have 45 minutes to get from the Star, park, find a location and create photo magic under the high noon light.

Less than ideal, thankfully we shoot a lot of portraits at City Hall and I know at that time of day, coupled with the time of day and the amount of time I have (he has a noon meeting) there is only one real option. The reflecting pool.

I set up a couple lights to hopefully minimize the harsh shadows.

Had about 10 minutes, I shot him long, loose, tight, wide, close, far, reflected, unreflected. I shot with the 70-200, the 16-35 and my 24 f/1.4. 

In the end we used the first frame I shot taken with the 24 and no fill on the shadows giving him the "Furious George" look that the profile touched on.

The picture we used on front, designers dropped text on the top, 

but that's what designers do!

Blog-sr-contact-smithermanA view of the contact sheet from the 10 minute shoot, that gave page designers a wide selection to choose from.  The picture we used is highlighted.

Smitherman during the interview with one of his cats checking me out.

This picture was a consideration for the front before going to Nathan Phillips Square.

Smitherman in his condo.



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After what this man did to me and my family,i will NEVER give up trying to tell the world what kind of person he is.He told us,and countless others with cancer, that PET scans to help tell if our treatment had worked or not,were,and i quote " not a priority".And that was ONLY in Ontario,at the time that HE was OHIP boss.Seems the rest of the cancer community in Canada,Europe,Australia,the USA, deemed them quite useful,yet this man, in all his wisdom, did not.Please tell me where he trained in oncology ? He let a lot of people spend a lot of sleeples nights living in fear.He was right and the rest of the cancer treatment community wrong ? I wonder what the people in HIS family with cancer think about him not allowing them PET scans while he was boss ?

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