Steve Russell - Staff Photographer
"You don't need me in the picture do you?"
"Can you get rid of my second chin?"
"Try to get my good side"
"Try not to make me look too goofy"
"Can you make me look smaller"
These are a few of the requests I get all the time on assignment. Some of them from people in the public eye all the time.
Like civilians, politicians have the same concerns when a lens is pointed at them.
Unfortunate for them, being in front of cameras is part of the job.
Some politicians are naturals, Jack Layton was one of those that shone in front of the camera.
However, not every politician is that comfortable in front of the camera.
Each politician has his own nuance, Stephen Harper gives the worst thumbs up ever and Michael Ignatieff had some pretty goofy facial expressions before he toned it down.
This brings us to Mayor Rob Ford, it seems that every time we do a story on him or something at City Hall some of the comments readers have made are why do we have to run an unflattering picture of the Mayor.
It's tough, cameras are rumoured to add ten pounds to the subject. Being a guy with a high BMI, I can relate. I'm on the operational end of the camera for a reason! I think my love of taking pictures spawned from how much I dislike being in pictures.
Mayor Ford also doesn't talk to the Toronto Star, which is fine, but it does also mean that us photographers never really have opportunity to photograph him in settings where we can work around the issue and take a more flattering picture.
I never got the impression that Mayor Ford really cared too much about his weight, but, his recent "Cut the Waist" campaign shows he does. I wish him luck in the endevour. Hopefully he can shed some of the weight while in office like David Miller did.
Some tips on photographing people that are a little heavier than average?
•Try to photograph from a higher angle. Usually you just have to be slightly higher that eye height.
•If you have to shoot from a low angle, at least have the light source coming in from a higher angle. Shadows from the light will hide or minimize any double chin. Try to keep your flash off camera.
•Try to not shoot the subject sitting down and if they have to be sitting down make sure that they sit up straight.
•Selective framing, you do not have to include their entire body.
•Try a shallow depth of field, a selective focus point on the eyes and a sharp drop off in sharpness will bring the reader to the feature that is sharpest.
Here is a quick look through the Toronto Star photo archive and some of our more flattering Rob Ford pictures.
After more than 36 years at The Star as a reporter/photographer, Jim Wilkes is taking early retirement at age 60. He leaves today.
In that time, he's won more than 75 awards for writing and photography and has helped mentor many of the profession's young stars.
He has covered stories around the world and around the corner, bringing a personal perspective to events of the day.
The following is a selection of some of his photos from over the years.
Steve Russell -Staff Photographer
Defence might win championships but scores of photographers believe that defence doesn't make for good sports pictures.
I can agree with that to a point. Defence slows the game down and helps reduce errors that might make for a spectacular play. In most sports defence might increase the amount of time per posession thereby reducing the total number of opportunities for pictures in a game.
The Raptors "pound the rock" defence philosophy had me a little worried since we hired Dwayne Casey to lead the troops. That is until I've seen them play a pair of games this season. While a porous defence and a run and gun type game generates some spectacular action, the defensive game that the Raptors are adopting does generate pictures, they are just a little different from what we are used to. There will be more shots from the outside.
We have to look beyond the ball carrier look for some of the individual battles for position that are happening.
We also have a very excitable coach, that makes things a little easier.
And tonight we had Brampton's Tristan Thompson visiting with the Cavs.
Back to Defence, I do think that the biggest impact will be on the fans who were hoping for that free slice of pizza!