Damon Connolly, a San Rafael attorney, is the newest Marin County supervisor. I photographed him recently for Marin Magazine inside the county’s distinctive Frank LLoyd Wright-designed Civic Center.
I’ve photographed several local politicians inside the building (here’s Rep. Jared Huffman) and each time I try to use differently the variety of shapes and shadows it contains. Before Connolly arrived, I’d decided I was going to use only one light and work with the darkness as much as I could.
I also knew the type of photograph the magazine prefers — something not too dramatic, rich in color and vertical (to fit the page format). I wanted something more stark.
The day was warm and the Civic Center, because of its glass ceiling, holds heat. Connolly was also wearing a dark suit. I worked fast, first making “my” photos, shooting into the afternoon light and keeping Connolly in the shade. Many, such as the horizontal below, I thought would work for the magazine.
After a few minutes, I changed directions and asked Connolly to sit on a circular bench in the middle of the corridor and using the same strobe (this time positioned more full on to soften its effect) made a series of verticals that I thought the magazine would prefer.
I was right.
Here’s the image the magazine chose:
And here’s how the art director used it:
My choice — the top image on this page — was one of several I took while Connolly and I were still talking and before he started posing. In post, I converted it to black and white and bumped up the contrast. The picture is a simple one, a man alone in a corridor, and, for me, the gray tones emphasize the simplicity.