Dan the Man
I shot this portrait in early May of Dan McCleary, Founder of the TN Shakespeare Co., for an article in the upcoming Summer ’09 issue of the magazine, Shakespeare Scene. The story focus on how the city of Germantown allowed Dan to use their historic rail station as the temporary main office for the company. Dan is doing some great work with TN Shakespeare, it has been fun to a part of it, even if sporadically. I was kind of pumped about this because it was going to be my first published work in an international magazine.

About a month ago, I received an email from the editor saying that one of their advertisers was actually a train company and they had to send them a proof of the entire edition. Their “health and safety” people for this train company became very unhappy with the fact that Dan was standing on the track because it was some sort of “safety risk.” So, of course the magazine yields to the advertiser and chops off Dan’s legs to remove the tracks without informing me until after the fact. Personally, it seems like a greater health risk to amputate a person in a photo than to show them standing on an empty track to give the image some compositional flavor. But what do I know, I’m just some photographer.

It’s a real tragedy, but that’s the world we live in right. It was a learning experience for me at least, because next time I’m going make sure to include something about creative control in the contract. Well, the edition of Shakespeare Scene should be out in your nearest Barnes & Noble or Borders bookstore by now, so go see the damage for yourself. I think the photo is on page 28.



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  1. July 4, 2009

    That really sucks. That's a good lesson to all of us though, I wouldn't have considered doing that. -Brad

  2. July 30, 2009

    Please don't think too harshly of us.We all thought the photo was absolutely terrific to illustrate the article on TN Shakespeare and their great work.What actually happened was that at the proofing stage we learnt that totally inadvertently we had really entered into a minefield because many children had recently died playing on railway tracks and often copycat this type of behaviour. As you can understand the government didn't want to do anything to encourage the behaviour naturally. The Health and Safety people over here are now quite able to immediately withdraw publications from distribution that contravene their regulations these days.We were very sorry that we had to crop the attractive picture as artistically it didn't look the best. We did inform Dan beforehand of our problems.We really hadn't anticipated the problem which is probably my fault.I still like the original picture and if you are over this way, let me buy you a drink.Malcolm BarnesShakespeareScene

  3. August 10, 2009

    wow,pictures are great…thanks for sharing…___________________MelvinWe do your Marketing for best sales

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