Millhaven Penitentiary: a group of buildings surrounded by a chain link fence,
a ten foot track and another chain link fence. Both fences are topped with twin
rolls of razor wire. Guard towers at every corner. Maximum security.
Ben (the assistant) and I were checking in at the guardhouse (which is just outside the
perimeter). I remembered I had forgotten a piece of gear. I asked Ben to go back to the
car to get it. Ben takes off running across the lawn to get the thing. The guard checking
us in drops her pen, runs to the door and shouts: â€œSTOP! STOP!â€ Tells Ben to walk, and
not only to walk, but to stick to the path, too.
She comes back to the guardhouse and tells me: â€œThe last time I saw someone running
away from the fence I put a round in my chamber.”
If youâ€™re ever escaping from a prison I guess your best bet is to saunter.
We were there to photograph Tracey Fenton, a program director at the prison.
We landed in Charlottetown early Friday morning and left Saturday afternoon.
Saturday afternoon…..that’d be yesterday, now.
It’s always a little bit surreal jetting into a city, working, and then jetting out
12 or 24 or 36 hours later.
You get a sense of the place but the sense is skewed. A lot of the time trips like
this consist of:
– Shooting location
– Walk around after you’re done shooting
And you’re always a little bit distracted.
Here’s some of what I saw in Charlottetown.
I also managed to find the time to shoot portraits (for myself) of some of the staff at the hotel.
Here are my 4 favorites…..
(click on images to enlarge)
Four or five months ago I decided to put together a small book.
Donâ€™t ask me why.
Okay, ask me why.
Because I was busy and on a roll and felt like playing with pictures, thatâ€™s why.
Other reasons, too.
A few weeks after I started laying it out, after 4 or 5 versions, I ended up with
16 photos on 12 pages. I called it: IN DREAMLAND.
I only wanted 400 copies, enough to send out to clients and give away to friends.
Stuff like that. Not a good plan if you want economy of scale. So, how to print it?
I talked to the folks at Dollco Printing about my project, they were into it and decided
to cut me a big break on the price. We were off to the races.
Once they were behind IN DREAMLAND, Dollco pulled out all the stops to make sure
we both came out looking good: 6 color press, real nice paper, lots of staff support,
stuff like that. It was great working with them.
The book went on the press a couple of nights ago. Itâ€™s being bound in a few days and
I should have it in my grubby little hands by the end of the week.
Thanks to Krista Nicholds, Jennifer Chorlton, Pam Falkner, Cathy Fawcett and all the folks
at Dollco for their help and spirit.
Thanks, too, to Tony Szydlik for holding my hand through the prepress phase of the project
and for design advice.