When the Jon Tester campaign people asked me if I'd like to photograph a fundraising event at his farm, I was reluctant. I don't do this sort of photography anymore, and especially not free of charge, but Jon is a friend from way back, I had to travel just 10 minutes to get there, and frankly, I couldn't resist the opportunity to observe. Being a fairly non-political person, I had never been to a campaign event before. My job was to take photographs of guests posing with Jon, and I had a great time. It was interesting to see first hand the organisational skills and passion that his team had for the task, and I successfully resisted the urge to tell stories about Jon. Not that Jon would have minded, but some of the stories would probably not sit well with his staff. I also photographed Jon and his wife Sharla for their Christmas card, but I never received one. I suppose you have to be a paying supporter to be on that mailing list.
I personally take the credit (or blame, depending on your views) for Jon's success as a politician. Back in 1973, more or less, I ran against Jon for student council president at Big Sandy High School. I was soundly defeated (and embittered by the process, but that's another story.) My ineptitude very likely gave Jon Tester the confidence and passion to pursue his present career. I am not expecting a thank you from him, but I would very much like a cell tower in my vicinity. Seems fair to me.
When Tester first ran for state office, I did some of the photographs for his campaign. Back then, I offered politician clients a special deal: They could choose to pay my normal fee or choose the "Politician Special". The deal was that they would pay nothing if they won, but double the fee if they lost. Jon took the deal. Below is one of the photos from that session.
|Senator Jon Tester|