By Kevin Henegan, Art Director, Library Journal
Every year LJ’s announcement and presentation of a new crop of Movers & Shakers is an important, prestigious occasion. But for the art department, it’s also one of the few times a year when we can showcase people in the profession visually with an energy and vitality that doesn’t usually come into play. With over 50 people chosen every winter to be profiled in our March 15 issue and on libraryjournal.com, getting professional images of everyone is a challenge. In years past, Movers submitted photos to us, but the frustration of cropping out kids at the breakfast table or other family members from holiday photos finally got to me. So we hatched the idea of photographing Movers at ALA Midwinter, since it was the one event before our deadline where we’d have the best chance of getting a fair number of Movers in one place for a shoot.
For the first few years we snagged a booth for a day on the exhibit floor, dealing with small spaces, limited time, and inhibiting looks from passers-by. We solved that problem by upgrading my hotel room to a suite and turning the front room into a makeshift photo studio for the Movers shoot. It’s proven to be extremely successful, and this year was no exception.
This shoot is LJ’s version of red carpet glam: a marathon day of Movers coming and going, jumping in front of the camera, and responding to snapping flashbulbs and directional shout-outs from the sidelines. I found a great local Dallas photographer, Sean McGinty, to photograph everyone attending this year. Arriving the day before the shoot, I cleared the parlor out as much as I could for maximum space. Sean arrived and set up his equipment. Once we were done, the room looked like the trashed result of a rock star’s debauchery: equipment piled all over the place, couches literally turned on their sides against the wall, chairs stacked in corners—definitely a sight I’d have to hide from housekeeping.
The next morning the parade started. After fielding far too many queries about what room I was in, the front desk in polite exasperation asked if they could just give out my room number and send everyone up. I can only wonder what they thought might be going on up here; a few Movers also admitted being slightly dubious of my invitation to come to my hotel suite to take photos!
Despite my sullied reputation with hotel staff, it was an exhilarating day. Movers piled into the room, introducing themselves to each other and networking nonstop. Sean didn’t stop moving all day, either—climbing precariously onto a crate to get the right angle or lying flat out on the floor to capture another pose.
The Movers were completely game for whatever I threw out at them to do: Brett Bonfield held a perfect lotus position on a stool with his shoes artfully placed in front of him on the floor (I toyed with Photoshopping out the stool to really put him in the zone); Raymond Pun jumped wildly into the air and did makeshift handstands while his friend blasted music from her iPad (note to self for next year: make a Movers mix tape); and Andrea Davis pretended to zoom through the air while a fan blew her hair out (in true America’s Top Model fashion, I had to take advantage of Sean’s fan somehow). When enough people were in the room simultaneously, I corralled them together for group shots. To see strangers mug, embrace, and go all out with each other for the sake of photography was fantastic. I’m still surprised after all these years that when you put a few women together and ask for a pose, they immediately go into Charlie’s Angels mode with outstretched arms and pointed fingers. Gotta love pop culture. (Look for the Mover profiles to be published online Tuesday, March 13.)
Congratulations to all of this year’s Movers, and special thanks to those who took part in the photo shoot, as well as to Sean for his creative eye. There are so many great images that came from the shoot; I wish I could do a selection of everyone’s photos or find other uses for the images (a Movers calendar, perhaps?). Looking forward to a stellar group of Movers & Shakers for 2013—and another successful photo opt at next year’s Midwinter. Seattle, watch out!
Art Director, Library Journal
MOVERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT 2012 Movers & Shakers get the star treatment from photographer Sean McGinty. From top, Christian Zabriskie (l.) and Nate Hill; Michelle Chronister, Raymond Pun, Jennifer LaGarde, and Lynn Yandell (l.-r.) ; Mandy Henk (l.) and Betsy Fagin; and Emily Clasper. Small photos by Kevin Henegan, large photos ©2012 Sean McGinty Photography LLC.