I recently had the pleasure of photographing the father of a good friend, and recent inductee into the StFX University Hall of Honor: Joseph C. McGann
The portraits were all taken at my studio in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He was relaxed and friendly and very easy to photograph. My biggest photography challenge for this portrait was staying focused (constant pun) on the task at hand while Joe had me captured with stories instead of me capturing him with the camera’s sensor. I started out the shoot with five poses in mind that would be appropriate for the occasion and subject and I think we ended up doing four of them. Each portrait that I produce often has about ten frames leading up to it that need posing, lighting or composition adjustments. This portrait sitting had about half as many adjustments and far fewer poses than I’d usually attempt. This clearly speaks to the fact that Joe is brimming with character (and Joe IS brimming with character), as well as the fact that he’s photogenic. Mr. McGann has led a very interesting life and continues to be the very best exemplar of StFX alumni. His induction write-up is as follows:
“Joe McGann is a person focused on making a difference in the lives of others. He graduated from StFX in 1968. His time at StFX exposed him to a social consciousness framework that he has embraced. His life’s journey has been characterized by service to others, driven by a deep respect for individuals and a conviction that each of us should share our blessings. A key moment of service in his work life occurred as part of the U.S. Government Crisis Management Team supporting the Pentagon and World Trade Center recovery after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. In his personal life, his efforts have been centered on youth, the needy and homeless, both locally and in Cuba, his church, and the StFX community. Within the Westford community he spent many years working with you, coaching baseball and hockey. Beyond athletics, he focused on helping each child gain confidence and appreciation for fair play. For over 40 years, he has shared his time too in his Westford Parish of St. Catherine, teaching religious education and volunteering with the Knights of Columbus. Extending beyond his home community, he is also involved with two groups helping marginalized individuals in Cuba and in Lowell, Massachusetts. In the early 1970s and ’80s, he served as the head of the StFX Boston alumni chapter, and was the New England representative for the capital campaign led by the Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney. He also served two terms on the StFX Board of Governors. Joe McGann has truly embraced the spirit of StFX and the tradition of giving back to the community. His life is a positive legacy of impactful service.”
- The St. Francis Xavier University Hall of Honour was initiated by the Class of 1991 Legacy Committee to recognize those members of the StFX community who has carried on the StFX tradition of helping others. The Hall of Honors serves as an inspiration to current students to ensure this StFX tradition continues.