One of my favorite projects this past year has been covering the campaign of Maine Governor Janet Mills as she ran for re-election against challenger, former Gov. Paul LePage. Maine’s first female governor (elected in 2018), Mills faced the Covid pandemic and the resulting, ongoing economic and health impacts.
I was fortunate enough to accompany her on a visit to her hometown of Farmington, ME, to a child care center, a health clinic, and other locations around Maine. In the process I met her family and photographed Maine Senator Angus King, himself a former Maine governor.
Being on set with the governor for several days over several months, I was able to see Mills for extended periods of time—when the camera and lights were on but mostly when they weren’t—capturing the kinds of unguarded moments I tried hard to find as a photojournalist. It was great to catch a glimpse of the person and not just the politician. It was a good reminder of something I try to keep in mind no matter who I’m working with: photograph the person, not the title.
The results, I hope, tell a more complete story of Janet Mills, the person. It was certainly fun to see the reactions of Mainers and visitors alike when they met her in our travels.