I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 2020 has been a long and arduous year. We still have a couple of months to go and if the recent past is any indication, it’s safe to say I’ll be tired tomorrow for some new thing 2020 wants to throw our way!
And I’m just a regular person consuming the news. But what happens when producing news is your job? I can only imagine how much more stressful that can be. That’s why I wanted to chat with Stacey Munro, Breaking News and Live Television producer at CP24.
On this episode of Portraits and Conversation, I chat with Stacey about producing live news under lockdown, telling Black stories during the new civil rights era and journalistic integrity. With 18 years of news production under her belt, Stacey has a wealth of stories to share from a lucky moment featuring the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to her approach to telling more comprehensive stories about people like Ahmaud Arbery.
Stacey and I connected at a panel discussion in 2019… back when you could still see people in public. We sat next to each other and I noticed she had a branded phone case that was merch from one of my favourite podcasts. Just as I noticed this and thought well she seems like ‘my people’, she introduced herself and we’ve kept in touch ever since.
Our conversation was so interesting that we didn’t get to talk about our mutual enthusiasm for beauty and skincare – our DM’s are full of product suggestions including a lot of Pat McGrath (if you know, you know!). We also didn’t touch on Stacey’s dedication to running and cycling despite these activities being the inspiration for our photo shoot. I try to be cautious when suggesting a location, making sure it is convenient for the person I’m photographing. That said, I knew Ontario Place was THE location when I hesitantly suggested a beachy section of this Torontonian landmark and Stacey casually mentioned that she runs by there often. It was meant to be! It turns out that Stacey has many childhood memories at Ontario Place attending many concerts there as a child with her mother and sibling. I love it when things work out.
Due to Covid-19, I’ve taken to doing photo shoots outside in the two to three hours before sunset. It is an interesting time where the sun goes from being high and strong in the sky to soft and setting. And I had the balance of this strength and softness in mind for Stacey, as I wanted to hint at her athletic, career-driven side along with a softer reflective side. It’s a balance that doesn’t always get represented for Black women and I’m finding myself more and more compelled to feature it in my work. What do you think?
Has anything struck a nerve for you in these portraits or in our conversation? Let me know in the comments under this post or on YouTube or Instagram. I’d love to hear your thoughts.