Category Archives: News

PSA: Smoking is NOT Glamorous!

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Tony_Ward_Studio_PSA-SMOKING-IS-NOT-GLAMOROUS

Smoking is NOT Glamorous!

 

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PSA: Smoking is NOT Glamorous!

Also posted in Art, Blog, Early Work, Fashion, Film, Glamour, Models, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture, women

Bob Shell: Old Age and Taxes

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Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

 

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 Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #25

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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OLD AGE AND TAXES

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Taxes: we all hate ’em, but we all pay ’em. Right? I’ve recently read an article about Sweden, where they’re getting rid of property taxes. They’ve reasoned that as long as the state can force you to pay property taxes, and take your property if you don’t pay them, no one can really own property. I’ve always felt that way. Once I buy and pay for something, it should be mine, period! Well, now it’s darned nice to find a country’s government agreeing with me.

I’ve watched too many poor rural people forced to sell homes and farms that have been in families for generations because of “yuppification” of rural areas and great increases in property taxes. And cities and towns are the same. Taxes on the house I bought in the early 90s are now more than five times what they were when I bought the place. To me, that’s just unreasonable. Of course, as long as I’m in prison I pay no taxes on property, but when I get out I’ll get a whopping bill for back taxes! A bill I sure won’t be able to pay.

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Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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The state, by prosecuting me, destroyed my thriving photography and writing business. I lost my studio and other things too numerous to count. When I get out I’ll have no business, no income. Sure, I’ll get Social Security, but that won’t be much, since I’ve been removed from the workforce for ten years. I don’t know how I’ll live, much less pay taxes. I hate to play the age card, but I’m 71 now. Maybe after a certain age people should be exempt from paying taxes. Or at least old people who are forced to try to live on Social Security and other government benefits. Is that unreasonable?

Unfortunately, the article I read didn’t say how Sweden plans to make this work. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more details.

When you think about it, property taxes are a throwback to the old feudal system where the king or lord owned everything and the serf paid dearly for the right to scrabble a living from a little plot of land. So long as the local government can take your property for nonpayment of taxes, you don’t own that property, they do!

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Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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I saw a more honest version of all this when I was in Malaysia. I asked one of our hosts how expensive it would be to buy property there, because I’d noticed that a lot of British retirees lived there (it used to be a British colony). She looked at me like I’d asked an incredibly stupid question, and explained that it is impossible to buy land there, because all belongs to the King. When she saw my puzzlement, she explained that you get a 99 year lease from the government or buy out an existing lease. Sounded very strange until I thought about it and realized that their system really isn’t that different, just more honest.

I loved Malaysia, and had considered retiring there before my legal nightmare began. Unless things have changed a lot since I was there, you can live well very cheaply.

In fact, I’d looked into several countries for inexpensive retirement locations. I bought two books: Living Abroad in Belize and Living Abroad in Costa Rica, and studied both. Belize has the advantage of having English as its official language, and a very English culture (it, too, used to be a British colony, British Honduras). But Costa Rica is home to a large expat American population, so both have their appeals. It would seem that I could live comfortably in either on my Social Security and the occasional writing or photography gig. If I ever get out of here, I’ll look into these options more seriously.

But back to taxes. In the years when I was running a portrait and wedding studio combined with a camera shop I was forced to collect sales tax. I hated that, because I had no desire to be a tax collector and considered being forced to a violation of the constitutional protection against involuntary servitude. One year, sick and tired of doing the state’s work for them at far below minimum wage, I sent them a bill for my services as a tax collector. Man, that got them upset! They sent me threatening letters, one after another. I just ignored them, and in time they stopped bothering me.

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Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonyward.com/bob-shell-car-reviews-in-a-photo-magazine/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Cameras, Documentary, Early Work, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture

Paul Manafort: Guilty

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Artwork by Thomcat23 for Tony Ward Studio, Copyright 2018.Paul Manafort Guilty

Artwork by Thomcat23 for Tony Ward Studio, Copyright 2018.

 

 

Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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Artwork by Thomcat 23, Copyright 2018

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Paul Manafort’s plea agreement filed on September 14, 2018 came as a surprise to some, but not by any of the folks that have been following this shady character since he entered the political arena as a “non-paid” campaign manager during  45’s rise to power.  Let’s not forget, 45 assured the American public that he would only hire the best and the brightest.  So far he has delivered on finding the best criminal minds he could find. 

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PLEA AGREEMENT

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To see more political artwork by Thomcat 23, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-by-george-hes-got-it/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Men, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture

The Brandywine: 1997 – 1998

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THE BRANDYWINE: 1997-1998
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In 1997, Tony Ward was assigned by Eliot Kaplan, then editor in chief of Philadelphia Magazine to create a series of photographs centered around the life and times of  George Alexis Weymouth, better known as Frolich Weymouth for a series of articles that were to be published between the years 1997 -1998 in Philadelphia’s regional publication. Mr. Weymouth was an American artist, whip or stager, philanthropist and conservationist who lived on a sprawling estate called Big Bend in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.  Big Bend was just a short carriage ride to visit his long time friends; Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, who lived nearby on an equally impressive sprawling estate.  Mr. Weymouth grew accustomed to seeing Tony Ward at various events in the region, including the Devon Horse Show, Winterthur’s annual Point-to-Point steeplechase races and lavish private parties hosted by Mr. Weymouth at his historic homestead. The photographer was often invited by Mr. Weymouth himself to photograph and  mingle with many of his longtime friends. Jamie Wyeth’s wife Phyllis Wyeth also came to know of the photographers omnipresence in the region after she saw a portrait of her husband published in Philadelphia Magazine posing on a plastic horse with two female mannequins. 

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http://tonyward.com/paul-manafort-guilty/

Jamie Wyeth

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On July 17, 1997 Phyllis Wyeth wrote the photographer a letter:

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Dear Tony,

Congratulations on your “One Fine Frolic” article in the May issue of Philadelphia magazine. You truly captured the “bare essence” of Frolic’s May doing’s. But I’m not writing you merely to shower you with compliments: that would be far too easy.  I am also writing to request the return of a favor of sorts.

   Your photo of my husband Jamie (riding the plastic horse) is marvelous, and stated simply, I’d very much like to have two 8 x 10 prints of it.  Not being the shy or retiring type, I’d be the first to remind you that it it weren’t for my picking you up along the road that day, you’d probably never have met Jamie, nor have had so juicy a story!  You might still be wandering around Chadds Ford, asking for directions!  Always keep in mind that it never r hurts to keep one’s contacts happy – with such an interesting cast of characters you just never know when a really special photo opportunity might crop up around here!

So I hope I haven’t made you feel TOO guilty (only enough to send me those copies of that photograph).  Hopefully another opportunity will soon arise for you to chronicle with your camera!

Sincerely,

Phyllis Wyeth

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Tony Ward at Big Bend. Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania

Tony Ward at Big Bend. Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania

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To access more galleries of Tony Ward’s earliest work, click herehttp://tonyward.com/early-work/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Cameras, Diary, Documentary, Early Work, Film, Glamour, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture

Studio News: Jameel Mohammed in Vogue!

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Jameel Mohammed: Khiry Collection featured in Vogue, September 2018

 

 

Studio News  by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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LEARNING CURVE

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Kudos to my former Fashion & Photography student Jameel Mohammed for being featured in the September issue of Vogue for the launch of his Khiry jewelry collection!  To see additional work by my former students at the University of Pennsylvania, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/tws-portfolio-reviews/

 

Also posted in Blog, Fashion, Glamour, Jewelry, Men, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, women