Deck the pols: Photographer Evan Semón does double duty with holiday cards

Deck the pols: Photographer Evan Semón does double duty with holiday cards

Deck the pols! For the first time that anyone can remember, the same local photographer has created holiday cards for both Denver's mayor and Colorado's governor. Evan Semón, who's done work for everyone from Visit Denver to assorted nonprofits to happy newlyweds (see his work at, got the assignments to create season's-greetings images for Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Governor John Hickenlooper, and the result was two very different images for two very different politicians.

"I had a good relationship with Hickenlooper as mayor and did all the campaign stuff," Semón says, explaining that the relationship continued when Hickenlooper moved up the hill to the State Capitol; meanwhile, he still did work with the mayor's office when Hancock moved into City Hall. And when he was asked to shoot both cards, he scheduled the assignments for the same day. "If I'm going to deal with that much power and stress, I'm going to do it in one day," he confesses.

Fortunately, everything cooperated — including the weather. The mayor's office let Semón pick the setting; Hancock just wanted something simple that showed the city. So Semón posted Michael Hancock and his wife, Mary Louise Lee, in that classic spot in City Park that offers a view both of downtown Denver and the skyline beyond.

The Hickenlooper photo was more complicated. "The governor's office had a specific idea, a theater setting," he says. "The governor loves plays." And Just Like Us, a play based on the book written by his wife, Helen Thorpe, had just had a successful run at the Denver Center Theatre Company, so posting the two along with son Teddy and dog Sky outside at the Denver Performing Arts Complex made sense. There was just one problem: Sky slipped off the leash, and Teddy and Semón had to give chase. Fortunately, they caught the pooch, and Semón was able to snap the shot.


Mayor Michael Hancock

And, yes, Hickenlooper was wearing the red vest made by his late mother, the one that expands in back if the governor ever gets too full of himself.

Still waiting to get your card? Hancock's office has already sent his out; Hickenlooper's should go out this week. The governor is sending 8,000 cards to his closest friends and supporters — and the campaign covers all costs. In fact, that very important sentiment is noted on the back of the card: "Not printed or mailed at government expense."


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