Fashion

Virginia

Virginia Prak came by the studio the other evening for a very informal photo shoot. Virginia is a college student, pageant winner, as well as a dancer, instructor and board member of the Angkor Dance Troupe here in Lowell, Massachusetts. This year is the 30th anniversary of the Troupe. Click here for more about this great organization

I hesitate to feature just one of the Angkor dancers over the other, very talented dancers. To be honest, I'd love to photograph many of them! So maybe this is a start. As it happens though, she and I had a little conversation starter as my wife, Amy, was Virginia's 2nd grade teacher :-).

Please enjoy the pictures!

 This shot was done using a 4x5 inch paper negative. Photographic paper is 'orthochromatic', unlike traditional film, so certain colors do not register as one might expect. Her yellow garment is the same one as in the color image above, but reads almost black.

This shot was done using a 4x5 inch paper negative. Photographic paper is 'orthochromatic', unlike traditional film, so certain colors do not register as one might expect. Her yellow garment is the same one as in the color image above, but reads almost black.

Kenya's Return

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of welcoming Kenya back to my studio for a solo photo shoot. If you follow this blog, you may recognize Kenya from a fashion shoot that I did last year for Humanity, a boutique in Lowell, Massachusetts. Here she is with the whole team. (Kenya is the second from the left.)

Our recent shoot was one of my self-assigned shoots, meaning that it wasn't a fashion shoot, per se, nor a portrait, but rather my opportunity to do some creative lighting, posing and using materials other than digital cameras; things that are not always possible with commercial clients. So here's what we came up with. Thanks Kenya!

Locally-Grown Fashion

Last week Diana Jaye Coluntino stopped by my studio for a photo shoot. Diana, who studied fashion, metalsmithing and sculpture at Mount Ida and MassArt, ultimately teaching at MassArt, spent a decade designing in Venezuela and ended up in Lowell, Massachusetts as the Artistic Director of the Revolving Museum. A number of years ago, Diana founded New Vestures, where she is the Creative Director. 

New Vestures provides “support, space, resources and classes related to the creation of fashion and textile projects”. Located in Lowell, New Vestures recently moved out of their Merrimack Street location into a temporary one in the beautifully renovated 110 Canal Street building, which houses the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub. What a cool location!

I visited Diana yesterday to get a tour of that space, where she is working while waiting for the buildout of New Vestures’ new location to be completed. That new home will be just up the hill, still in the growing Hamilton Canal District, at Mill No. 5. That space, on the building’s 5th floor, just above the city’s cool new retail space on the 4th, will give New Vestures 3000 square feet of work space, not to mention a bunch of big windows overlooking the district.

So here are some of the shots during my tour and the portraits we did in my studio. Thank you Diana and best of luck in your new location!


Another Autumn, Another Blog

It has been far too long since my last blog post, although I think I say that every time I blog. That has to change! I have quite a backlog, so I will start with this month’s Merrimack Valley Magazine, the September/October 2015 issue.

Probably the biggest production shoot that I worked on for this issue was the fashion shoot, Enduring Essentials. This was shot, on location, on Jackson Street in Lowell, Massachusetts, where there are all sorts of great things happening, not the least of which are Mill No. 5, Appleton Mills and the Lowell Community Health Center. This two page spread was shot in the doorway of Rosie's Cafe, which is just around the corner.

There’s also a feature about fashion designer Darby Scott, who worked on the fashion shoot. We did these shots in her beautiful North Andover Studio.

I also accompanied writer Will Courtney as he tried out Chuck Raffoni’s Broga class. As an aside, my wife Amy and I had an excellent yoga experience with Chuck just last evening, in the same yoga studio in Tyngsboro. I am a total newbie, but Amy is a yoga practitioner and commented on what an excellent teacher Chuck is!

Next up was an interview with the Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s new Artistic Director, Sean Daniels, conducted by the inimitable Dean Johnson. Amy and I are regulars at the MRT and it is off to an amazing start this year with Benjamin Scheuer's show, The Lion, that we were able to catch just before its run ended.

And finally, we have the higher-ed leadership scene in Lowell pretty much covered with my photos accompanying articles by Will Courtney and Emilie-Noelle Provost.

A Mill, a Radio and a Fashion Shoot

The current issue of Merrimack Valley Magazine (May/June 2015) features a couple of pieces that I worked on that include a few people or places that are close to home, all in different ways.

Having moved to downtown Lowell last year, my wife Amy and I have become frequent visitors to Mill No. 5, a very eclectic destination in an old textile mill, (No surprise there!), with small shops and not so small events. Made in Lowell, a new initiative founded by Tobias Marx is located in Mill No. 5, and was started to “cultivate a movement to transform communities”. Tobi is incredibly passionate about the organization and its possibilities. Here is their web site to learn more: http://www.madeinlowell.orgLiz Michalski's story is well worth the read. You can find it on-line here: http://www.mvmag.net/?p=15211

Another piece is on a resurgence in local radio. I was really into radio when I was a kid. My father would build electronic things from discarded parts, at the kitchen table, using an old brownie pan as a chassis, after having sketched out the schematic from scratch. Seriously! But a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to snoop around 3 radio stations for this story, one of which was WXRV (The River). It is housed in the old WHAV art-deco studios where, if I remember the story correctly, my father actually worked as an engineer, probably right after the war. Seeing the old, discarded turn-tables and tape decks, one can imagine  the old-days of radio and the live performances that occurred there. While that station still has a wall of CDs (for backup), and The River does host live performances, all three stations that I visited now play streamed digital music day to day.

This story is a natural fit for writer Dean Johnson too. Dean is a Sunday nighttime fixture on WBZ radio.


And back in early April, when the snow was actively melting, we took over the Stonehenge Inn & Spa in Tyngsboro, MA, for a Couples Spring “Peek” Weekend fashion shoot. You may recognize Christa Brown, one of the models from a shoot that I did in my studio last year, and whose writing was recently featured in Seventeen Magazine.

This was a fun day. This piece is on-line too (http://www.mvmag.net/?p=15233). Thanks go to the rest of the team too. It was a real group effort: writer and style editor Alyson Aiello, Yolanda and Stephen for their creative direction, Regina for her hair and makeup work, and for Christa and Joel for looking marvelous!

Stay Tuned for Style!

It may be raining here as I write this, but it was sunny in the studio last month when I was joined by Ani, from Humanity Lowell, a cool little boutique for women on Merrimack Street, my style collaborator Grace, as well as Christa and Monika who clearly lit up the studio with their modeling talents.

We are looking forward to better weather here in Massachusetts that will be allow for another shoot, this time out on location. Watch for our work here in a few short months. Hmm…maybe another studio shoot is in order before then!


Loving Both Sides of the Camera

More often than not, I am at a loss for something to write about in this space. There are some times though that I simply have work to show. Work to show off and to share, that I hope people will find compelling. I am constantly striving to do more significant work because I usually feel that it is competent but not that important. In any event, I do sometimes feel that it is good enough. Digressing... The week before last a colleague of mine, who has moved to Richmond, VA, came back to the Boston area to shoot a couple of weddings and we both wanted to reconnect and, I was hoping, get in a photo shoot. While she is a very talented and up-and-coming wedding and portrait photographer, she also loves to be in front of the camera. That quality in people usually comes through.

This then, is one of those times in which I simply want to share some work with you. Nothing earth-shattering or terribly important from a photographic or story-telling sense, but just some fun photos of a friend on an enjoyable afternoon in the studio. I hope you agree!

The excellent work of Melissa Desjardins, of Desjar Photography, can be found here: http://desjarphoto.com

 

2013-08-30-melissa-301-Edit-2.jpg
2013-08-30-melissa-311.jpg
2013-08-30-melissa-432.jpg
2013-08-30-melissa-383.jpg
2013-08-30-melissa-370.jpg
2013-08-30-melissa-223.jpg
2013-08-30-melissa-096.jpg

Style... On the Cover

For this month's Merrimack Valley Magazine, I was part of a small army of creatives that were assigned to produce the magazine's fall fashion cover and cover stories. It was a fun day, with stylists, hair and makeup artists, creatives from the magazine, as well as photographer Meghan Moore and myself all working together with our two models to create something beautiful, interesting and hopefully informative. I'll show my cover shot here, but to see the rest of the spread, you will have to check out the magazine. Here though, are some of my favorites, both posed and unposed from that day at historic Coburn Hall, at the UMass Lowell campus in Lowell, Massachusetts.

 

2013-07-24-fall-fashion-519.jpg
2013-07-24-fall-fashion-778.jpg
2013-07-24-fall-fashion-382.jpg
2013-07-24-fall-fashion-410.jpg
2013-07-24-fall-fashion-collage.jpg
2013-07-24-fall-fashion-371.jpg