Perseverance and Faith

So what do you say when another photographer who you respect asks you to create their portrait? You do it, of course! Thaddeus Miles, who happens to live in the next building, asked me to do just that. I was incredibly flattered, and immediately asked if, rather than a fee, I could be paid with a print of one of his photographs, and if I could make some photos of him that were beyond what he was looking for.

Thaddeus is an amazing photographer. Quite a while ago he began one of those 365 projects that some photographers embark on (note that I said “some”… I have never had the discipline...) in which they shoot something every day for a year. Well the last photo in his blog is day number 977! See his work here : http://thaddeusmiles365.wordpress.com

A couple of his other passions are his Hood Fit initiative and his Men of Color Photoshoot, the first phase of which took place last week. Check out both on his blog, and here as well: http://hoodfit.org

Thaddeus was actually trying to get a new photo of himself for “an award”, as he phrased it. That award, which is no small thing, and which will be presented to him today, October 28, 2014, is called the Lilla G. Frederick award, named for Mrs. Frederick, who helped found and then served as the President and Chair of Project RIGHT, Inc. (Rebuild and Improve Grove Hall Together), which presents this award. Congratulations Thaddeus!

Thaddeus emailed the press release the other day, which appears below, after the photos.

I am just privileged to know him and extremely happy to have had the opportunity to photograph him for this blog.

Thaddeus Miles

Thaddeus Miles

Subject: FW: Thaddeus Miles will be presented the Lilla Frederick award on October 28, 2014
 
(please distribute to the appropriate contacts and have those interested in coming, to contact me regarding tickets at 617.541.5451.x102)
 
You are invited to join Project RIGHT at its annual dinner and celebration on Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 from 6 PM – 9 PM at Russell Memorial Auditorium (70 Talbot Ave, Dorchester).  Project RIGHT was formed in 1991 and organizes residents and young people on addressing public safety and quality of life issues while improving access to resources and positive opportunities in the Grove Hall neighborhood.
  

This year, PRI is presenting Thaddeus Miles, MassHousing’s Director of Public Safety with its Lilla Frederick award.  Mr. Miles has been responsible for launching several innovative violence prevention initiatives and partnerships that has made a significant difference in the Grove Hall neighborhood, the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a whole.  

 

Mr. Miles launched the Grove Hall Multi Unit Housing Initiative that comprised of tenant associations, Boston Police, property owners, management companies, security companies, MassHousing and community organizations that has successfully addressed public safety issues in these apartment buildings.  Mr. Miles helped to found the Grove Hall Youth Outreach Connection comprised of Project RIGHT, several Grove Hall Tenant Associations, MassHousing, Boston Police and Lilla Frederick Pilot Middle School which has received significant funding by the Charles Hayden Foundation to increase the youth outreach worker and prevention capacity in the Grove Hall neighborhood.  Mr. Miles has also provided ongoing training for a variety of Grove Hall representatives to understand both the community impact of violence and the toll of trauma, but also to address the personal toll that occurs upon us.

 

Being an innovator in challenging the barriers and disparities facing Grove Hall and other neighborhoods, Mr. Miles launched HoodFit, a community led movement which focuses on bringing out the most positive attributes of community building, health and wellness highlighting the mind, body and soul that shows us day by day on how to overcome issues such as trauma.  Mr. Miles also founded “Think Big Dream Big”, a youth driven initiative to jumpstart young people on the journey to a positive future, the fulfillment of their goals and dreams.  

  

Much like the late Ms. Lilla Frederick (Devon Street resident and Project RIGHT’s Board President), Mr. Miles goes block by block, identifies problems, takes actions, doesn’t take no for an answer and achieves results.  They both go out of their way to avoid publicity or self promotion, but they rather just do the work to make changes that systematically improve the lives of residents and young people. 

 

If you have any questions, or wish to come to Project RIGHT’s annual dinner and celebration, please contact Michael Kozu, Community Coordinator (m_kozu@hotmail.com and 617.541.5451.x102).

I Still Don’t Do Weddings

I am often asked if I do weddings. I prefer to leave that to the professionals. The wedding professionals, that is. There are many excellent specialists, so I am always happy to refer clients to the good ones.

Ok, so why am I telling you this? I have started to take a few engagement shoots, or as they are sometimes referred to now, Save-the-Date shoots. These are fun, no pressure shoots that last an hour or two. I don’t carry lights or gear, other than my camera and a reflector. When we do them in the city, perfect strangers will watch, smile, and congratulate the couple after a shot. It's pretty cool! We walk around looking for good scenes and backgrounds, take some fun shots, see if it works and move on. 

I recently shot one for Jen and Eric, in the North End of Boston. I think you can tell that they had a great time!

A Photo-Shoot Full House

I can’t believe it’s been over a month, but on July 7th Grace, my stylist collaborator from Grace Professional Cosmetics and I had the pleasure of photographing Amy and Vee. It was a very warm, Massachusetts summer day, but they were good sports, and I think we all had a good time. At least I hope so!

These are another in my set of Fashion-Inspired Portraits. Since this kind of shoot is quite different from my editorial and commercial work, I have a new web site devoted to showing it off: http://www.adrienbisson-portraits.com

Also in the house that day was Liz, of Global Click Photography, who helped out by shooting some behind-the-scene shots. You're just going to have to go over to my special web site to see those though! Maybe next time she can do some video for us! Hint, hint!!

If you like this work, please let me know. I crave attention :-)

Photo by http://globalclickphotography.com

Photo by http://globalclickphotography.com

July/August - The Interviews

I really enjoy the opportunities that the Merrimack Valley Magazine gives me to shoot features of authors and other interesting people in the process of being interviewed for the magazine. We are always in a new location and the interviewees are relaxed and are allowed to be themselves. I get to hear the interviews first hand which helps me get a feel for their personalities and experiences, which in turn helps me create images that I hope will help to tell their stories.

This issue, along with writers Suzanne DeWitt and Will Courtney, I was pleased to meet writer Holly Robinson, at Plumb Island, and Lowell Spinners manager Joe Oliver, at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.

Andre Dubus III for the Cover of Merrimack Valley Magazine

Back in February it seemed, depending upon the day, as if the winter was about to wind down. That didn’t quite work out. The day that we had scheduled to photograph Andre Dubus III, the noted writer who grew up in the Valley, for the cover brought more snow, albeit the light fluffy stuff. Publisher Glenn Prezzano, writer Emilie-Noelle Provost and I arrived at the writer’s home and were quickly welcomed in to get warm by a roaring fireplace. The UMass Lowell faculty member and author of "The House of Sand and Fog”, "Townie: A Memoir" and many other works, was accommodating, helpful and very generous with his time, which makes our job much easier. An encounter that will remain a bright spot in an otherwise bleak winter.

Andre Dubus III for the Cover of Merrimack Valley Magazine

Andre Dubus III for the Cover of Merrimack Valley Magazine

Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III

Part of Our Rich Fabric

I had the privilege again of photographing Yary Livan, my neighbor at Western Avenue Studios, this time for Merrimack Valley Magazine. I created a portrait of him in my “Basic” series of black and white images. I spent a little time in his studio with him back in October for the story and he gave me some insight into his process, from inspiration to his sketches, sculpting and firing. To say that his story is an interesting one does not do him justice, so see David Iverson’s excellent story in the magazine.

What I Did on My Vacation

I have lived in the North East of the US my entire life. I have done some traveling, although never outside of North America and Europe. Neither Amy nor I had ever visited the South West, so we decided to see what Santa Fe had in store. I don’t think either of us had thought that Santa Fe itself was as small as it is. It’s a sleepy little place in the off-season, although the locals say that it’s pretty crazy in the summer. In April anyway, the pace is slow, especially compared to us here in the Boston area. It seems like an excellent place to unwind.

I usually try to ‘vacate’ on vacation, so I don’t normally shoot a lot of photos, which I guess is a shame. This vacation though featured a frantic couple of days as we participated in a multi-way negotiation to sell our home, all via cell, email, text and fax. Very relaxing. HA! In any event, I did shoot some pictures, and here are a few. It’s either this or I come to your house and show you the hour-long slide show. Kidding!

Oh, and I only brought my 35mm prime lens with me on the trip.

Art and Technology

I haven’t blogged in a while, so publishing some tear sheets is way overdue. 

This spring’s Merrimack Valley Home Magazine features a story about Lowell’s Whistler House Museum of Art. It’s located right downtown in Lowell, on Worthen Street, and features a nicely kept historic building and grounds, in addition to lots of classic art work.

Neil Boissonneault and his staff at CON-CEPT are the cover story of this month’s CE Pro Magazine, a locally-published techie magazine. In addition to the cover, I had the run of his showroom in order to get lots of gear shots. In the 50s through the 70s, my father had a television store, so I enjoyed talking with Neil about some of the old products and how they compare to today’s technology.

Amazing Food - Direct from Haverhill

MVM_Cover_MarApril14.jpg

Back in February of this year, Carolyn, of Carolyn’s Farm Kitchen and I had fun cooking and shooting several dishes for the current issue of Merrimack Valley Magazine (March/April 2014). Actually, Carolyn does the cooking and food styling, and I do the shooting and eating. You will have to go out and get a copy to see the recipes and read the article, although there is one on-line at the MVM website here!

You also might want give us both a “Like” Facebook…

https://www.facebook.com/AdrienBissonPhotography
https://www.facebook.com/MerrimackValleyMagazine

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