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

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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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A Growing Business

Two of the nicest people you could ever meet also happen to be two of the smartest and innovative entrepreneurs in the area. Lydia and Francey are the force behind Mill City Grows, the Lowell, Massachusetts-based enterprise that is bringing community gardening and urban food production to the city and surrounding area. Their mission: “Mill City Grows fosters food justice by improving physical health, economic independence and environmental sustainability in Lowell through increased access to land, locally-grown food and education.” Please visit their web site: http://www.millcitygrows.org

Back to Francey and Lydia though, both of whom, along with their husbands, are thoroughly invested in the community and its success. I have had the opportunity to follow them around to a few of their projects for the Merrimack Valley Magazine and the Local Farming photo essay that I did last year. Yesterday afternoon they dropped by my studio to pose for some shots at The Big Doors. Please do visit their web site to see what’s growing!

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Francey Slater and Lydia Sisson of Mill City Grows

Francey Slater and Lydia Sisson of Mill City Grows

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Sheila Harrity on the Cover of Principal Leadership Magazine

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Principal Leadership Magazine asked me to go to Worcester Technical High School, in Worcester, Massachusetts, to photograph Principal Sheila Harrity, the 2014 MetLife/NASSP National High Principal of the Year for their cover story. Such an amazing place and such an amazingly charismatic and engaging person. Walking through the halls as she guided our tour of the impressive facility, Sheila engages with every student that she can in these brief encounters. They seem to really respect and appreciate her dedication as well as the resources that are made available to them in such an impressive school. Some of the story is on-line here.

The Latest from the Valley

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The January/February 2014 issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine is on the news stands. We had fun shooting the cover and some of the accompanying article at my studio at Western Avenue Studios. I also had the opportunity to meet two small business owners in Andover and North Andover. I can only give you a teaser here, so go out and get the magazine... Yes, now. Go ahead!