He seems to be everywhere that's anywhere in Lowell. Last evening, he was in front of the now famous doors in suite A405. Sovanna told his Facebook friends that he was visiting me "this lovely evening", at Western Avenue Studios to be photographed. A pleasure to work with, Sovanna was impeccably dressed, as always, and ready to be photographed. Here are some of the shots for my Big Door series and my pick for my ongoing Basic series, which are all in B&W, and all done as simply and as similarly as possible in an attempt to really "portray" the person, in the true sense of the word. Enjoy!
Collaboration is nothing new but is a great way to offer enhanced capabilities to clients. Of late, I have been working with several very talented individuals who bring a tremendous amount of talent to the table, and do so in several different disciplines. We've been tossing around the idea of offering a suite of services under one roof. What if we could offer, not only a photographic vision, but could team up to offer video, graphic design, copy writing, and photo shoot production?
I am happy to announce that this one-stop, start-to-finish vision and production for your projects is now a reality. Check out the information here and get in touch! We can discuss your requirements and how my team can bring them to life.
Another shoot, in my series of photos of people, in front of the great green doors in my studio. Lisa is a very talented graphic designer with whom I have the pleasure of working from time to time. She was one of my first subjects after having moved into my new space. It was shortly after this shoot that I started to collaborate with my doors! They always come through!
Melissa said that she was nervous. I couldn't tell. But we talked about all kinds of things as I arranged lights and modifiers. Melissa works in health care, and her friend Matthew, who came with her to the shoot, works on a sustainable farming project, so we had lots to talk about. She even asked about me, which was really nice, so for a while we talked about music and photography. I was hoping that her nervousness had dissipated by this point, and I was happy to hear her say a little while into it that she was enjoying the shoot.
I think sometimes that a subject's nervousness is actually excitement. Excitement about the event, the process and the whole idea of being literally and figuratively, the focus of attention for that short time.
There are times when you get a chance to photograph someone who is really excited to be photographed. I think this was the case that evening because in these shots of Melissa her personality and beauty just jump out at you. When I do studio shoots like this I rarely photograph two people the same way. After we interact for a while, I start to develop a direction in my mind of the way in which I want the shoot to go and how to capture that person in images. With Melissa, I knew somehow that I just wanted a simple, almost monochrome theme, and that I was working with someone with whom I could use relatively hard light, and would absolutely glow, contrasting with the starkness of the scene in a really significant way.
As you might have guessed, I am working on a project to capture images of people that I meet around the Lowell and Merrimack Valley area of New England. I asked Andrew Wetmore if he would sit for me several months ago, but time has a tendency to slip away if you aren't attentive. We finally got to it during the recent holiday break at my studio. Andrew is a playwright, journalist, high-tech nerd (and I mean that in the best possible way - I was one myself ;-), and Canadian, in no particular order. As you will see, he has a very interesting and character filled face!
I photographed David Barton, a mixed media artist, recently. I set out to capture a side of David that is not often apparent in the photos that I had seen, or taken of him in the past. A fascinating personality, David creates sculpture that he calls 3D Paintings. I'd give you his web site, but...um...he doesn't have one yet!
Last week I worked with independent film maker, Bridget Driscoll, of Mill City Studios, photographing her at the famous West End Gym, in Lowell, Massachusetts. We were after environmental portraits of her shot in this unique location where she has been documenting the gym, the owners, staff and athletes, and how they all contribute to the community.
Mill City Studios produces all kinds of videos for the academic, business and public service markets. The idea with these shots was to put Bridget in the ring, a central theme of the studio's made-for-TV documentary, "Fighters: Road to the Golden Gloves". I also had the pleasure of meeting the gym's owner, Art Ramalho, and seeing the location first hand. I can attest that this is not a movie set, but the real thing. I really wanted to capture the real look of the gym, so nothing in the scenes was moved and I lit Bridget without gels and allowed plenty of ambient light into the shots so that I could get the color of the fluorescent lights around her.
...It never really is. Who wants to just paint by the numbers? Every subject is unique and you need to approach every person and their shoot differently. You want to get a special look or gesture that seems to be the special thing about that person.
I recently worked with the excellent graphic designer, Geralyn Miller on one such project with Anthony, a finance guy. It was a lot of fun! Anthony is a great guy, and I think it comes across in the shots. We worked in the renovated 19th century mill building where Geralyn works, and Anthony was very patient as we dragged stuff from place to place looking for just the right atmosphere.
Geralyn took her own shots between holding light stands ;-) Got to love shooing on a staircase!
Lindsey's friend Kerry came in to be photographed too. Kerry is a commercial landscaper and is one of the happiest people that I know. I wanted portraits of Kerry to capture that aspect of her, but I also wanted to get a range of emotions because she seems to have an inner happiness that comes through no matter what her demeanor may be at any given moment.
But this is the Kerry we know!
I've been struggling for quite a while with my blog and all of the other social media that we all are telling ourselves we need to exploit. The thing is, I am constantly thinking that I need to say something profound, compelling, deep... or be the expert at something. But then I start to think about my audience. All photographers love and appreciate the praise of other photographers and want to be thought of as someone who does what they do well. But we also know that other photographers aren't exactly our "target" audience. It's great to have their attention, and all attention to a blog has a beneficial effect on our search engine rankings. But the people we really want to interest are the ones who may hire us to continue creating that work that got us the attention in the first place. Right? Be honest!
So I'm not going to play the expert. I know stuff. But that isn't my point here. The reason that I blog is to show off my work and to hopefully create interest in what I do, so that I might do it for someone. So here's my Halloween Resolution, the concept of which I think I just invented: come to my blog to see my work, whatever it may be at any given time. There may be no point to the blog entry other than the fact that I want to show off something that I have created. There may be words. Maybe not. I will have event-related posts, as I have done, and I may have guest bloggers (email me if you are interested). But it's about the pictures!
Lindsey's an aspiring photographer. I don't think she understood why I wanted to photograph her. It seemed clear to me.