I usually do an end-of-year retrospective of my work, but this year I am running a little late. But it's not really TOO late, is it? So here, without any excessive wordiness, are some of the things that I was involved with in 2017. I hope it is fun to skim through!
Joe Hungler and I recently discovered that we have a connection that neither of us were aware of. Joe grew up in Manchester, NH, and was a close friend of my nephew when they were both in grammar school. It’s the kind of thing that we seem to only discover from social media when there are friends or followers in common.
Joe is one of the many Lowellians who is committed to making life better for those with less. He is currently the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell and on the board of directors of the Cultural Organization of Lowell. Originally from Manchester, having grown up in the Boys & Girls club there, where he worked for 10 years on the Program staff, Joe came to Lowell by way of clubs in Nashua, Waltham and Worcester. Get him started on talking about his work and you will soon see why his enthusiasm leads to his success.
Please visit their web site. What they offer kids and the cost will probably surprise you! From their web site: “The membership fee for the school year is $26. No child is turned away due to inability to pay – scholarships are offered to children who could not otherwise afford membership.“
I have started a new series. It's a personal project in which I am inviting people into my studio for a very specific portrait. The project is called "Basic", mostly because I am shooting them all utilizing a very minimal setup: one light, white background, prime lense, and all shot almost exactly the same way, and all rendered in black and white. The idea is to try to capture something about my subject's personality that has revealed itself to me in my interactions with them, and that I want to try to convey, visually, to the viewer. I want to tell a story in one frame.
Here are the first five, of many to come, in no particular order.
After more that 6 months, I am thrilled to finally unveil my personal project, United Teen Equality Center - Chipping Away. Since May of this year, I have had the privilege to work with Lowell, Massachusetts' United Teen Equality Center to create portraits of the young people and to document the invaluable work that is done there, in the form of a photographic body of work and a short film.
The work will be on display beginning with the center's Grand Opening event, and will remain on display in the common areas of the new building into the future.
I love summer. But summer can be a challenge if you are trying to keep the ball rolling on your business. Clients go on vacation. Projects are sometimes put on the slow track until autumn. So even though I love the long, warm days of summer, I do look forward to the fall when things start rolling again.
This fall I decided to take my online presence and branding up a notch. Beginning today, with this blog, I am featuring my newly designed web site and logo. For the techies out there, it utilizes HTML5 to customize itself to whatever browser it happens to be running on. It also features really large images that scale to the size of the browser window. So make sure you maximize the window!
Because I have been working on this project for a while I have quite a bit of photography work in the can to show you. I will be doing that over the next several months along with a couple of surprises, including one personal project that I will be rolling out in November. Please watch for that!
To get things started I thought I would share some shots from a photo session that I had with the excellent guitarist, Alex Prezzano. He rented the world-famous Methuen Memorial Music Hall for the shoot, which features an amazing pipe organ that occupies the entire front of the hall. I hope you enjoy the shots and check Alex out! Please feel free to leave a comment too!
For the last year, I have been fortunate enough to have Melissa Desjardins, of Nashua, NH-based Desjar Photography accompany me on all sorts of photoshoots as my photographic assistant. An excellent photographer in her own right, Melissa will be leaving the area soon to establish herself in Richmond, Virginia. We have had a great time, meeting some really interesting people along the way. Her personality is a great asset on a shoot, helping to make subject feel at ease and always being ready with the lights, stands, and all the rest to make my job easier. She will be missed!
Recently, Merrimack Valley Magazine's finest posed for a photo together. A rare moment indeed!
A few weeks ago I had offered to photograph Melissa for her newly located business. We created a bunch of headshots, environmental portraits and dramatic portraits. Here are the results, or my favorites anyway. This was a fun shoot!
At the moment, I am assuming that Melissa will keep her current web address, http://www.desjarphoto.com/, but if that changes, I will update this blog post to the correct address.
Well, I really dropped the ball. I haven't blogged since May 8th! In my defense, I have been working on many things, but several of them are long term projects or editorial photography, the latter requiring me to hold off showing until publication. So there will be several magazine cover stories to come, as well as a couple of personal projects, to which I can at least give you a sneak preview now.
I am really excited to be working with the United Teen Equality Center (UTEC), in Lowell, Massachusetts, on a summer-long project to document the great work they are doing, and have been doing since 1999. I am really looking forward to creating a significant body of work that will tell UTEC's story. My photographing and learning process has already begun and the plans are for the work to culminate with the Grand Opening of their new, green building, on November 13th. Stay tuned!
And yes, my project called After Hours Passions, with creative genius Suzzanne Cromwell continues!
And if you "Like" the Merrimack Valley Magazine on Facebook, you may have seen this shot. I had the pleasure of covering a two family home construction project in Lawrence that happened in an insane 6 days. I also found This Old House' Steve Thomas to be an inspiring and eloquent speaker on the subject of helping others to succeed.
I photograph people. But I sometimes shoot other things! This month's cover of Merrimack Valley Magazine features my food photography. My photos of MassInnovation CEO Robert Ansin for Coffee Talk are shown here as well. These were shot in available light, some of which I brought with me. (sorry for the lighting-geek humor!)
If you want to make something more interesting, it's important to know what not to light. I know that a great photographer said something like that, but I cannot remember who that was or what his or her exact words were. It's a phrase that I think about constantly though. One of my new favorite shadow creator combinations is a beauty dish with a grid. Soft, fairly large, but most of all, very constrained. I would say it is easily disciplined.
Here are a couple of my favorites from a shoot that my friend and client Ed and I did earlier this week. Ed is a retired accounting professor and an up-and-coming actor and singer. We created hundreds of actor headshots, but once those were in the can, we worked on some additional dramatic, less traditional shots.
I am really happy to be able to share with you my latest cover shoot, for Commercial Integrator magazine, featuring Adtech Systems' CEO David Gormley, all shot on location at their Sudbury, Mass., offices.