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Don't We All Hate Those End-of-Year Lists? Me too. So here is mine.

The endless, end-of-year lists, all structured to be click-bait, are in full swing. I've been doing such a blog post for 4 of the last 5 years. I'm not sure why I missed 2016, but here is my contribution for this past year, 2018.

There were three magazine covers, two for Merrimack Valley Magazine, and one for Commercial Integrator, a trade magazine. There were several features for these and other magazines that I am proud of, as well as a very un-typical-for-me architectural shoot that was actually fun.

Finally, there were my artistic efforts. I was really happy to have had showings at two Curated Fridge shows (click for more on that), one photograph shown at the Whistler Museum of Art in Lowell, Massachusetts, and two photographs that made the 'on-line annexes' of gallery shows, one at the Photo Place Gallery, in Middlebury, Vermont, and the other at the Black Box Gallery, in Portland Oregon.

Thank you, as always, for your support this year and have a great 2019!

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From the July-August 2018 issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine

From the July-August 2018 issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine

From the September-October 2018 issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine

From the September-October 2018 issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine

From the May-June 2018 issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine

From the May-June 2018 issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine

From the March-April 2018 issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine

From the March-April 2018 issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine

From the September-October 2018 issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine

From the September-October 2018 issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine

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2017 - That Was The Year That Was

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!

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.

Marc’s Miracles

About a year ago I had asked Marc Clermont to be a subject for my artist portrait series. He is the Facilities Manager at Western Avenue Studios, in Lowell, MA, and the founder and  President of the Board of Directors of The Miracle Providers NorthEast, a non-profit organization that helps raise money for children and their families impacted by HIV/AIDS. Among their many fund-raising events, they regularly produce musical extravaganzas at the Onyx Room, also at Western Avenue.

I really didn’t realize what kind of preparation was involved for Marc to get into character, which was of course how I wanted to photograph him. I thought, a little mascara, a wig and a dress… what’s the problem? Well a couple of weeks ago Marc asked if I could show up at the Onyx Room for the next Miracle Provider’s show, at which time he could sit for my photographs before the show. I think it took Marc about an hour and a half to get ready. It was worth the wait! I hope you enjoy my take.

Please go to the Miracle Provider’s web page, or Facebook page to see what incredible work they do! They also have shots on the Facebook page from that, and other shows, expertly done by other photographers.


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Getting Beyond the Obvious

A couple of weeks ago Sarah, whose acquaintance I had made at a corporate shoot last year, and who has since transitioned to a creative career, came to the studio for one of my shoots. Clearly a very beautiful woman, I was intent on getting beyond the obvious and on trying to reveal a more serious side, and one that hopefully would show a presence… something serious, something more. Here is a loosely curated set of those images. I have a favorite, and that one will likely end up in one of my more select portfolios, but I will let you decide. I will be happy to hear your thoughts!

Masada

Masada Jones is one of a number of young people whom I know in this town who make it a good place to live, by simply doing her part. Formerly the Youth Violence Prevention Coordinator for the Lowell Community Health Center, she has recently moved across the street to become the Assistant Directory of Extended Day at the Lowell Community Charter Public School. She is also, or maybe foremost, a poet and has recently published a book of her work called "Becoming Broken". 

Masada and I had met several years ago for a project that I was working on that really never got off the ground, but I had never photographed her until she and her Mom came to my studio about a month ago. A little snafu with the film processing, and paid shoots, got in my way in completing this collection, but here is the work - finally.

John Francis Designs - an Artist Portrait

I got a mini-education in the art of crafting wood, or maybe just in the kinds of woods that are used. John Welch, of John Francis Designs allowed me into his studio a couple of weeks ago to photograph him and he enthusiastically explained to me, the clean slate, about some of the exotic hard-woods that he uses. I had no idea that some trees have a dark part and a very light part in the trunk!

Ok, back to talking about John. He recently moved into a larger space. It is flooded with great light from the huge Western Avenue Studios windows that face onto the Pawtucket canal. But let’s go directly to the photos! These are a mix of digital, medium format color film (Portra 160) and black & white film (Ilford HP5), all with window light.

You can visit John on Western Avenue’s First Saturday Open Studios, or you can go Like his Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/johnfrancisdesigns

John Welch - John Francis Design

John Welch - John Francis Design

Jewelry and Flutes

Jeweler Robert Williams was kind enough to let me photograph him a few Saturdays ago in his Lowell studio, for my artist series. I learned that day too that he also makes high-end flutes - I think he said he is a master silver caster - in Boston, which he told me is where the best flutes are made. What I do know is that he makes amazing jewelry and is a super-nice guy. You can see a few of his pieces on his web site (http://www.rawjewelers.com), as well as on a video done by Howl Magazine here: https://youtu.be/_HfMrKg2FD4 

His studio is at Western Avenue Studios, in Lowell, Massachusetts - Studio 208.

Artist Portrait: Roneld Lores

I have been making portraits of artists for several years now. I find artists to be the least self-conscious of subjects. I’m not sure why, although maybe it has to do with their understanding of the process. It’s very freeing in one way, but it also comes with the responsibility of “portraying” a person in an honest way. It’s well understood that photographic gear has nothing to do with making images that work, aside from the more mundane technical qualities of images. It’s also true though that a photographer brings feelings, perceptions and interpretations to a photo shoot such that the portrait is as much about the photographer as it is about the subject. 

Last week I had an amazing time visiting the Western Avenue studio of Roneld Lores and Angela Alés, and photographing Roneld. I haven't mentioned it to Angela, but I am hoping that I can photograph her as well sometime in the future. Angela, by the way, has a show now at the Galatea Fine Art gallery on Harrison Avenue in Boston. The opening reception is this Friday, January 8th, 2016. Here is more information: http://galateafineart.com

Click here for a look at Roneld’s web site, and here are my images of him.