Projects

This page highlights some of the projects that I have worked on, either as specific assignments for clients, or as personal photographic projects that I have pursued in the course of developing my craft and my portfolio.

 

Professional Santa Claus

Jonathan Meath was a professional broadcaster for many years, producing some of the best-loved children's TV shows during his tenure at PBS. As a second career, Jonathan has found himself in great demand as one of America's foremost professional Santa Clauses.

A professional vocalist, Jonathan has performed as Santa Claus in a Christmas Spectacular at New York's iconic Radio City, and was even the Boston Red Sox baseball team's official Santa Claus in a 30 second TV commercial he filmed for them in 2009. At the time I was shooting these professional publicity shots for Jonathan in the Fall of 2014, he had just landed a role with a major, international auto manufacturer, to play Santa in their holiday season TV commercials.

Genetics have definitely dealt Jonathan a winning hand when it comes to playing Santa Claus, but even out of his Santa suit, Jonathan has one of the most interesting faces I have had the privilege to photograph. His larger than life personality and natural affinity for being in front of the camera, make him a real joy to work with as a portrait subject.

 

Festival Of Latino Culture

As a long time resident of Greater Boston, it was an honor for me to do some work for the city, photographing a celebration of Latino culture at the Fenway High School located on Ipswich St. right next door to Fenway Park. This festival was a celebration of just a small fraction of the enormous cultural contributions that have been made by Latino artists, scientists, writers and performers. Aside from the amazing and wonderful music and dance for which the Latino culture is so well known, the festival also celebrated the literary and scientific accomplishments of renowned Latino writers and thinkers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez who sadly passed away in April of this year.

I had a wonderful time shooting this celebration. The energy in the room, from both the performers, presenters and the assembled audience, was incredible, as was the amazing talent that was on display.

 

Landscape Designer Print Retrospective

For this project, I was commissioned to photograph a garden in Cambridge Massachusetts that had been created by the renowned French landscape designer Hugues Peuvergne. The images were to be used as part of a major retrospective of the designer's work, to be published as a book. My assignment was to photograph a unique urban garden space that Hugues had created for a residential property in Cambridge Massachusetts.

The real challenge for this project was to do justice to the particular atmosphere that this designer likes to bring to the garden spaces he creates, since it resides not only in the overall look and feel of the garden itself, but also in the myriad tiny details that he uses in every corner, alcove and subdivision of the space.

This project was a great opportunity to collaborate with an artist who works in a very different medium from my own, but who nonetheless shares that same essential artistic goal of having his work create an emotional response in the viewer. As a photographer, it is also immensely gratifying to see your work beautifully reproduced on typeset pages of heavy art stock, and bound in a book.

You can see a selection of images from the project in this gallery.

 

Vermont FSA Landmark Restoration

I was thrilled when a Vermont-based conservation group approached me about photographing a historic Vermont landmark that was featured in the FSA's (Farm Service Administration)  iconic catalog of American rural life in the 1920s and 1930s. The Lemax Farm in Hartland, Vermont was photographed by the renowned photographer Arthur Rothstein whose famous and stunning images brought the experience of the dustbowl and the Great Depression to audiences worldwide. The Lemax Farm is still a working dairy farm today, but a number of its historic structures are in need of expensive restoration, which is where the conservation group comes in.

My assignment was to photograph the farm again, including recreating some of the original exterior views that were shot for the FSA. These photographs are being used for the group's proposals for financial aid to restore the farm, and also for the marketing and publicity media being generated to support its broader fundraising campaign. The FSA image library stands as one of the great achievements in the history of photography, and I am a huge fan of the incredibly talented coterie of photographers who created it - Dorothe Lange, Walker Evans and of course Arnold Rothstein, to name but a few of them. It was therefore enormously exciting for me to have the opportunity, even in a vey small way, to follow in these great photographers' footsteps in photographing this iconic American landmark.

You can see a selection of images from the project in this gallery.

 

New York City With National Geographic

This was a fast-paced photographic workshop with National Geographic that ran over 4 days, in which as participants, we were really pushed to stretch our creative and technical photographic skills in a marathon of photo assignments around Manhattan, interspersed with classroom learning, location workshops and critique sessions.

It was a somewhat terrifying but also very educational experience to be presented with so many different kinds of photographic subject material in such short order, and to be under pressure to produce your best work for each assignment in a very limited time, knowing that your images will be critiqued by National Geographic photographers. In spite of all of this however, I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop, learned a great deal and saw the benefits of it in my own work even before it was over.

One of the highlights for me was a location workshop on lighting in central Manhattan, in which our lead instructor Ira Block, gave us an invaluable tutorial on shooting outdoors using a blend of available and artificial light sources. Other location workshops included techniques for photographing objects and people in motion. 

You can see a selection of images from the workshop in this gallery.

 

Abandoned Farm Truck

Photographing this vintage truck that is now lying abandoned in a meadow in Vermont, is something of a long term project for me. Little by little, it is being reclaimed by nature to the point that it almost seems to change with the seasons, the weather and the light, like the landscape that is slowly assimilating it. 

I love that at the interface where the natural and synthetic worlds meet, you get these wonderful visual opportunities created by the interplay of the worlds - the way the meadow plants are exploiting the truck's surfaces to grow for example, or where the paint job on the truck is fading and the exposed metal underneath starts to appear through it as rust. 

Every time I go back to photograph this old truck again, I see something new and there's something very meditative for me in undertaking this kind of long term, expressive study of something that is changing so slowly, and with the ebb and flow of the natural word.

For any of you who might be interested, this truck is a Willy's Jeep pickup truck, circa 1960 vintage. It was a hard working farm truck that was owned by my father-in-law until it gave up the ghost and retired to this meadow to age gracefully amongst the grasses and flowers.

You can see a selection of images from the workshop in this gallery.