I was happy to load up my cart last month and push my gear the 800 ft from my house to Lark Hotel's newest establishment, The Hotel Salem. The employees of Lark Hotels were having their annual retreat at their newest of accommodations. And, it was time for new portraits.Read More
Got a letter in the mailbox the other day, from Historic Salem, Inc.. They're an advocate and preservation program for historic homes in Salem, MA. You may notice while walking around Salem the house plaques with the date the home was built, the name(s) of the first owner, and what their role in the economy or community was at the time, etc.Read More
New Englanders drifted west in the early 1800s and with lumbermen among the settlers the architecture and design of this small California Coastal town is very New England - clapboard cottages, reminiscent of an old Ogunquit or Plymouth.
So well preserved in fact, Mendocino is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as most of it's properties have not changed much at all. It's a beautiful place.
That sea salt spray from the crashing waves against the headlands is like a daily skin refresher and lung opener. Some days of fog blanket the town in what Hygge must feel like.Read More
My recent assignment for the Fall Issue of Edible Boston included a trip to brookline, near Coolidge Corner, to a backyard pig roast. An annual tradition among some post-grads and neighbors, gathering around the smoke just melting inside for the tender cuts of swine dripping over the open flame.Read More
There's something to be said for old-world home remedies. A simple cup of tea, a spoonful of lemon juice and honey, or a nice warm cup of broth. Something Grandmas the world over have been serving up for centuries, if not many-a-millennia. The sudden change of seasons, up-and-down temperatures bringing along the sniffles, or maybe your gut is feeling a bit unlike itself, it may be time to get back to basics.Read More
Farmers Markets around New England have become as ubiquitous as ice cream stands and Little League baseball teams. Nearly every town has one and if a town doesn't theres a great chance there is one nearby.Read More
Each year, a committee for public arts in Salem puts out a call to working artists interested in a seasonal residency, within their own freestanding artist studio - a small cabin-like building, between Derby and Front streets in Salem.Read More
Although festivities will be on delay, as Boston's largest Irish community will parade down Broadway on Sunday, I can guarantee glasses will clink to "Sláinte" for the whole 72-hours filling this three-day drinking affair.
So tomorrow, gather some friends, find a comfy bar stoolRead More
In the latest issue, for April 2017, Northshore Magazine printed a fashion section toward the back of the book. Looks from boutiques around the Northshore were used for the fashion shoot. But, it was my job to visit these boutiques for a look behind the racks at the owners and their shops.Read More
Once in a while an assignment for Northshore Magazine culminates into a great working relationship with the subject, or subject's business in this case. I photographed Rob Blood, CEO and founder of Lark Hotels, for Northshore Magazine's Movers and Shakers issue in October 2016. During the shoot, Rob had mentioned his company retreat in late January - when it would be possible to get everyone under one roof - and their need for new portraits. Of course, I had hoped to hear from him again...
That's why when Rob reached back out to me before the retreat, I jumped at the offer. Lark Hotels finds great properties through New England, on which to plant their flag. You can find them in coastal Maine, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Stowe, VT, Portsmouth, NH, Salem, MA, Plum Island, MA... to name a few, and in northern California (in Napa and beyond), and soon to be in more cities along the east coast. Usually, the properties are old homes, mansions, and historic buildings such as The Merchant in Salem, which was once owned by a wealthy family during the revolutionary war, and hosted Pres. George Washington on his visit to Salem in 1789 - also rumored by area tour guides to be haunted. The homes and buildings are converted into amazing boutique hotels vibrant in color, eclectic, well-designed and full of light.
Setup: At first it seemed like these portraits would be simple, one background, varied poses. But, we worked with a vision board to get ideas that matched their brand. When my assistant (Christian) and I arrived in Portsmouth at Lark's "Hotel Portsmouth," we were happy to find a guest room available that we could use. Carefully orchestrating the furniture in the room to provide a different setting with a clear sense of continuity throughout the portraits, and arranged each of the 18 subjects (only 8 shown below) in a range of poses.
Tech notes: For this work, we used a little bit of ambient light coming from the large windows in the room, but created the light on the subjects. A Profoto D1 fitted with a 4 ft. octabox provided the broad, yet directional main light on each subject. While, we up'd the "ambient" in the room and filled it with two Acute B heads bounced into the ceiling and walls, where necessary - hooked into one AcuteB2 600ws lithium battery pack, divided with a split-head cable. Christian filled with a white reflector when necessary, too, but only in limited shots.
Wrap-up: Ultimately, and to my complete satisfaction and personal bias, Lark Hotels chose to have each portrait in both color and, my favorite, black and white. We'll see which version makes it to their website, but I'm glad they're happy with either version. This assignment couldn't have worked out any better, and I have a major amount of respect for the work they're doing in making hospitality and the experience of staying in hotels feel inspiring, energetic, and yet, relaxing.
If you're ever in Salem, check out their two hotels: The Merchant on Washington St. (now open) and The Hotel Salem on Essex St. (opening soon, still under construction - with a ROOF DECK restaurant!).
#larkhotels #corporate #portraits
The library at American International College, in Springfield, MA, received a 21st century update thanks to the architects and designers at Phase Zero Design. When you enter the library you no longer see stacks of books - don't worry, they're up on the second floor. Instead of students heading to a local cafe in search for wifi and a comfy seat, the AIC library is now equipped with large soft seating, collaborative workspaces, private conference rooms, and a bright, vibrant, stimulating color palate.
My Trip to Zion National Park, October, 2016.
Having lived on the east coast my whole life, there aren't many places I've seen that are untouched by our human existence. Sure, off the beaten path you may find a unique vista and feel alone with nature - who's softly patting you on the back saying, "It's nice to see you, too." But, it all seems so familiar, and almost predictable. That is not to say that I take my own backyard for granted. No, I embrace it. I love exploring and taking the opportunity to rejuvenate within this habitat I call home.
Your surroundings become you, it's a part of who you think you are. A New Englander, for some. A beach person, maybe. To abandon what you know and embark on the unknown, is what makes many of us stronger. But, having understood that your surroundings can be so predictable and familiar, how could the notion of something so different be enticing? How could one have felt optimistic of survival in a land unknown, again?
Just imagine for a moment that you existed two hundred years ago. Your family having just arrived from Europe, leaving your home on the east coast must have been a frightening experience, especially since you weren't sure how far it was or how long it would take to reach the western part of our continent. With troubles along the way, best illustrated by the computer game Oregon Trail, it is amazing how so many people did continue and complete the journey.
Well, this land out ours, it is majestic. It is captivating. It is, almost, overwhelming.
The rock and sky of the western side of North America is unique. Like nothing I had ever seen before, every time I opened my eyes to my surroundings I was awestruck. The antiquity on the face of those rocks made me feel small, and very insignificant. The undeniable strength of the earth below us and the water that once flowed through those canyons, and the winds that can carve stone, makes me feel like the flame we claim as our oldest form of power is only a moment we seek to feel significant - but that feeling dies out quickly under the breath of the Earth around us.
Presidential Election Night, 2016, Salem, MA
A friend, and local pub owner, texted me on the morning of this year's historic Election Day here in America. He was planning on inviting a few other friends of his to the pub that evening to celebrate their first time voting in a national election in America. He wondered if I could stop in an get a group photo of them together - which I did, though not pictured here. I couldn't let the opportunity pass without sitting each of them down for a portrait. We setup a small station in the pub, and I spent just a few minutes with each of them - in between pints and whiskeys, while we watched the results come in from across the country.
My friend, Kieran O'Neill, owner of the Olde Main Street Pub on Essex Street in downtown Salem, MA, became a US Citizen just two years ago, after immigrating to the US thirty years ago. He told me that the experience was more emotional than he anticipated. The setting of his polling station was on a farm in Peabody, MA, and upon walking into the barn where the voting stations were, he felt this overwhelming sense of what it seemed he was describing to me as pride.
The youngest person I photographed, Nick, is a natural born US Citizen - who's father immigrated from Ireland about twenty year's ago. Nick is studying, of all things, political science at Stonehill College. This is Nick's first time voting in a national election, having just reach the legal age to exercise his right. Nick's father, Dennis, told me that the family has lived both in the US and back in Ireland where's he's from, and his sons (he has a younger son, also, not pictured here) may apply for their dual citizenship as well.
Owner of another pub, nearby in Beverly, MA (Indo Pub - formerly Kitty O'Shea's), Steven Murphy, stopped in to join Kieran. Steven and Kieran recently learned that they both obtained citizenship at Faneuil Hall in Boston, MA on the same day, but did not know each other at the time.
Finally, Jimmy Moriarty, who immigrated over thirty years ago, became a US citizen recently, with his wife Breda.
Two years ago, this American presidential campaign became widely covered by news outlets, not just in the US, but around the world as well. To sit around a table with these men, and listen as they spoke freely and with tremendous knowledge of our political system, and American civics, I felt like everyone in America should have had the chance to sit with them on that night. While many of the country's motivations were guided by whichever political party they pledge themselves to, or by which ever candidate "said it like it is" or chose to "go higher," to me it sounded like these men were not only well informed, but rational and passionate - they knew what the stakes were this election year, and knew that America's next president won't only leave their mark on the next four years, but potentially the next 40, 50, or even 100 years.
Regardless of the outcome, these gentleman were proud to have earned their right to vote in their new country. And, I'm proud to call them my new countrymen.
#election2016 #firsttimevoters #salemma #immigrants #citizenship
The many iterations of what has become Zimman's, has been a mainstay on the north shore of Massachusetts since 1909. This year, Northshore Magazine hired me to make images for their Northshore Home publication. Understanding that Zimman's is now a go-to textile sourcing giant for interior designers and diy'ers, their upper floors are showrooms that are meant to inspire. The building pops off the face of downtown Lynn, MA in it's stark black and white, but inside the colors blend into a wash of imagination. Enjoy!
On one of the hottest days on the North Shore, (a not so breezy 95 degree day), open the doors to Boston Woodturning's studio in Artists Row in Salem, MA. Tommy, enduring the sweltering heat, has a nice large piece all ready loaded on the lathe. A demo for those who stop in, and sure to be final piece soon.
More info: bostonwoodturning.com
On the morning the world was rocked by the news of Muhammad Ali's passing, I was scheduled to photograph Title Boxing Club in Danvers, MA for a local magazine. Talk about coincidence. I had to approach this assignment like a documentarian, a sports photographer, in close, black and white. Looking for speed, emotion, form, and alternate angles. Here are a few of the results:
This one strikes close to home for me. My interest in food digs deep into my core. My earliest memories include spending time in the kitchen with my parents and my grandparents, gnawing on raw ingredients and tasting everything before it hit the dining table. The kitchen is now a place for me to unwind and be creative, from baking bread, making winter stews and soups from scratch, perfecting my "famous" Italian red sauce (my wife's favorite), and sipping good wine or scotch, or local beer, or Kombucha... all while sharing this experience with friends and my family.
Visiting a local farm, participating in a CSA (like the one we're members of Farm Direct Co-op), and shopping your local, seasonal farmers market (find yours here), insures you'll be receiving the freshest ingredients, that contain all of the bionutrients native to the land, air, and water from your region - excellent for your immune system, and great for the local economy.
So, when Northshore Magazine hired me last month to visit Tendercrop Farm in Newbury, MA, I was very excited, to say the least. This is one of those stories that you wait and wait for. With such a large interest in the local food movement these days, there's almost always an opportunity floating around nearby to be asked to photograph local farmers and growers. This time, I got the nod. Here are a few favorites and some you'll see in next month's issue.
To read the story, and see more photographs from Tendercrop Farm, pickup a copy of Northshore Magazine later this month (the May/June issue). Or, visit www.nshoremag.com.