After retiring from a career in Boston’s commercial real estate business, I enrolled in a professional “trade school” photography program that was then part of Boston University. After graduating, I stayed on staff for another year working as a TA. The instructors in our program were a variety of talented working professional photographers with different specialties, and the students were a mixed group of high school grads, mid-career changers, and recently retired people. It was an extremely colorful and highly creative group of characters, and my two years at CDIA rank among my life’s favorite chapters.
To one degree or another, most successful portraits seem to reflect the interaction between the person standing in front of the camera and the person holding it. My work in commercial real estate was always focused on the “people side” of the business, so it was not a huge surprise to my friends when I became drawn to portraiture.
Over the past 7 years, I have worked on a number of large scale, community based portrait projects (two of these collections have been exhibited in regional museums). These projects typically include portraits of anywhere from 15 to 100+ people who share the same vocation; some of the galleries on this web site are examples of this work.
I enjoy photographing and producing community portrait projects for many reasons. People are endlessly fascinating, it is gratifying to work collaboratively with others, and creating a good portrait of someone is rewarding. But more than that, I find it fascinating to portray a group of hard working individuals in a light where they can be seen (and see themselves) as integral members of a much larger team. It is a very gratifying experience to be able to witness a subject’s reaction when he or she first encounters their portrait hanging among their other “team member” portraits on a museum or gallery wall.
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