I spent an evening photographing dance classes for the Chronicle of Higher Education at Simmons College, one of the Colleges of the Fenway, for a story about colleges sharing costs across institutions to provide more services and classes to students. The participants in these tap and jazz classes are students from the 6 separate colleges that make up the the Colleges of the Fenway consortium.
This was one of the most challenging shoots I've had in recent memory. It was a bit like covering a sport without goals or out-of-bounds in a poorly lit room: there was no way to anticipate the action and no safe spot to put my lights. Tap dancing in an enclosed space is also incredibly loud, so it was difficult to direct the portrait I needed to take.
Thanks as always to Erica at the Chronicle for another great assignment.
A big thank you to Paul at Time magazine for his continued support for my work throughout the New Hampshire primary. He hired me for the final two days of the primary to follow around last-place Republican nominee Jim Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia. It was a quirky but fascinating story, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.
You can see the full story on Time's website: Finishing Last: A Day in the Life of Presidential Candidate Jim Gilmore.
A few weeks ago I got a call from the New York Times to photograph the late-night scene in Boston's Fenway area, focusing especially on The Verb hotel and the late-night crowd at Tasty Burger's outdoor window. It was a fun shoot and a great chance to explore a part of the city that I don't spend much time in.
You can see the article and a few of my pictures here: Fenway Park’s Neighborhood Changes, but Keeps Its Character
For Labor Day for MIT's News Office, I photographed a handful of custodians in the school's Department of Facilities. I've really shot against a backdrop and I had about 45 minutes to photograph 11 people before they clocked out after a night shift, so the project was a wonderful challenge. We chose a simple white background to emphasize the faces and personality across the diverse staff.
The images ended up as MIT's homepage for the Labor Day weekend.
I had a couple of days in Xian, China, in between trips to Chongqing, Yan'an, and Pingliang last year. It was brutally hot, but I tried to get out and explore for at least a few hours each day. The town's a common stop on the tourist route; the Terracotta Warriors were found not far outside the city.
But on this visit, I decided to spend my time mostly outside the city walls in the growing outer districts where people live. I went to out-of-the-way parks, took subways and buses to the ends of their lines, ducked into alleyway markets, found small temples not listed in tourguides, and otherwise just tried to go to places where a tourist might not have reason to go.
I'm fascinated by tourism, especially in China. So last summer, I jumped at the chance to go to Hua Shan (Mount Hua), one of China's five great mountains. It's a little ways outside of Xian, Shaanxi Province, and it's full of tourists, photo hawkers, and workers carrying heavy loads up what seem like indefinite staircases. Most skip the stairs and just take a cable car to the top where they can check out temples and hazy views of surrounding peaks and farmland.
The group I was with was on a fast schedule, so I could only visit one of the 5 peaks at Hua Shan in the hour we were on top, and unfortunately I didn't get anywhere close to the infamous plank path.