For Belgium's De Tijd and L'Echo, I spent a few hours in Pattie Maes' Fluid Interfaces Lab at MIT's Media Lab.
Like any shoot, there were plenty of challenges to overcome: Most of the technology being worked on was small or, in the case of the work on plants, impossible to visualize. The writer needed to conduct interviews throughout the time we were there. And there were two separate film crews working in the tiny lab space for the duration of the shoot, so either my equipment or theirs was always in the way.
Nevertheless, I'm always up for a challenge and it was nice to have full run of a lab for a few hours with experiments and prototypes that exist outside of a computational model. Because the interviews were being conducted while I was there, it was also a great opportunity to learn about some cutting-edge science. There were plants that can detect impurities or poisons in soil and water. There was a self-tuning guitar. There was a VR system that changes the experience based on physiological changes (body temperature, sweat, etc.) in the user. There was a device that gives typists or piano players an additional finger.
Thanks to Tim at De Tijd such a great assignment!
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.
While covering the Republican National Convention for Mother Jones, I got a call for a quick assignment following CNN's Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash for Elle.com.
It was supposed to be a sort of day-in-the-life profile, but I had just a little more than about 20 minutes with her as she arranged interviews by phone on the delegate floor and as she prepared for a hit teasing to a later segment in one of the network's booths. Everyone was busy, and even though my photoshoot was probably the last thing she needed to deal with that day, she couldn't have been nicer.
You can see a few other pictures from the shoot at Elle.com: CNN Anchor, single mom, and master multitasker Dana Bash.
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.