New York Times Tearsheet – Semper Ficus: Office plants left behind during the pandemic

What a rare treat it is to get a full page of the New York Times devoted to photos, and even more surreal when it's the end result of letting my mind wander a bit in the shower. I started thinking one day about what happened to all the desk plants left behind when offices were abandoned at the start of the pandemic in March and started making a few calls to see if the interior plant services were still operating during stay-at-home orders.

Thanks to Brent Murray, photo editor for the NYT Sunday Business section, for being receptive to the pitch and supportive throughout the process, to the design team for figuring out what to do with all my verticals, and to the owners and employees of Plantwerks, Cityscapes, and Garden Streets for letting me follow along as they cared for their plants in offices around downtown and suburban Boston.

I'm especially proud of what you can see below, which is my first byline in the Times. I've done assignments for the paper off and on since 2005, but having my name at the top of the piece is a first. I only wish I'd been the one to come up with "Semper Ficus"...

You can see the piece online, as well: Semper Ficus: Who’s Keeping Abandoned Office Plants Alive?

Politics and potatoes at the Iowa State Fair for Time

For Time magazine, I spent 5 days at the Iowa State Fair in August, covering the candidates at the Political Soapbox and the chaos of the fair, from champion potatoes to the accordion contest. It was an absolute dream assignment (well...except for the heat and humidity!) just wandering around finding interesting people to talk to and photograph. You can see Time's edit on the magazine's website: Potatoes and Politics: See Photos From the 2019 Iowa State Fair. This will be a vital part of my ongoing coverage of the 2020 election.

Huge thanks go to editors Paul Moakley, Katherine Pomerantz, and Kim Bubello, for the support and for the thoughtful edit.

Pete Buttigieg’s rise for New York Magazine

On assignment with New York Magazine, I spent a couple days following South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg on his first major visit to New Hampshire just as his campaign reached national prominence following a CNN Town Hall with the candidate. With no access and only two scheduled events, the work was fast-paced and unpredictable. The end result was the cover story for the April 14-28, 2019, issue of the magazine, and accompanied Olivia Nuzzi's wonderful profile of Mayor Pete.

Thanks to Marvin Orellana and Jody Quon at New York for the wonderful assignment!

More images of Pete Buttigieg are available at my online archive.

Foundation Medicine rebranding – Employee and patient portraits, Lifestyle images

Lifestyle images - Patients at home

Employee portraits on location at Foundation Medicine HQ

Patient portraits in studio

I was commissioned by pharmaceutical company Foundation Medicine to produce a variety of imagery for their rebranding. The client needed studio portraits of patients, on-location portraits of employees, and lifestyle images of patients at home, all for a variety of uses by the brand. Weeks of planning resulted in a handful of shoots that wouldn't have happened without a phenomenal team helping behind the scenes.

Ace assistant: Peter Gumaskas
Hair and Makeup: Maryelle Artistry
Studio and rentals: High Output - Brighton
Location production: M Doucette Production
Talent: NEMG

Big thanks also to Catherine, Katie, Ira, and Ben, at Foundation Medicine for bringing me on for the job.

Medical cannabis cultivation and packaging for the Wall Street Journal

For a Wall Street Journey story on how legal medical and recreational cannabis has affected the hiring process, I photographed the cultivation and packaging facilities of Garden Remedies' operation in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. A big thanks to Emil for the assignment and to Garden Remedies for being so open to having their facility photographed.

More in my online archive: Medical Cannabis cultivation and production - Legal Marijuana - Garden Remedies - Fitchburg, MA

Toyota’s autonomous vehicle and assisted driving operations for Bloomberg Businessweek

Toyota Connected - Plano, TX

Toyota Research Institute and VP of Automated Driving Research John Leonard - Cambridge, MA

Toyota Connected CEO Zach Hicks - Plano, TX

For Bloomberg Businessweek, I spent a few days in Plano, Texas, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, photographing a profile of Toyota's autonomous vehicle and assisted driving initiatives at Toyota Connected (not far from the Toyota North America headquarters) and the Toyota Research Institute (not far from MIT). A big thanks to Jane Yeomans at the magazine for calling me and trusting me with such a big and challenging shoot, to Katy Rogers and Stewart House for assisting on different parts of the shoot (and BBQ recommendations in the Dallas area!), and to the folks at Toyota for giving us such great access for the story.

Elsewhere on this site, you can see how the story ran in print and online.

error: All images and text © M. Scott Brauer 2005-present