Portraits of Alison Bechdel for Time

For Time magazine, I spent an afternoon in the Vermont woods with cartoonist and memoirist Alison Bechdel, who is probably most well known in the public consciousness for the Bechdel Test, a method for quickly analyzing the representation of women in movies and other media. Her latest book, The Secret to Superhuman Strength, is about her lifelong obsession with exercise. Because of this subject, editor Kim Bubello thought it would be great to photograph Bechdel in her workout attire and walking and running outside near her home.

A big thanks to Kim and the rest of the team at Time for thinking of me for this and to Alison for being so patient and game for my weird photo ideas! Here's how it ran in print.

Flying cars and New Hampshire’s “Jetsons Bill” for Bloomberg Hyperdrive

Terrafugia flying car manufacturing and prototype test flight

For Bloomberg Hyperdrive, a relatively new vertical on the future of transportation, I got an absolutely dream assignment to photograph honest-to-goodness flying cars. New Hampshire is the first state in the US to create legislation regulating the use of flying cars, also known as roadable aircraft, allowing them to be used in the air and on the roads. A dream of the future for decades, there are now at least two manufacturers who will be selling flying cars in the near future, and both of them have outposts in New Hampshire.

The shoot took me to Terrafugia's headquarters in Massachusetts (where their latest model was on display with folded wings, a turn signal, and an active car license plate on it), a New Hampshire airport where Terrafugia has been running test flights with a flying car prototype for safety certifications; to PAL-V's sales office at the airport in Manchester, NH; and to one of the only remaining slotcar race tracks in the United States, run by one of the state legislators responsible for getting the so-called Jetsons Bill regulating flying cars into state law.

Every piece of this project was like a kid in a candy shop with so much to photograph (even though some of the facilities had very strict rules about what could be photographed). A huge thanks to Eugene for calling me for this one!!!

Steven D. Smith and Smith Scale Speedway slotcar races

Keith Ammon and the PAL-V roadable aircraft sales office in Manchester, NH

Portraits of Elizabeth Kolbert for the Guardian

I spent a lovely late winter afternoon with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert near her home in far northwestern Massachusetts to accompany an interview in the Guardian, my first assignment for the publication. Her recent books focus on climate change, so outdoors and surrounded by trees seemed perfect for the pictures.

We stomped around in the snow for a bit…I’m sure if someone was watching it would’ve been pretty funny to see me moving sandbags and lightstands around while trying not to make too many footprints near where I wanted her to stand for each picture.

Boston-area restaurants closed due to the pandemic

So many restaurants in the Boston area closed temporarily over the winter due to the pandemic. Some called it "hibernation" while others bristle at that term. Mostly for the historical record, I set out over the course of a few days to photograph many of the shuttered storefronts and the sometimes handwritten letters posted on their doors thanking costumers and neighbors for the support and hoping for better days. The restaurants here are in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville.

New London’s restaurants during the pandemic for NBC News

I spent an afternoon in New London, Connecticut, for a story for NBC News about how restaurants in the coastal town are dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. From restrictions on indoor dining to decreased foot traffic in the downtown business district to people's fear of contracting the virus in public settings, it hasn't been easy for the businesses this year. I profiled a handful of businesses and the mayor, who remains cautiously optimistic about the future. But walking downtown and seeing empty sidewalks and closed storefronts on a weekday afternoon with nice weather, it seems like the difficulties will be felt for quite a while longer.

Thanks to Matt for the call, my first assignment with NBC News. You can read the piece here: 'I'm going to church more': Restaurant owners wonder whether they'll survive winter

Legal cannabis home-grow for Northeast Leaf

I spent an afternoon in western Massachusetts photographing a legal outdoor cannabis home grow operation in a residential backyard for Northeast Leaf, a new magazine covering the marijuana industry in New England and part of the Leaf Nation family of publications around the US. I don't know too much about cannabis culture, so it took extra effort keeping track of the names of all the strains being grown and parts of the plants being harvested.

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