Nor’easter destruction coverage for the New York Times

I spent a day last month driving around the south shore of greater Boston looking for storm damage from the region's first major Nor'easter storm of the season for the New York Times. While Boston itself wasn't hit too bad, hundreds of thousands of people south of the city were without power and there were trees downed everywhere. I ended up mostly in Hingham and Cohasset, Massachusetts, which is what these pictures show.

Students return to campus in Amherst, Mass., for the Wall Street Journal

For a Wall Street Journal story about the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small college towns, I photographed the first week of in-person attendance since the start of the pandemic at Amherst College and UMass-Amherst in Amherst, Massachusetts. There were temporary outdoor classes and lunchrooms and mask and vaccine mandates, but through it all was a general sense of relief and excitement for everyone to be back together again after so long apart. Local businesses in downtown Amherst depend on the tens of thousands of students returning each year, and not having them around made it difficult for the restaurants and school supply stores to make it through the previous two years. AJ Hastings, a store with school apparel and general office and school supplies, opened in 1914 so General Manager Sharon Povinelli said this is the second pandemic they've had to deal with. "It's tough keeping shelves stocked," Povinelli said, referring to both the demand with an increase in business and global supply chain issues.

Thanks to Ariel at the WSJ for calling me for the great assignment!

Unsold oysters used to re-establish natural coastal reefs as restaurant demand dropped during the pandemic

Starting in 2020, millions of dollars of farmed oysters in the US had no place to go because of low restaurant demand due to the pandemic. It takes approximately 2 years to grow an oyster from seed to restaurant-size, and with dropped demand, farmers are stuck with misshapen oysters that are too big or ugly to sell. A US government program run with the Nature Conservancy throughout the Eastern US and Washington state bought up these oysters in late 2020 and early 2021 to help out farmers and transplant them to waterways where they will help fight climate change by filtering water and rebuilding coastal reefs. Then, in the summer of 2021, demand skyrocketed, but with a disrupted growth cycle, the farmers were struggling to keep up with demand.

Commissioned by the New York Times but sadly never published, I spent a couple of days out on the water at the base of Cape Cod with farmers from Round Island Shellfish and Spindrift Oysters as they tended to their overgrown oyster beds and relocated some of them to a one-acre pilot project re-establishing a natural oyster reef in coastal waters.

A big thanks to the team at The Nature Conservancy, the oyster farmers, and to Matt at the NYT for the support!

Recent portraiture of professors and scientists for MIT

Recent portrait work featuring professors and scientists in different departments at MIT. The ongoing pandemic has necessitated some changes to making portraits these days, almost always outdoors and often at portrait subjects' houses around the area rather than in their labs.

Lindley Winslow, Department of Physics

Hazhir Rahmandad, Sloan School of Management

Diana Yousef-Martinek, D-Lab research associate and CEO of Change:Water Labs

Adam P. Willard, Department of Chemistry

Pandemic precautions for the resumption of jury trials, for the Wall Street Journal

For the Wall Street Journal, I spent a day in Massachusetts Superior Court and Norfolk County Court jury rooms, courtrooms, and other facilities, as the state's judicial system resumed jury trials put on hold due to safety precautions required by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There was abundant hand sanitizer, plastic shields around places where people would be, social distancing markers, and lots and lots of signage about staying apart from other people, wearing masks, and keeping hands clean. Due to the nature of the legal system, and not wanting to impact any ongoing legal proceedings, I was very limited in what could be photographed. No jurors or potential jurors could be photographed, for instance. Most interesting was Norfolk County Court, which had converted the ballrooms and function halls in Lombardo's, a popular wedding and event venue south of Boston, into courtrooms and jury deliberation rooms as a way to allow people to spread out from one another more than the county's courthouses ordinarily allow.

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.