HOW I BECAME A PHOTOGRAPHER:
I decided to become a photographer after learning about Jacob Riis in high school. I found studying history, particularly of the Progressive Era interesting. It was a time when journalism was evolving from personal journalism, where publishers would promote an editorial voice, to investigative journalism, where the reporters were referred to by the term, “muckraker”. Riis was a Danish-American social reformer, muckraking journalist and social documentary photographer. I was intrigued by his pioneering pursuit of documentary photography as a way to illustrate the squalor of New York City tenements at the time.
MY EDUCATION & TRAINING:
With my interest in photography being influenced by its documentary utility, I pursued a photojournalism degree, graduating from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. I was able to spend a semester in London where I was able to practice some international street photography. One of the great things about studying photojournalism is that you’re compelled to approach and interact with all kinds of people. What seems foreign at first becomes fun and second nature to engage. That is to me what being a photographer of people is all about. Stepping out of a comfort zone to capture moments others might not otherwise see and helping them experience it through your perspective. While I have a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism, my ability is defined by my early experience practicing street photojournalism in one of the most cosmopolitan cities on earth, and further by my newspaper career.
After college, I worked on staff at newspapers throughout upstate New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. I continued my education with video production courses at the (now closed) Boston Film/Video Foundation as well as at the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism. I spent 12 years as a newspaper photographer. I consider myself fortunate to have experienced photography in the film days, beginning with processing black and white film on deadline and making prints on photographic enlargers. Eventually I worked at newspapers that used film scanners instead of printing from negatives, before eventually going all digital. I moved on from newspapers and started doing weddings in 2006, photographing hundreds of weddings before launching Fort Point Media in Boston as a wedding photography and video production service.
HOW I WORK:
Photojournalism is a widely used term now by wedding photographers to describe their style, but it is more accurately described as a category of photography, with others being traditional and contemporary. Wedding photographers currently are likely to be categorized as a blend of photojournalism and contemporary to varying degrees. Photojournalism is an approach to human-centered events with a storytelling purpose. That's largely how I approach wedding photography. I do have a contemporary influence however, which comes into play with portraiture during a wedding, where a stronger emphasis on a client's personality, the backdrop, dramatic lighting and angles with a nod to fashion being the preponderance. Yet, for the greater part of a collection of wedding images, I'm focusing on key moments, where the mood of the photographs matches the events as the client envisions. In all cases, my style exhibits a preference for balancing ambient and strobe lighting for natural effect, pleasing color with a pop of contrast, and a light touch with posing so that nothing seems contrived.
I'm a foodie! I enjoy cooking, baking and also partaking in the great restaurants we have in Boston. I would rather avoid packaged foods and make my own instead. I make waffles, pizza, cinnamon rolls and incredible butternut squash lasagna. My wife and I were introduced to amari on our honeymoon in Italy. We’re fans of a glass of amaro on the rocks along with the skillet cookie made to order at Blue Dragon. I’m lucky to live around the corner from the Trillium Brewing Company’s flagship location. Can’t beat living walking distance to one of the world’s best craft beer brewers! Earlier I mentioned Jacob Riis. He was also a carpenter by training. I only approach avid DIY maker status, but I am currently renovating my artist studio in Boston I share with my wife, who is a painter. I recently poured concrete counters, which is a lot of work but worth the look! I built a ridiculously powerful and fast video editing workstation rather than buy off the shelf because I wanted a custom setup where I understand how it works under the hood. I’ve run two marathons, including the 2014 Boston Marathon. I raised funds for Project Purple, a pancreatic cancer research charity, as one of their team runners that year.
WHERE I WORK:
I’m based in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, which along with the neighboring Seaport District, has become a popular destination in recent years with lots of new buildings. But I live and work in a place that’s been here for a long time - the Artist Building at 300 Summer Street, a landmark building that is a cooperatively owned and managed building where painters, photographers and lots of other kinds of visual artists are based. The building was built in 1898. I have a photography darkroom which I am building out and hope to have fully functioning in 2018 so that I can make black and white prints from film negatives from my archives. A landmark that was originally used for the wool trade by the Boston Wharf Company, it helps anchor a rapidly changing neighborhood with an arts presence that predated the recent real estate development with a vibrant artist community. I’m proud to offer my services from this community base to the Greater Boston area and beyond!