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  • Welcome to my blog

    "I am a Boston-based commercial photographer and short film maker. This blog is a companion to my main website. Instead of simply offering up more photos, it is the place for behind-the-lens glimpses into campaigns, reflections on the photography/marketing industry, and a more expanded view of a shoot - not just the best image. Enjoy!"

CEO Portraits photographed in Boston and NYC

The word “branding” is bandied about a lot, but at its most basic, it puts its stamp on all the parts that make up a whole.

The Mortar Agency (San Francisco) and I have worked to brand Bain Venture Capital, so when Mortar was asked by Leerink Partners (Boston and NYC) to create a new website, they brought me in for the team bio and the banner photography.

Our goal was not only to put a cohesive and polished face on the company, but to capture the executive’s and CEO’s personality.  You might think that shooting CEO portraits would be intimidating, but it doesn’t really faze me (my first CEO portrait was for the Grossman’s annual report in the ’80s; I was told I’d have 1 minute of the CEO’s time, and he left after 15 seconds — but I got the shot. A great intro to the process, as everything after that has seemed easy).  So back to Leerink: to reveal the real person behind the formal face, clicking on an exec’s portrait reveals a relaxed and engaged image.

I’ve been shooting executive portraits for Circles Boston for some years now.  But the company, which provides conceirge customer service to large corporate clients, is made up of teams of younger staff.  When they proposed photographing these employees for interior wall displays that celebrate their corporate culture, we shot this short test series.  This could make for a wonderful matrix wall with hundreds of faces.

It’s sort of the Anti-guyintie portraits that are all about the employee’s individuality and worth.

NYC_ESBTraveling to Minneapolis and New York City this month (NYC twice for different clients: a biotech company and an investment banking firm) to shoot portraits.  Which city is better?  The one where we shot natural light portraits and got to leave our lighting equipment in the studio.

Oh, and the joke: what’s the difference between Fenway franks and Yankee stadium hot dogs?  You can get Fenway franks in October.  (Please note: there was a time, not so long ago, when this joke didn’t work).

Just finished producing a series of branding images for a prominent real estate hedge fund sponsor.  We shot in their extraordinary offices in Midtown Manhattan and Stamford, Ct.  This is a company that takes tremendous pride in their aesthetics and so I was particularly proud to be chosen as a collaborator.

Advertising portrait photography of Andrée Cordella, Boston design superstar.So there I am, on a flight to Managua.  Not two feet in front of me, attached to the seat ahead, is a TV.  The TV teases me with trailers and 30 second human interest tidbits, and then announced that I can purchase movies or cable for the flight.  I notice that almost no one jumps at this offer.

And then I realize that no one else has turned their TV off. Up and down the aisle, a hundred TVs explode with their paroxism of quickly-edited advertisements and previews.

So what does this tell us?  That it takes more effort to push the “off” button on your armrest than to ignore commercial imagery, even when it stare at us in the face from every angle for 3 hours.

To those of us in the visual communication business, this is sobering.  Art directors, designers, and advertising photographers all make their living putting images in front of consumers.  But which images are seen and which don’t even register?

I believe the images that resonate are ones that get a visceral response, where we recognize a moment of authenticity.  If we can present a moment that is real and that is universal, we make a connection.

This is bad news and good news.  The bad news is that photographers and visual artists need to pay more attention to their subjects and be more empathic.  The good news is that the modern population isn’t visually dead, it just has discretion.