Boston reportage, travel, and adventure photography and filmmaking
photographer and filmmaker based in Boston, Massachusetts

2014 Year In Review

When I finished my 2014 daily photograph project on December 31st, I expected to feel a sigh of relief at accomplishing something. Every day I picked up my DSLR and took a picture that represented a portion of my life and how I feel. It’s a project that pushed me to go for more walks, bike rides, and to drive the scenic way home, which kept me moving and photographing the people and things around me. Taking and posting a photo a day didn’t change my life or make me famous though.

Nantucket Moors Trees at Sunrise

The biggest effect has been an increased sense of daily structure, which helps a lot when you’re a freelancer. The year ended and the daily routine is cemented in my life, like flossing my teeth or playing Big Boggle, I go take new pictures every day. It’s a routine that’s helped spawn other more ambitious side projects. This year, I’m making a portrait of every person that comes to my new apartment in Cambridge. The photos are being hung up in my kitchen as a little photo show. I’ve also started an additional weekly project, selling a new limited edition print every Monday. This project pushed me to get a printer and paper cutter and now I print everything. Prints for everybody!

Steward Healthcare Photography Boston Medical Hospital

Earth Sky Time Farm

I’ve been extremely lucky this year with new editorial and commercial opportunities when I joined up with Minder Productions and continue to be supported by Wonderful Machine as well. I’ve traveled to new parts of the continent thanks to a 3 week climbing and canoeing expedition in Northern Quebec, a marathon in San Francisco, 6 months of island living, a furniture photography assignment in the California desert, a climbing road trip with friends down south, visiting my high school poetry teacher in the woods of Southern New Hampshire, and a visit to the Austin Whole Foods. I’ve reached out to new clients with my first postcard series, had my first billboard, and learned how to photograph in the coldest weather New England has to offer.

Tufts Marathon Team at the 118th Boston Marathon

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On to the next year, when I hope to print my first real book, not use technology before bed, build a larger client base, hang out with a new nephew, write more, and maybe swim the Amazon.

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I’ve also got some technical advice for others who might pursue a 365 project:

1. Seven months into the project, my old website was hacked and I was at a crossroads: I could either rebuild my old website or start fresh with a new platform. I chose to start fresh and switched over to Photoshelter, which was a great platform until Day 250, when Photoshelter caps your gallery size and doesn’t show more photos. I was too busy to re-upload and organize my photos on a third platform so just threw in the towel and used an extremely lackluster Archive page. I’ve learned a lot from this experience and switched over to a Tumblr page for 2015 that shouldn’t get hacked or technically fail(fingers crossed).

2. Halfway through the year I started saving my files with DayXXX_ before the filename and kept a high res copy in a special folder on a hard drive and separate online backup. I wish I had done this earlier on so I wouldn’t have to keep searching for the earlier files. Organize from the beginning!

3. Simple rules for what’s a day. I start and stop at midnight.

Night Ice Climbing at the Auburn Ice Canyon

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Here’s my favorite poem this year:

Presto by Henry Walters from Field Guide: A Tempo

Let’s play for real this time, I mean it, no matter what,
the first one to speak is It, & after that it’s the thing you
say that’s It, alright, but after that, it’s the way you say
whatever you say that’s It, that’s it, no matter what time
it is, at school, or recess, if the teacher talks, it’s how she
talks that’s It, & even at dinner, or taking a bath, or if
you’re asleep, let’s say, if you talk in your sleep & I hear
you & it’s like you’re talking to men on the moon, that’s
it, you’re talking to men on the moon, alright, no matter
what, if you’re wearing clothes or not if you’re happy or
sad or not, I mean it, or if you’re talking like you’re dead
that’s it you’re dead, alright, or if you’re dead for real, let’s
say, & it’s like you’re talking to me that’s it you’re talking to
me, no matter what, & if tomorrow if I talk like you that’s
it I’m talking you, alright, I mean it, no matter what, for
real this time.

I’m going to end this look back with a series of backs:

C Pond in Western Maine

Nova Star Ferry

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Steward Healthcare Photography Boston Medical Hospital

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Red Bull Frozen Rush at Sunday River

I shot this series of photos last January as part of a larger potential book project on weird New England winter sports and sort of forgot about them until this week. They didn’t really jump out at me when I shot them and I left the event feeling too cold to feel good about any of the pictures.

It ended up being one of those events that was so crowded that you couldn’t get back to the front if you left. I tried for a few hours before the event to mosey into a better view further up the mountain, but they had done a pretty good job putting up barriers and I reluctantly settled into an OK view of the start/finish line. I bounced on my feet as much as possible to stay warm during the long periods between races.

I think now that my hands and feet are warm again, I was ready to actually look at these pictures and see if there is anything worthwhile. This winter I’m planning on moving forward with the weird New England winter sports theme for a small book.

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Hot Holiday Cocktails for Edible Vineyard

One thing I will definitely miss about living on Martha’s Vineyard is working for Edible Vineyard. They are an awesome company and really care about the photography in the magazine, printing big photo essays on high quality paper. My last story for them was on a series of hot cocktails for the holidays(and cold weather in general).

Hot buttered rum:

HOT BUTTERED RUM

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Hot Buttered Rum

Glögg:

GLÖGG

Hot rosemary toddy:

HOT ROSEMARY TODDY

Hot Holiday Cocktails

 

Farewell to the ferry life

It’s time to say good bye to the ferry commute. I’ve spent the last 6 months commuting back and forth on the Steamship Authority ferries between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard. It’s just a 45 minute boat ride, but add in the 2 hour drive from Boston to the parking lot and then a 15 minute shuttle to the terminal and the journey can seem endless.

At first I loved commuting on the ferry. It’s a romantic idea: a moment’s rest aboard an ocean cruiser with the sun setting over the sound. I’ve taken fantastic ferries all over the world. The whole ordeal morphed into a lonely slog after a few weeks of island life, with a comical number of mishaps.

A whole day’s worth of ferries can be cancelled due to wind. I’ve also taken the ferry to head to a shoot and had the shoot cancelled, wasting more time on a return trip. The main parking lot can be full so you go to the secondary lot, which can also be full, so you have to keep driving to the third.  In the same day, I left a case of beer on the shuttle and forgot $200 worth of prints on the ferry. I always end up sprinting trying to make the boat, lugging heavy camera bags and often missing it. I’ve forgotten my wallet in my car and had to take an extra two shuttle trips to retrieve it, missing a few more boats in the process. The Peter Pan bus to Boston can be full and you have to sit on the floor.

Every successful trip transports you to another world though. To the bustling mainland full of Indian restaurants, concert venues, and photo jobs and to Martha’s Vineyard with it’s comforting pastoral landscape, cozy home, and slow pace. I’ll definitely miss the island charm, but I can always go back and visit. I know the route now.

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Soldier Design Competition for Popular Mechanics

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I’m a pretty big geek and in college I was the president of Engineers Without Borders and majored in Geology. I love geeky stories and was very happy when Popular Mechanics got in touch about a story on a business competition between MIT and West Point to design new technology for the modern soldier.

There were lots of complicated drone products to serve complicated needs like mapping underground passageways and then some really simple products to improve survivability like a better tourniquet.

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