7/24/14 — PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — Richard House, author of novel “The Kills,” poses for a portrait in his studio at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H., on July 24, 2014. House is spending six weeks at the artist colony as he works on his latest project. (Kelvin Ma)
There’s something special about being able to retreat into the woods to escape from the hustle of every day life. That’s the concept behind the artist colony — it’s a place where artists of myriad disciplines can gather and work in relative isolation while enjoying the support and collaboration of their peers.
When a friend of mine, an editor at the Chicago Tribune’s book review, Printers Row Journal, tossed a an author portrait assignment my way and told me the guy was working out of an artist colony in New Hampshire, I was psyched. That’s where I met Richard House, a British thriller writer who was staying in a small cabin at the foot of Mount Monadnock in the MacDowell Colony. It was such a cool place to just hike around while making some portraits. I can see why so many artists apply to stay there.
7/21/14 — WOODS HOLE, Mass. — Jonathan Gitlin, senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory, poses for a photo on the docks of the MBL's Woods Hole campus on July 21, 2014. Gitlin led the charge to affiliate the MBL with the University of Chicago in 2013 and now has several undergraduates rotating through his research laboratory in the summer. (Kelvin Ma)
I headed down to Woods Hole last month for a quick portrait of Jonathan Gitlin, a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory, to accompany a story in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the growing trend of major universities partnering with independent research institutions. In the case of Gitlin, he led the charge for MBL to partner with the University of Chicago.
Gitlin talked up the partnership big time, and was enthusiastic with his praise for the U of Chicago students he had interning for him over the summer. Having the beautiful waterfront campus as a backdrop, and Gitlin hamming it up big time, was a nice bonus, too.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is one our biggest clients at Tufts Photo, and with good reason. They cater to a target demographic of 18-year-olds, who have a keen sense of visual literacy thanks to the technology they use every day. At the same time, most of the prospective applicants say they prefer printed college marketing materials — score one for print media!
It’s an environment that practically cries out for a photo- and visual-first approach, and it’s one that the art directors are certainly aware of. Admissions recently hired on a new art direction firm, Hecht and Horton Partners, based locally in the Boston area, and having them on hand to meet regularly in person to collaborate on the Spring 2014 issue was a first for me. In the past, we would have to exchange e-mails with folks in far flung areas around the country, and the spirit of the work doesn’t even compare when you get to sit in a room with another person to hash it out. In this case, I was able to sit down and plan every shoot with the art director and craft a visual campaign for Jumbo, the Tufts admissions magazine, from start to finish, getting to play the producer role that photographers don’t often get to do.
As all of the centerpiece shoots started to come together, it was pretty clear that this issue would be a winner, and the interplay between the layout and the photos really shined. You see the complete issue over at Tufts Admissions.