Shalon interview featuring author Robin Lippincott: part of the independent creatives series

A few months ago, I posted about the Shalon, a cross-collaborative professional creative group formed between myself, an author, an artist, and a filmmaker. Inspired by the concept of 18th century French salons, we decided to meet monthly to discuss our goals, be accountable to one another, and brainstorm ideas. The three menfolk of our group suggested the name based on the first three letters of my name. Being an independent creative professional can challenge the most stalwart of creative souls, and this group helps keep all of us focused and productive, both creatively and from the business standpoint. I hope...

Headshots for Lexington, MA-based writer, Rachel Britton

Rachel, a British-born blogger and writer, came to me looking for sophisticated and warm portraits that reflected her thoughtful and insightful nature. As part of her business, Rachel often speaks throughout the world about wellness and confidence, and wanted her images to represent her personality and presence accurately. Like many writers, Rachel feels best when her words represent her thoughts, and put her faith in my hands that the images would also communicate her personality. Delightful to work with, Rachel also has elegant features and expressive eyes which were a pleasure to photograph. I was so pleased...

Jane Attanucci, poet

Jane recently came to me because her first book of poetry was about to be published by Finishing Line Press, and she was looking for a book jacket photo that represented both her and her work. She explained that she was looking for a quiet, contemplative image that would accurately represent her keen mind and curiosity, as well as the warmth of her personality. I learned that we both enjoy photographs that showcase honest, "in between" moments, conveying thoughtfulness and a investigative process, so her images needed to capture that sensibility. In addition to writing poetry, Jane has been a...

Why I photograph authors

Today, I learned about the passing of one of my favorite authors, Terry Pratchett, from a particularly nasty variant of Alzheimer's Disease. When I heard that he had died, I felt the loss keenly, in that particularly odd way that feels both deeply personal, and somewhat bizarre, given that I hadn't really known the man in the here-and-now sense of the word. I had been reading Sir Pratchett's books since I was an adolescent, and since he was an extremely prolific author, I avidly consumed his new work nearly every year, as excited to get my...

Kelly Link, author of “Get in Trouble”, in the news

Kelly Link's new book of short stories, "Get in Trouble", came out out February 9th, 2015, and in honor of her well-recieved work, I thought I'd focus on her photo shoot from last fall. Kirkus Reviews wrote of her book, "“In stories as haunting as anything the Grimm brothers could have come up with, Link (Magic for Beginners, 2005, etc.) gooses the mundane with meaning and enchantment borrowed from myth, urban legend and genre fiction." Kelly, a warm, gentle, and thoughtful person, was just a joy to work with. She, and her friend and fellow writer Holly...

The Shalon: A cross-creative collaborative creation

A few months ago, four creative friends came together to create a super-powered creative group. Inspired by the concept of 18th century French salons, an artist, an author, a photographer, and a filmmaker decided to meet monthly to discuss our goals, be accountable to one another, and bounce ideas off the others as we go through the creative process, each assisted by the caffeine of their choice. The three menfolk of our group suggested the name based on the first two letters of my name, rather enjoying being clever with their words. Being a professional creative...

Writer’s block

Writer's block: How do you visually describe feeling stuck? Daphne Strassman, Brookline, MA writer I recently collaborated with the lovely and insightful writer, Daphne Strassmann, in creating a shoot that represents feeling stuck creatively. Whether a writer, artist, or photographer for that matter, every creative person has faced their inner well running dry. This shoot evolved as Daphne and I were having coffee together, and she mentioned being mid-transition both literally and figuratively, and how it had affected her work; half her house had no furniture in it due to moving and construction, along with other significant changes weaving through her work and...

Literary photography: Photographing author Robert Howard

Robert Howard, author of Brave New Workplace, approached me because he was hoping to update his author imagery. In addition to writing about leadership and the workplace, he has recently also written a memoir that integrates literary criticism, another area of expertise, and wanted his photographs to mirror his professional growth. Because of his new ventures, Bob needed to update both his more traditional headshot, and also wanted a more creative portrait that reflected his new ventures. I shot at his home in Newton, MA, so we could create environmental portraiture that was meaningful to...

The faceless portrait: author, illustrator, and sculptor Adam J. B. Lane

When I interview artists and authors before I photograph their portraits, the first question I ask is whether the person I'm photographing has any special requests, ideas, or preferences, far before I take out my camera. Children's book author/illustrator/sculptor (narrowing this fellow into a category is a challenging task) Adam J. B. Lane's request was a creative stretch for this portrait photographer: he asked if I could take his photograph without the viewer really knowing what he looked like, so that he could be passed by unrecognized by someone seeing his portrait the moment before....

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