I'm always taking pictures. Sometimes it's not convenient to take my camera, so I like to put my phone to the test.
Here are five I took yesterday in Durham. I did not have my DSLR with me — and quite frankly, it would have been awkward if I had — but I enjoy seeing what I can get with the iPhone. Because, while this may go against what some commercial photographers think, I believe that you can find and create works of art no matter the tools.
I've been fortunate to shoot five shows over the past year and a half for Boston's Wheelock Family Theatre, including last month's final dress rehearsals for "Stuart Little." The final mainstage show of the 2017-18 season, this fun and entertaining theatre experience ends its run on Sunday.
Two weeks ago, I was fortunate to again shoot photos for the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia’s annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner. The 29th annual event raised $1.3 million to provide legal assistance to people who live in poverty in our nation’s capital.
Honorees included Servant of Justice recipients Abid Riaz Qureshi of Latham & Watkins and Thomas C. Papson, a volunteer staff attorney for Legal Aid. Jahnisa Tate Loadholt, a senior associate at Alston & Bird, received the Klepper Prize for Pro Bono Excellence. Monica Jackson, president of the Terrance Manor Organized for Change Tenants Association, received the Partnership Award for leading her fellow residents in a fight against a landlord who had allowed their housing complex to deteriorate into unlivable conditions.
DeMaurice Smith, head of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), introduced Querishi, a longtime friend and colleague.
Founded in 1932, the Legal Aid Society is Washington, D.C.’s oldest and largest general civil legal services organization.
There's only so much you can do when forced to rely on an iPhone at a concert. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you can get an interesting image. Here are two of Willie Nelson & The Family performing at The Anthem in Washington, D.C., last night.
Tonight is the opening of “Stuart Little,” Wheelock Family Theatre’s final mainstage production of its 37th season. I was pleased to see three of my photos incorporated into the theatre’s logo to celebrate its commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity.
The 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination prompted me to revisit photos from my 2012 tour of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. The museum, which opened in 1991, is located in the Lorraine Motel — where King was shot on April 4, 1968 — and various historically significant buildings in the neighborhood.
The museum chronicles the history of the Civil Rights Movement from the 17th century to the present. An exhibit that runs through this December, for example, looks at how events in 1968 are connected to today. Examples include sections looking at how King’s Poor People’s Campaign compares to Occupy Wall Street and how the Memphis sanitation worker’s strike is connected to today’s Fight for $15 minimum wage protest.
King was shot while standing on the balcony outside his hotel room, located one block off Main Street. He had come to Memphis to lead a nonviolent march that supported the sanitation worker’s strike. The hotel, which is located one block from Main Street, was long one of the top destinations for African-Americans to stay in segregated Memphis.
While I’m certain the photos in this album no longer truly capture the site today, you can see the visceral power and emotion that a tour of the National Civil Rights Museum generates. As we look at King’s legacy and struggles that remain relevant today, it is an essential place to visit if you’re ever in Memphis.
To see more, go to my Facebook album here and look for a new "Places" album coming soon.
Random photos taken during recent trips to New York City. After going to Manhattan only a handful of times in 2017, it's been fun walking around the city with my camera again. To see more photos in this series, go to my Facebook album here.
Random photos taken during recent trips to New York City. After going to Manhattan only a handful of times in 2017, it's been fun walking around the city with my camera again. To see more, go to my Facebook album here.
Less than two weeks left to see my exhibit, The Resilience Project, in the Arches Gallery at the Workhouse Arts Center (building 9). The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday.
Next month, I will be the featured artist in the Arches Gallery at the Workhouse Arts Center. My show, "The Resilience Project," will be up from March 7 to April 1 and will include work by the students I'm teaching at Holmes Middle School. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 10.
The Workhouse was kind enough to issue a press release on the show, which will feature 28 photos that focus on how people adapt in the face of day-to-day stress, adversity, trauma, or tragedy. Resilience often is associated with cataclysmic events, but it is knitted through the web of everyday life.
Here’s the quote they used: “These photos, taken over the past several years in multiple states, tell the stories of recovery from some of our nation’s worst natural disasters as well as dedicated artists and athletes who have been faced with obstacles while pursuing the craft they love. They also illustrate the determination of historically marginalized populations as well as the struggles families go through in day-to-day life.”
To see more on the show, go to http://glenncook.virb.com/resilience. #artsfairfax
A huge thanks to everyone who came out last night to see reception for my show, “The Resilience Project,” at the Workhouse Arts Center. More than 100 people walked into our gallery in Building 9 during the three-hour Second Saturday Art Walk.
The gallery is open Wednesdays through Sundays and the show runs until April 1. I’m so grateful to Jill, Nicholas and Conner for being there last night (and putting out an amazing spread of food), and to friends old and new.
Thanks again. #artsfairfax
A gallery of photos from Saturday’s “March for Our Lives,” one of the largest student-driven protests in U.S. history, is now up on my website here. You also can see a larger gallery of photos on my Facebook page here.
Crowd estimates ranged from 200,000 to 850,000 as students, parents, and activists of all ages and from across the U.S. and Canada jammed Pennsylvania Avenue and side streets from 3rd to 12th Avenue.
The Washington, D.C., event was the largest of 800 marches across the country spearheaded by a group of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and staff were killed by a gunman in February. The march came on the heels of a nationwide student walkout earlier this month; a second walkout is planned on April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.
#marchforourlives #washingtondc #StonemanDouglas #rally#guncontrol #photography #eventphotography
Given the attention around the March for Our Lives and the students’ determination to make changes, I thought I’d make one last plug for my featured artist photo exhibit, “The Resilience Project,” on display through Saturday in the Arches Gallery (Building 9) at the Workhouse Arts Center.
"The Resilience Project" includes 28 of my photos and 10 taken by students at Holmes Middle School in Annandale. It is on display from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Stop by and take a look if you get the chance! You can see and read more about the show by going to http://glenncook.virb.com/resilience.
My featured artist exhibit, "The Resilience Project," is on display in the Arches Gallery (building W-9) at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton through April 1. A reception will be held as part of the center's Second Saturday Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 10.
Included in the exhibit are 28 photos focused on the theme of resilience, as well as photos taken by students from Holmes Middle School in Annandale. The student work is part of the Artist in Residence program I'm participating in thanks to the Arts Council of Fairfax County.
Come see my work! To read more about the exhibit and get a preview of the photos on display, go to http://glenncook.virb.com/resilience
Earlier this week, I had an opportunity to shoot photos of the iMpulse company at Metropolitan School of the Arts. The purpose was to promote “10Plus1,” a show on April 15 that will mark the company’s 10th anniversary and be the spring performance of the Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble. Iconic movies will be one of the themes.
Of course, when a photographer has a number of talented dancers in a black box theatre, we had to take some additional shots, so I have a few “outtakes.” To see more, go to my "Art & Dance" gallery here.
Last month, I shot my fourth show at Wheelock Family Theatre, a regional Equity house in Boston. Thanks to a new partnership with Wheelock, photos from the production of "Beauty and the Beast" are now available for download and purchase on my SmugMug site.
Prints cost $1 for a 4x6, $3.50 for a 5x7, $6 for an 8x10 and $7 for an 8x12. Individual and full albums digital downloads also are available for purchase. A watermark appearing on the images online will not appear on either the prints or downloads. All proceeds will be shared with Wheelock.
To see the photos, go to https://glenncookphoto.smugmug.com/WFTheatre.
For the past three years, I have taken concept photos of the graduating seniors at the Academy of Metropolitan School of the Arts, working with the students to develop concepts that combine their interests and talents. This year’s portrait series, taken in the black box theater at MSA’s studio in Alexandria, focused on shadows. I also shot cap and gown photos of the four seniors, who will complete their school work in June.
To see the entire gallery of MSA graduates — 19 in all — go here.
#photography #seniorphotos #dancephotos #performingartsphotography #capandgownphotos #MSA
Headshots, senior photos, family portraits and corporate shoots are available as part of my services. As I continue to make updates to my site, take a look at some of my clients from 2017. And be sure to give me a call/email if you'd like to have your own photos taken!
Four of my photos, including these two from a shoot last year in Salt Lake City, are featured in a story on Tade Biesinger in today's Deseret News. Tade, who lives in Bountiful, Utah, was Billy Elliot on Broadway and in London. Now a high school senior, he is in the cast of the Pioneer Theatre Company's production of "Newsies," which runs Dec. 1-20.
Nice to see one of my photos in the Boston Globe this week, accompanied by a stellar review of Wheelock Family Theatre's production of "In the Heights." To read the review, click here.
New headshots of Gabriella, a senior at South County High School, are now up on my website. Take a look and schedule your session soon!
Over the past several months, I've been shooting a series of conferences/performances, writing freelance stories, and taking headshots. That's the good news.
The bad news is this blog has been a little neglected during that time.
I have been updating the blog with things you missed, one of which is this gallery of your favorite photos from 2017. You can see these and others in my Facebook album here.
All of these are for sale, in whatever size or configuration you'd like. I think they'd make great gifts, nice sets of cards, etc. If you're interested in something, send me an e-mail or message on Facebook and I can get you a price list.
I hope you enjoy taking a look at some of the random things I see, and I promise to be back with more soon.
New Year's Day 2018: Super moon over a frozen Potomac River.
This week, I returned to Boston’s Wheelock Family Theatre to photograph its production of “In the Heights.” The first show of Wheelock’s 2017-18 season, Lin Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical opens tonight and runs through November 17. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Wheelock Family Theatre, which was founded in 1981, is the fourth largest theater company in Boston. Its mission is to provide “professional affordable theatre that appeals to people of all ages,” and the organization also provides education programs on site and in the Boston public schools.
This is my third time to shoot a Wheelock show, after working on “Billy Elliot” and “Charlotte’s Web” earlier this year. It is a pleasure to spend time with a group of creative and dedicated volunteers and professionals who love their craft.
New York City is one of my favorite places to photograph, even though I don’t get up there as much as I once did. These were taken during a quick two-day trip just before Christmas. I’ve posted two albums to Facebook here and here, and put several on my Instagram page (@glenncookphotography) as well.
A quick one-day roundtrip to Pittsburgh — 520 miles in all — didn't leave much time for photos, but I did take out my camera for a few minutes in downtown and again for a sunset in Somerset, Pa. to see these photos full size, go here.
#landscapephotography #photography #Pittsburgh #PointParkUniversity #urbanphotography #winterphotos
Headshot Week #7: Take a look at these photos of high school senior Anissa, an aspiring performer from Hickory, N.C., at http://glenncook.virb.com/anissa17.
Headshots, portfolio pictures, and senior photos are among the services I offer. Contact me to set up your session!
Another new set of headshots: Lucia, a high school senior applying for colleges now. Check them out at http://glenncook.virb.com/lucia.
As a child, I didn’t get the chance to travel much during the summers. Most of our trips were to visit family in various parts of Texas — Longview, Waco, Albany — and I spent most of my time buried in a book as the landscape passed by. Other than a quick jaunt around Longview in a family friend’s plane, I didn’t fly on a commercial airline until I was in high school. (Ironically, that trip was to Washington, D.C.).
It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I started traveling quite a bit, thanks to my job and family situation. Now, it seems, I’m on the road as much as I’m at home. And my camera is always with me.
On this blog, I’ve shared almost 1,500 daily photos over the past four-plus years, and started a Places section on my website with galleries and short essays about interesting sites I see. More often than not, however, the photos I shoot are of random things that catch my eye.
Here are 20 images from the past month. To see them in a larger format, go to my Facebook album here.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'm posting a series of headshots and senior photos to my website, starting with these of Kayla. See more at http://glenncook.virb.com/kayla.
Just added an Instagram account for my business. Follow me @glenncookphotography
In 1967, at the height of unrest in the U.S. over Vietnam and social/racial issues, as many as 100,000 people swarmed San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in the hopes of “creating a new social paradigm.” Today, the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love is being celebrated in a remarkable exhibition at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.
Titled “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll,” the exhibit features posters, photos, interactive music, light shows, costumes and textiles that tell the story of a summer in which artists, activists, writers, and musicians converged on the Bay Area neighborhood.
The de Young exhibit, while celebrating the hippie culture and flower power, does not gloss over the problems that ended the Summer of Love almost as quickly as it began. Haight-Ashbury was not equipped to handle the crush of people, and the neighborhood rapidly deteriorated due to overcrowding, homelessness, crime and drug use.
However, the legacy of the Summer of Love lives on to this day. As the museum says in a digital exploration of the exhibit, “The social developments in San Francisco and the Bay Area in the 1960s as epitomized by the Summer of Love catalyzed a set of ideas that would eventually lead to new norms: the birth of the natural food industry, concern for the environment, sexual liberation, and challenges to the nuclear family. The era’s political and social activism had a significant impact on the course of American history. The counterculture touched every facet of American culture, offering alternatives to the mainstream that still flourish today.
It is a fascinating exhibit, well worth your time if you can make it to San Francisco between now and Aug. 20. These photos attempt to capture what I saw during an afternoon walk through.
Sixty-nine of my photos, images taken throughout Virginia and Washington, D.C., now adorn the walls of Innovation Health’s new and recently expanded offices in Falls Church, Va. All but one of the photos are professionally printed and framed 16x24 images; the last, a frozen Potomac River, is a metal 36x24 print.
This project has been in the works for several months and more photos have been added as part of the company’s expansion. The last set of images were delivered last week, and I wanted to share the work here.
Innovation Health is the result of a unique partnership between two industry leaders: Inova and Aetna. Inova is a nationally recognized not-for-profit health care system serving more than 2 million people each year. Aetna, one of the nation’s leading health care benefits companies, serves more than 22 million medical members. Innovation Health also is the official health insurance company of the Washington Redskins.
If you know someone who would be interested in this type of project, large or small, for their business or company, please consider giving my name as a reference. I also am working on an expanded webpage to sell prints of these and other images that should be up in the near future.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in purchasing prints of my work, send me a private message on Facebook or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again to the staff at Innovation Health for their faith and kind words, and to my photographer friends and family who helped along the way.
Last week, after Jill’s conference ended in Denver, we took some time to explore the beautiful state of Colorado, but rain and clouds marred a portion of our visit to Colorado Springs. Still, we forged on to Pikes Peak and Seven Falls, two locations that anyone visiting the state should see.
Pikes Peak is one of 53 “fourteeners” in Colorado, and the 14,115-foot summit is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude. Named in honor of explorer Zebulon Pike, the trip included a treacherous 19-mile drive to reach the summit, with stops at centers at the 6- and 12-mile points.
The clouds were threatening at the first stop, and by the time we reached the summit, temperatures had fallen to 36 degrees amid sleet and drizzle. I later learned that the summit has a polar climate due to its elevation, which means it can snow year-round.
What I found interesting about Pikes Peak is how commercial it is, in part because it is not part of the National Parks Service, and that gives parts of it an odd theme park feel. Also, the switchbacks on the winding drive, which look like EKG results from the sky, take your breath away almost as much as the thinning air.
Next, we went to the Broadmoor Seven Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls in the South Cheyenne Creek in Colorado Springs. A privately owned tourist attraction that opened in the 1880s, the falls were purchased after severe flooding and restored by The Broadmoor in 2014.
The falls are beautiful, but by late afternoon, the cold and rain helped us make the executive decision not to climb the 224 slick steps to the top, especially after we learned someone had fallen when we got there. I did manage to get a few nice pictures though.
Last month, after shooting a conference in San Francisco, I had an afternoon to visit a couple of places I’d wanted to see in previous visits to the city. Ultimately I decided on the expansive Golden Gate Park, home to the de Young Museum and the National AIDS Memorial Grove, among many other attractions.
After spending two hours at the de Young’s exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love — another “Places” album coming soon — I walked toward the grove, a 10-acre memorial dedicated to those whose lives have been affected by this devastating pandemic over the past three-plus decades. Despite overcast, foggy skies, a female couple was walking through their wedding ceremony scheduled for the next day, and I had a lovely conversation with two college students who, like my own children, were not alive when the pandemic was at its worst.
San Francisco was one of the cities hardest hit by AIDS, and a small group of citizens developed the idea for the grove in 1988 as “a positive way to express their collective grief,” according to www.aidsmemorial.org. Eight years later, in 1996, Congress designated the grove as the national AIDS Memorial, giving it status comparable to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.
The About section of the memorial’s website explains the mission beautifully: “to provide, in perpetuity, a place of remembrance so that the lives of people who died from AIDS are not forgotten and the story is known by future generations.”
To see a 2014 essay I wrote related to the AIDS crisis, click on this link.
Four years ago today, I formally started my business with this photo, which was taken during a Memorial Day trip to New York City. Clicking the shutter that day, in May 2013, I did not know I would be unemployed in a week.
After 30 years in journalism and communications, moving from job to job and seeing professional growth with each position, being laid off left me — and my family — adrift. I knew I had to do something, but prospects in an ever-changing publishing world were limited. Also, having worked for the same company for 12 years, I had seen a once vigorous operation slowly succumb to financial and organizational erosion, and I wasn't sure I wanted to face that prospect again.
Being on your own has its downsides. You rarely know what the next day will bring. Stability is elusive. You can work 24-7 without batting an eye. You have to rely on the faith of others (especially family and close friends) and word of mouth. And you have to hope that your work is not just good, but good enough, so clients will pass along your name.
Knowing these things, I formally launched this photography and freelance writing business five weeks after losing my job. Working on this website over the Fourth of July holiday, I launched my Facebook page on July 7, 2013.
And here we are, four years and more than 12,000 photos later, having slowly but steadily built a client base that I can only hope will continue to grow. Thankfully, I've had the opportunity to branch off into all sorts of things, meet a wide range of new (and usually fascinating) people, and have the types of experiences I dreamed about while sitting at an office desk all those years.
The creative malaise I dealt with for 2+ years in my previous position — an apt visual analogy is 1,000 small but painful paper cuts — has never returned. If anything, I feel more creative and engaged than ever.
As a storyteller, one who uses images and words to tell his tales, these last four years have been a lifeline. And I know, without question, I could not do this if it weren't for my wife, Jill, and my families (biological and otherwise).
I'm eternally grateful for your help, support, comments and feedback along the way. Thank you, and I hope you'll keep coming back to visit/use my services.
I didn’t have much chance to walk through New Orleans last week. The city has battled rain all spring, and the two times that I could be outside were mired by weather that only added to the NOLA’s soupy skies.
Fortunately, given the rain and the humidity, I spent most of my time in the hotel shooting a conference. But here is some of what I saw during those two walks, and be on the lookout for another album that is of people I randomly caught on the city’s streets.
On a cloudy, soupy and humid Sunday, with less than a day to kill before I started shooting the first of two conferences this month in New Orleans, I decided to go on a tour of a Louisiana swamp.
The tour of Bayou Barataria started at the dock of Crown Point, located just 12 miles from the French Quarter and adjacent to the Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve. Lafitte, the infamous pirate, used the bayou as his “highway” to New Orleans.
The tour included bayou views of a 200-year-old above ground cemetery known as the Indian Mound. We also saw herons, a couple of pelicans, and the inevitable alligators.
A couple of interesting facts from our guide at the Louisiana Tour Company:
• The major difference between alligators and crocodiles is gators hibernate for 3 to 4 months a year.
• Male alligators typically grow up to a foot a year until they reach 6 feet. They continue to grow — reaching up to 13 feet in length and more than 500 pounds — but the rate slows at about age 6.
• Female alligators are smaller and grow less quickly than males. They can reach 9 feet in length and more than 200 pounds.
• Alligators are color blind. It’s one reason they like, believe it or not, marshmallows. It’s true; I’ve seen it up close.
All in all, an interesting experience and an opportunity to take some fun photos.
To see more photos in the Places series, go here.
Hello, New York. It’s been a while…
On my first trip to the city in several months, I had the opportunity to take dance photos in Washington Heights with my twins (Ben and Emma) and three alums from the “Newsies” tour cast (Josh Burrage, Kaitlyn Frank, and Iain Young).
A subway tunnel on 191st Street and Fort Tryon Park provided the backdrop for this latest set in the series.
For more photos, go to my Facebook album here. Click on the "Art & Dance" tab at the top of this page to see more galleries in the series.
The Metropolitan School of the Arts Academy, which opened in 2013 with 15 high school freshmen and sophomores, graduates its second class this June. With the first class, I did a series of portraits at the Lorton Workhouse, incorporating the students’ chosen art form into the aesthetic of the former prison.
This set took a new, though somewhat familiar, path. In all but one instance, the students wanted to use the Workhouse, where the soon-to-be graduates spent three of their four high school years. The familiar setting, however, lent new opportunities for creativity.
The result is “Multiple Exposures.” I’m interested in hearing what you think.
To see the photos of all the MSA graduates, go to http://glenncook.virb.com/msa-grads.
Fourteen of my "Art & Dance" photos are on display and for sale this month at the Kingstowne Public Library in Alexandria, Va. The library is my favorite virtual office and one of the staff asked if I would be interested in showing some of my work, so I was more than happy to oblige.
Library hours vary, but stop by if you can to see the prints, which are on foam core and available for very reasonable prices. If you're interested in a price list, send an email to email@example.com.
When my oldest son moved to North Carolina as a toddler, we lived less than a mile from the American Tobacco Company plant. Today, Nicholas still lives in North Carolina, just a mile from the place that was home to the cigarette maker’s primary headquarters.
But times have changed greatly over the last two decades for everyone involved, in oh so many ways.
For me, the move from my native Texas to Reidsville, N.C., in 1993 represented a huge personal and career risk. Over the eight years I lived there, life as I knew it took a series of seismic shifts. I got a divorce, met the love of my life, remarried, had three kids in a calendar year, bought a house, changed careers and found lifelong friends.
I also saw a town and region face a series of seismic shifts of its own, as its economic drivers — mainly textiles and tobacco — left either gradually or almost entirely during that time.
A few months after I took over as managing editor at The Reidsville Review, the town’s largest employer was sold by its parent company. More than 1,000 employees — almost 10 percent of Reidsville’s population — lost their jobs because the American Tobacco Company was no more. Today, the plant that once employed more than 1,500 people and dominated the northern part of the town is only a shell of itself, with only a handful of workers plying their trade for a company that sells cigarettes in foreign markets.
Several years earlier, in 1987, American Brands closed the American Tobacco factory on Blackwell Street in downtown Durham. This, combined with declines in the textile industry, was a huge blow to the town on many levels; the company had been founded by the Duke family after which the university nearby is named.
For more than a decade, the tobacco campus remained vacant, a gigantic hole in the center of town. But in 2004, the Capitol Broadcasting Company started a $200 million renovation effort that has led to both an economic and cultural renaissance in the city’s downtown area.
The American Tobacco Campus, as it is now known, is home to office space, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The Durham Bulls Athletic Park, one of the nicest minor league baseball stadiums in the country, is adjacent to the campus, as is the Durham Performing Arts Center, the largest of its kind in North or South Carolina. The area attracts more than 2 million visitors a year.
Today, small businesses form a strong restaurant and entertainment district throughout the downtown area, luring back 20-somethings like my oldest son and his girlfriend to Durham, where they live in a converted textile factory about a mile from the American Tobacco campus.
Durham is cool — not Kool — again.
The past two decades have not been as kind to Reidsville, located in a rural area just north of Greensboro about 60 miles from Durham. Like many former factory communities across the nation, Rockingham County has struggled economically, and is facing a population decline.
The tale is all too familiar. Within a decade after the Reidsville plant was sold, The Review was a shell of itself as well. Started in 1888, around the same time that American Tobacco came into being, it has been sold twice since 1997, consolidated with two other community newspapers, and seen its frequency cut from daily to twice a week.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve gone back through Reidsville during my trips to North Carolina. On one recent trip, I went past The Review building and the former American Tobacco plant and thought again of how their fates — caused by an almost simultaneous explosion of the Internet and the new global economy — seemed intertwined and in some ways interchangeable.
Say what you will about big tobacco, and there’s plenty to say about that, but there’s no denying that the collateral damage caused by any major industry going through rapid decline has generational impacts. I’ve seen this first hand in journalism, my chosen field, with overworked staffs in small and midsized newspapers being sliced to the bone as the institutions that served communities for decades consolidated or closed entirely. Too many of my colleagues, hard working people with an invested interest in their community’s future, present and past, have found themselves out of work and scrambling to make ends meet.
When I moved to North Carolina, I took some time to revisit You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe, the state’s most famous author. I thought again of that book as I drove by the three houses and apartment where I lived, marveling at the snail’s pace in which small towns change, and recalling the tumultuous times that so dramatically changed my path.
It is a place, like my hometown, that will always be part of my history. And my son’s.
To see more photos from this essay, go to my Facebook album here.
Emi is an elementary school student from the Boston area who is working in local theatre. I am returning to Boston next Tuesday through Friday to shoot photos for Wheelock Family Theatre, and hope to schedule more sessions with actors young and old while there. If you're interested, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out these photos of Max taken during a quick mini session in Boston earlier this year. I'm returning to Boston next week to shoot photos for the Wheelock Family Theatre and hope to schedule more sessions with performers young and old(er). If you're interested, send an email to email@example.com and we can set something up!
Two new freelance articles and several of my photographs appear in the current issue of three national magazines. All have been uploaded to the website and are now available for viewing.
• Several photos from last fall’s trip to Zurich, Switzerland appear in the Association for Career and Technical Education's March 2017 issue of its flagship magazine, Techniques. The trip focused on how Colorado schools are adopting facets of the Swiss apprenticeship model, which ACTE delves into with a feature and Q&A with the Swiss ambassador to the United States.
• Simple Logic, which is in the current issue of American School Board Journal, is a technology column that focuses on the need for more computer science and coding classes in K-12 schools. Today, only 24 states allow students to count computer science classes as part of their high school science credits. While more than a half million computing jobs are unfilled in the U.S., just 42,969 computer science students graduated into the workforce in 2015-16.
• LMJ Scholarship — Atticus Lee: The sixth in a series of stories about recipients of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s LMJ Scholarship appears in the current issue of Diversity & The Bar.
For more stories and features I've written over the past year, go to http://glenncook.virb.com/freelance.
John, a student at Metropolitan School of the Arts, is a repeat customer who needed new headshots. See the results at http://glenncook.virb.com/john2017, and consider scheduling a session today.
Seth is the seventh actor I’ve taken headshots or dance photos of who has played one of the most demanding child roles on stage — the title character in “Billy Elliot.” These photos were taken during a mini session in the middle of tech week for the show. You can see more photos at http://glenncook.virb.com/seth.
Check out these headshots of Shane, taken during a mini session in Boston in the middle of tech week for “Billy Elliot” in late January. The gallery is at http://glenncook.virb.com/shane. Shane played Michael for most of the month-long run as well as the title character.
One thing I greatly enjoy — and don't do enough — is going out with other photographers on shoots. It's a great way to talk about the art and craft of what we do, and I always learn something new.
On Sunday, just after the clocks sprung forward, longtime friend Gary Rubin and I went to Arlington Cemetery. We had no real agenda and no places we had to go. The result is a mixture of random things that caught my eye and a few takes on some of the iconic images at the national cemetery.
Traditionally we associate Arlington with its simple white markers, which are provided free to families by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. There are a surprising number of elaborate gravestones, however, which prompted me to take a look at the story behind them.
According to Robert M. Poole's book, On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington Cemetery, privately purchased markers were permitted from 1947 to 2001. The sections with these markers, most of them near General Robert E. Lee's former home at the top of the hill, are nearly full and the cemetery generally does not allow new burials. Older sections of the cemetery have a wide variety of private markers placed prior to 2001, including an artillery piece
Arlington, which was established during the Civil War after the Union seized Lee's home and grounds, is a massive place — 624 acres — making it impractical to try and cover everything in a single morning.
Enjoy these takes by visiting my Facebook album. I hope to return for more photos soon.
The Virginia Dance Coalition recently held DanceFest 2017 in Alexandria, a weekend event featuring master classes for students and performances by 13 area companies/studios. I was the official photographer for the event, which featured 20 performances in a two-hour show at the end of the festival.
These photos were taken during the dress rehearsal, where I could walk around and look for different angles, and the performance. Companies performing, in alphabetical order, were:
Ballet Arts Ensemble, Ballet Nova Center for Dance, Classical Ballet Theatre, DanceArt Theater, Encore Theatrical Arts Project, Fairfax Ballet Company, Kalavaridhi Center, Kista Tucker Insights, Metropolitan Youth Ballet, Nrityanjali, Play Time Tap, Virginia Ballet Company, and Xuejuan Dance Ensemble.
A new gallery is up in the Performances: Theater & Cabaret section of the website. To see more photos from the event, go to my e-store at http://glenncookphotos.smugmug.com. If you are interested in purchasing photos that are not watermarked, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing our series of headshots, take a look at these photos of repeat customer Georgia, a second semester freshman at New York’s Pace University. The photos are up at http://glenncook.virb.com/georgia.
Day 2 in our series of newly posted headshots takes us to Boston, where I did a series of sessions as well as the production photos for a regional production of “Billy Elliot The Musical.” These photos were taken of Byron, an actor and motivational speaker who now lives in New York City. You can see the gallery at http://glenncook.virb.com/byron.
The last of the pictures in Road Show is one of only two that feature dancers. It also happens to be one of my favorites, taken of my daughter Emma in Pittsburgh last October.
The show runs through tomorrow night, when the Workhouse Arts Center holds its annual Collectors Showcase fundraiser. If you're interested in attending the Collectors Showcase, go towww.workhousearts.org to purchase tickets.
Two more photographs that appear in "Road Show," my exhibit at the Workhouse Arts Center that ends with the Collector's Showcase fundraiser this Saturday. Both photos have appeared here before.
The first, taken in October in Paris, is what you see when you look up from the ground at the Eiffel Tower. The second, "Congregation of Bees," was taken during a visit to Durham, N.C., last summer.
I hope you'll consider going to the exhibit before it closes. If you're interested in the Collectors Showcase event, go towww.workhousearts.org.
No Parking — Tustin, Calif., January 2016
On display and for sale at Lorton's Workhouse Arts Center, today's Daily Photo is part of my exhibit, "Road Show." Taken while searching for something to eat on a Sunday morning, I saw this bench in the parking lot of a hardware store. The texture and rich color of the wall had appeal, as did the bench's placement. I snapped the photo and went off to find food, not knowing until later what I had in my camera.
To see more photos in the exhibit, stop by the Workhouse from noon to 5 p.m. today. The show is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through March 4. It is located on the second floor of Building 16 (Main Gallery).
My poster for "Road Show," now in building 16 at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton through March 4. Exhibit hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
View from the Ranch — outside Moab, Utah, August 2016
Part of my exhibit, Road Show, at the Workhouse Arts Center, the Daily Photo was taken outside Moab, Utah, during a photo excursion to four states last August. The scenery in this part of the U.S. is breathtaking, and the photos are equally good in black and white or in color. For this, I chose to stick with color because of the contrast between the rocks and the gorgeous blue sky.
To see more photos in the exhibit, stop by the Workhouse and go to the second floor of Building 16. The show is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through March 4.
Behind the Altar — Paris, October 2016
Today's Daily Photo, part of my Road Show exhibit now at the Workhouse Arts Center, was taken behind the altar at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres in Paris.
For obvious reasons, you can't use a flash in the 13th century Gothic cathedral, which made for some logistical challenges given the steady flow of people walking through one of the most popular tourist sites in Paris. When I saw this shot, I knew it would be difficult to capture handheld, but managed to get this with a shutter speed of only 1/15th of a second.
Now through March 4, you can see this and other examples of my work on the second floor of Building 16 at the Workhouse. The exhibit leads off the center's annual "Collectors Showcase" fundraiser.
Harlem Mural — New York City, January 2016
Another "Road Show" selection, today's "Daily Photo" was taken while walking through Harlem with my wife last January during a trip to New York City. As anyone who visits this page regularly knows, I'm a great fan of graffiti and outdoor artists, and this one in particular caught my eye for two reasons.
First, seeing how the artist managed to navigate the many textures on the metal door is a remarkable feat. You can see many doors like this in New York and other urban cities, but this one is beautifully executed. Second, I love how the sprinkler/fire alarm bell is incorporated into the left eye, giving an already surreal work a cyborg effect.
You can see this and other photos through March 4 at the Workhouse Art Center in Lorton as part of "Road Show," the lead exhibit to the Collector's Showcase gallery on the second floor of building 16. The exhibit is open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Three "Daily Photos," all featured in Road Show, my exhibit now at the Workhouse Arts Center. Go see my show, now through March 4 on the second floor of Building 16.
Rest Stop — June 2016
Nottoway, Va., is about halfway between our home in Lorton and Greensboro, N.C., where my oldest son lived when he was a child. The Nottoway Motel, located just off Interstate 85, was a pickup/dropoff point for a number of years. Still heavily rural, the area now has a combination gas station/Subway/ Dunkin' Donuts just off the interstate, but the motel and a cafe remain open. Last June, while going to see Nicholas in Durham, I stopped by the motel and captured this picture.
Natural Geyser — Caribou County, Idaho
Last August, on a day trip from Salt Lake City to the Grand Tetons, I saw a sign pointing me to this natural geyser, which goes off every hour on the hour in Caribou County, Idaho. I stopped, waited until it fired up again, and snapped this photo.
Covered Bridge — Claremont, N.C.
Located just outside Hickory off Interstate 40, the 85-foot Bunker Hill Covered Bridge is one of only two remaining in North Carolina. Spanning Lyle's Creek, the bridge was designed by well-known Civil War engineer Herman Haupt. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This photo was taken in September 2016.
Two and a half years ago, just after developing the “Art & Dance” concept, I took a group of ballerinas from Metropolitan School of the Arts into Washington, D.C., where we shot photos at a graffiti park and in the Federal Triangle. The shoot was very successful, and spurred much of what has taken place since with this series.
What was missing, however, was a second chance to take photos of MSA ballerinas in this type of setting. That changed on Monday, when five members of the Metropolitan Youth Ballet and a helpful apprentice went to Theodore Roosevelt Island and to Great Falls, Va., for the latest installment in the series.
Blessed by an early spring-like day, we navigated around an unusually large contingent of families walking around Theodore Roosevelt Island and took photos in a creek at a small park near the larger Great Falls facility.
At last weekend's Women's March on Washington, I was drawn to the vast variety of signs and messages directed at our nation's new president. To commemorate the historic day, I decided to create a collage of the various messages and make it available to anyone interested in purchasing it.
Titled "Signs of the Times," the print also is available with a foam core backing. If you are interested, send me an email to email@example.com. A portion of any profits will be given to one or more nonprofits that served as "Partners" on the march.
An estimated 500,000 people descended on Washington, D.C., Saturday to show their support for women’s rights the day after the presidential inauguration. The march, which started with speeches and performances at 10 a.m. and did not finish until late afternoon, was an incredible demonstration of support for women as well as traditionally marginalized groups.
The large number — organizers had originally predicted 200,000 — of people overwhelmed cell towers. The Metro system set a record with more than 1 million riders on Saturday alone.
That said, the event was peaceful and largely positive. More important, no arrests were reported the day after 230 were jailed during protests by self-described anarchists in D.C. for the inauguration. #WomensMarch #WomensMarchOnWashington
For more photos, go to my Facebook album here.
Blast of Water — New York City, November 2016
This is the last week of "Road Show," my photography exhibit at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton. This piece, one of 12 on display and today's "Daily Photo," was taken at a fountain near City Hall in Lower Manhattan last fall.
To see the other photos in the exhibit, all of which are for sale, go to the second floor of Building 16 at the Workhouse.
Each winter, the Workhouse Arts Foundation holds its Collectors Showcase exhibition and fundraiser, featuring donated pieces from each of the 90-plus studio and the Arches Gallery artists. Last year, one of my photos was selected as “Best in Show” by Sarah Newman, an independent curator with past exhibits at the National Gallery of Art and Corcoran Gallery of Art.
As a result, I was invited to have my own exhibit at the entrance to this year’s showcase, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 4. The exhibit, dubbed “Road Show,” features 12 photographs taken during 2016, a year in which I traveled to 18 states and three countries.
All 12 photos are for sale, with 30% of the proceeds benefitting the Workhouse’s art, education and history programs. This teaser video gives you a sneak peek at the show, which was installed yesterday. I also will feature selected images from the show — with the stories behind each — in upcoming "Daily Photos" here and on my blog.
Starting this weekend, you can see the photos for yourself during the gallery’s regular hours (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays) and at the second Saturday event on Feb. 11.
For more information about the Collectors Showcase and art lottery, visit www.workhousearts.org. And stop by Building 9 to see three more of my photos and the work of the other Arches Gallery artists.
My oldest son designed these business cards and a new watermark for my work. Thank you, Nick!
Nice to see one of my photos advertising the Collectors Showcase 2017 exhibit at the Workhouse Arts Center. Go see my exhibit, "Road Show," now through March 4.
Fourteen photos from my "Art & Dance" series are on display and for sale at Breathe Body and Mind, a small yoga studio in West Springfield, Va. All of the prints, which range in size from 8x12 to 20x30, have a 3/16-inch foam core backing and are suitable for framing.
The studio is located at 6350 Rolling Mill Place, Suite 103. You can learn more by visiting the Breathe Body and Mind website at www.breathebodymind.com.
Photos of the Thornton family, taken at Burke Lake Park in November, are now up at http://glenncook.virb.com/the-thorntons. While your children are home on break, consider scheduling a session for your family!
A huge word of thanks to the students and staff at Academy of Dance in Reidsville, N.C., for bringing us in for a day of master classes, headshots and dance photography this past weekend.
My son, Ben, taught back-to-back classes and talked to students at the studio about his experiences as a working actor. I took headshots, did an "Art & Dance" session with several students, and talked to parents about challenges of raising a child in show business.
This is the second of these types of sessions we have done this fall. If you are interested in bringing us in for your studio, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A quick collage of photos from a terrific trip to Europe. The Daily Photo is back...
Highlights from Friday’s 2016 Fly performance, featuring MSA students performing more than 20 tap, hip hop, jazz and contemporary numbers at the end of the annual two-week summer camp. More than 90 attended this year’s dance intensive, which featured the work of 11 professional choreographers under the direction of Christie Sirota. Five performances also featured student choreography.
For more photos, visit my Facebook page here.
In honor of the National Park Service's centennial celebration (#nps100), here are a few of the hundreds of photos taken during a recent trip to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. Several are from the scenic route en route to the park, a beautiful site itself that follows along the Colorado River. The National Park Service was created on Aug. 25, 1916.
To see more photos from this album, go to my Facebook page here.
Elementary, middle and high school students from Northern Virginia performed scenes from four Broadway musicals Friday at the end of Metropolitan School of the Arts' annual summer musical theatre camp. The first show was "Hands on a Hardbody" (above); the second was from "All Shook Up" (below).
The students learned scenes, songs, and dances during the two week camp and then performed the pieces in a two-hour finale at Northern Virginia Community College's Ernst Cultural Center.
Metropolitan Youth Theatre, a student-run nonprofit company formed two years ago in Northern Virginia, will present the Tony Award-winning musical “Spring Awakening” in July.
Featuring a cast of 17 high school and college students, the show is the fourth MYT production since the company was founded in 2014 by Fairfax County students Sam Cornbrooks, Chad Vann, and James Woods. Students run all aspects of the productions, fulfilling the company’s mission of educating young actors and technicians about the challenges they soon will face in the professional theatre world.
Cornbrooks, who graduated this month from Lee High School, is the producer and technical director of “Spring Awakening,” which won eight Tony Awards in its first run on Broadway and was nominated for Best Musical Revival this year. Vann, a rising senior at Hayfield Secondary School, is the show’s director. The music director is Woods, a rising senior at Metropolitan School of the Arts.
Since the company started, I have served as MYT’s photographer, taking publicity photos to promote each show and then of the performances. Because the show’s themes focus on the sexual awakening of teens in 19th century Germany and the struggles they face with adults, we used the Lorton Workhouse as the setting for the promo photos. The gritty nature of the former prison — a place where I shoot frequently — served as a terrific backdrop for a series of mostly somber portraits of the cast.
Performances will be July 29-31 at 1st Stage Tysons in McLean, Va. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15 and available at www.metroyoutharts.com.
To see more photos, go to my Facebook album here.
Each year around this time, I spend hours shooting and editing photos of the Metropolitan School of the Arts spring show. I had other work commitments this year during the dress rehearsals for "Alice in Wonderland," so I was able to take photos of the Saturday and Sunday casts once.
The first set (above) is of the ensemble from the Saturday show. You can see more from this shoot by going to my Facebook album here.
The second set is of class dance photos taken, primarily, of the Saturday matinee cast. I was able to go to the dress rehearsal briefly for the evening cast and took a few from different angles. You can see the rest of the class dance photos on Facebook here.
As many of you know, I have taken photos of Metropolitan School of the Arts productions since my kids were little. It is always a challenge to find new ways to capture a live performance, but I think these offer a glimpse of the quality and commitment everyone had to the show.
BTW, the reason I’m calling these albums “Alternate” is because another photographer (Laura Mann) has been capturing rehearsals since they started. Typically, I shoot only the performances and the promo photos. This year, I did more than 140(!) headshots of the ensemble.
Photos of the ensemble and principal cast members from the final Sunday performance of Metropolitan School of the Arts' "Alice in Wonderland."
All of the photos were taken during the performance. Unllike previous years, I could not shoot all of the dress rehearsals, so this was my one and only take on the Sunday cast. It was made even more special because our daughter, Emma, finished her 13th and final MSA show on that day with a host of her fellow high school graduates.
To see more photos from this performance, go to my Facebook album here.
A final set of photos from Metropolitan School of the Arts' production of "Alice in Wonderland." These are of class dances and were taken during the Sunday evening show. For more, visit my Facebook album here.
Portraits of soon-to-be high school graduates, many of them aspiring performers, are a large part of my business here in Northern Virginia. Working with dancers, singers, and actors, my goal is to combine aspects of their art with my eye to create images that are captivating, reflective, slightly edgy, and occasionally provocative.
As anyone who follows my work knows, I spend a great deal of time shooting for Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA), which offers pre-professional training to performers from age 3 to adult. In September 2013, MSA opened a college preparatory performing arts academy at the Workhouse Arts Center for students who want to combine academics with intensive arts training.
The first class graduates this June, so I decided to work on a series of senior portraits for those who are enrolled and attend school at the Workhouse. Nine of the 12 seniors are in Lorton; two are already working as professional performers and are not on site, while one graduated at midyear.
As an associate artist at the Workhouse, a former adult reformatory that was reshaped into a complex for the visual and performing arts, I have long been fascinated by the elements that remain of the former prison. Combining the Workhouse’s physical elements with the students’ performing skills and passion presented an interesting artistic challenge.
The result is this series of portraits that were shot last week. Throughout the month of June, a number of these images will be displayed in gallery W-9, where the Associate Artists show their work.
I hope you enjoy these and others that are on my Facebook photography page.
“Family Farm,” a photo I took while heading to North Carolina for my father-in-law’s funeral, was named Best in Show from more than 70 entries at the Workhouse Arts Center’s Collectors Showcase 2016.
Juror Sarah Newman, an independent curator with current projects at the National Gallery of Art and the Katzen Center for the Arts at American University, selected the piece from works that included paintings, drawings, photos, wood, ceramics and glass.
Each artist at the Workhouse is required to donate a piece or pieces with a minimum value of $200 for the showcase, an annual fundraiser that benefits the arts center. In all, 73 pieces were donated this year.
Participants in the fundraiser enter a lottery and are allowed to select an artist’s piece in exchange for their donation. Both of my pieces— the other was of pelicans taken on a dock in Aruba — were selected this year.
“Family Farm” was taken as the sun, unusually bright on that late winter day, was starting to set as we drove down Route 1 near Berkley, Va. I saw how the light was blasting through the house far off in the distance and convinced my wife to stop for a moment to take the shot. Three clicks later, I had this photo.
For more information about the Workhouse, visit www.WorkhouseArts.org.
Photos of 26 events I shot for Metropolitan School of the Arts are now up at my e-store — http://glenncookphoto.smugmug.com. Prints start as low as $2.
Wednesday is the last day to order your 2016 "Art & Dance" calendar and receive it in time for the holidays. Cost is $20 (plus $6.95 for shipping outside Northern Virginia), with proceeds benefitting Metropolitan School of the Arts and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
These photos from a trip to Hollywood are part of my 2016 "Art & Dance" calendar, now available at http://glenncook.virb.com/2016-calendar. Proceeds from the sales benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Metropolitan School of the Arts. Get yours now in time for the holidays!
Another night, another show: One of my pieces — a collage of photos I took during a visit to Texas earlier this year — is featured in an "Art Feast" exhibition at the Buchanan Partners Art Gallery at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Thanks to everyone who came out to Manassas tonight for the opening of the Workhouse Associate Artists exhibit and to Kathy Strauss for asking me to speak briefly. The exhibit showcases the work of a number of very talented people who work in all different types of genres.
Ten of my Art & Dance photos were on display at RAW-Uprising, a show featuring more than 40 perfomers and artists that was held at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. A sincere thank you to everyone who purchased tickets and turned out for the event, which showcased my work in front of a large and diverse audience of more than 500 people.
On Cyber Monday, you can buy gifts online and support the arts at the same time. Pick up your 2016 "Art and Dance" calendar featuring pre-professional and professional dancers from across the U.S. on my website. Go to http://glenncook.virb.com/
2016-calendar and show your support for Metropolitan School of the Arts and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
New headshots of Ben, a senior at Metropolitan School of the Arts, are now up on my website at http://glenncook.virb.com/
ben. Schedule a session for your senior, performer, or family member today!
The auditorium at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a fantastic place to see a performance, but it is not the easiest locale to shoot dancers. The theater’s horseshoe seating arrangement does not lend itself to capturing a performance on the floor.
For the past two years, Metropolitan School of the Arts has rented the facility to hold various events. Earlier this year, MSA’s Metropolitan Youth Ballet presented its annual end-of-year production, “La Fille Malle Gardee.” Two performances, with different students in the lead roles, were held back to back.
I took a different approach this time around, sticking around in the balcony for the first show and then wandering down to eye level at points during the second, standng in the pass throughs that narrowed my scope greatly. It made for interesting contrasts in composition, but both approaches seemed to work well.
These photos represent highlights from both shows. If you would like to see everything I shot, go to MSA’s Facebook page or to my SmugMug site (where you can purchase low-cost prints or high-resolution downloads).
In case you’re wondering, “La Fille Malle Gardee” is a comedic ballet for all ages that tells the story of Lise, who desperately wants to break away from the farmhouse where she lives with her mother, Widow Simone. Lise is in love with Colas, but her mother wants her to marry the rich vineyard owner’s son, Alain. Complications ensue, but as you will see in the photos, in the end all live happily ever after.
The ballet was first performed in 1789, the year of the French Revolution, and was the first to discuss the social status of the suitor. It was adapted and choreographed by MSA faculty member Jacqueline Doherty.
One of my largest freelance jobs is shooting photos for Metropolitan School of the Arts. Over the past two years, I've captured more than 50 galleries of performances and events that feature studio and Academy students. Those galleries are posted at my e-store (http://glenncookphoto.smugmug.com) and both prints and high-resolution downloads are available for purchase.
4x6 prints are only $2 and other sizes are available. Downloads range from $1 for a print suitable for use in social networking to $3 for a high-resolution image. Visit the site, browse, share, and purchase. A portion of the proceeds will be returned to MSA.
Congratulations to the casts and crew of Metropolitan School of the Arts' "Toy Stories" that will be performing in four sold out shows at the NOVA Alexandria campus this weekend. I took these two photos for the program as well as the headshots that will be used inside. Break legs, one and all!
MSA Academy students are in dress rehearsals for Sunday's end-of-year showcase revue at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial theatre. The 75-minute revue features dance, theatre, and music selections that show the progress the students have made in their studies this year. The performance will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 10.
Two photos now on display as part of the March Featured Artist exhibit at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton have already sold. Both prints are 20x30 and were priced at $295; reprints are available.
Here are details on the photos...
Sunrise on a Frozen Potomac (top photo)
The sunrise on the frozen Potomac River was taken on an early morning shoot with my oldest son, who had come up to Virginia to visit for the weekend. We were taking the scenic route into DC and saw these beautiful rich colors, pulled over and took about 30 pictures, capturing this one.
West Texas Sunset
This photo was taken in Albany, Texas, in December 2012. Albany is a small, middle-of-nowhere town in West Texas where part of my family lives. My cousin had just passed away and my mom and I were driving there for his funeral. As the sun went down — nothing is better than a big Texas sky — I asked my mom to stop for a moment so I could take photos. This is one in a series I got of sunrises and sunsets in our two days there.
The exhibit is up through April 4 in building W-9 at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton.
Final full weekend to see my photo exhibit in W-9 at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton. The exhibit is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through April 4. Stop by and take a look before it's gone!
Here's a pleasant surprise: My photo of a frozen Potomac River, which is featured in the current exhibit at the Workhouse Arts Center, is on the cover of the March issue of élan magazine. élan is a monthly fine arts magazine "mailed to select homes and businesses throughout Northern Virginia." Nice honor!
Thanks to everyone (and to Tom Pratt for the picture) who came out to see an exhibit of my work at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton this evening. More than 100 people passed through the W-9 gallery to view the work of my fellow Workhouse Associate Artists. I can't begin to say how much I appreciate your support!
I spent a large portion of the weekend putting the finishing touches on my first photo exhibit, which will be on display throughout March at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Va. I became a member of the Workhouse Associate Artists group last summer, and have had several photos on display, but this is my first time as a "Featured Artist."
The show, "Landscapes, Dancers (and other things I see)," features 17 of my photos ranging in size from 8x12 to 20x30. All are framed and for sale (see list below).
An opening reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 14, in Gallery 9. You can see my work then as well as pieces from the other Workhouse Associate Artists, or stop by the gallery from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. weekends.
The lights showcase the photos beautifully. Photographing the photos in this light, however, is another story.
In preparing the exhibit, I developed an "Artist's Statement" explaining what you'll see and what some of the motivation was behind the pictures. While regular readers of this blog (thanks, Jill and Mom) are familiar with the story, casual passers-by likely will wonder, "What the heck was he thinking?"
So here it is...
I still find it somewhat humorous to be called an “artist.” Working in journalism and communications, I know my way around a camera, especially when it came to photographing events. But I had never done what you would call “fine art” — landscapes, portraits, etc.
In my family, my father was the artist who could work in almost any medium except — ironically — photography. I can’t draw a stick figure, but it seems I managed to pick up his wandering eye for composition. After his death in Texas in 2007, my wife and I spent a great deal of time in New York, and I found myself wishing he could walk the streets of Manhattan with me. One day, I decided to pick up my camera and see if I could capture what he would have seen, those little mundane aspects of life that we rarely pay attention to each day.
I started shooting — a lot — and found that I enjoyed it.
Today, my camera is an almost constant companion, both as a passion and as a business. As a parent of four artistic (performing and visual) children, I started capturing their performances, which led to a series — some of which are in this exhibit — that I’ve started with Metropolitan School of the Arts. I’m fortunate that people outside my immediate family seem to like what I do, and I find that photography is a way to honor my dad and keep his memory alive.
Invitation card sent out by the Workhouse Arts Center Associate Artists touting my March 2015 exhibit in W-9 in Lorton. Hope you'll come see my work displayed starting next week! All of the photos will be available for sale.
The Metropolitan School of the Arts' annual holiday concert is a marathon four-show Saturday on the last weekend before Christmas. In addition to showcasing class dances, MSA's pre-professional companies (MYTE, MYB and iMpulse) perform in addition to senior solos. Leading off each show was Santa's Frosty Follies, which I captured while shooting the first two shows of the day.
To see more Frosty pictures, go to my Facebook album here.
Teenage dancers, snow, slush, and Times Square — New York City, February 2015
For more photos, go to my Facebook album here.
Frosty Follies made its first appearance before a giant crowd of holiday shoppers at the new Springfield Town Center on Saturday. The crowd was so large, in fact, that there was no good place to set up and shoot. So I took a different tack, walking around in a large circle and going up and down the escalators in an effort to capture the event. (And I still didn't exercise as much as the dancers...)
Frosty will conclude next Sunday, December 20 following two charity performances on Dec. 18 and Dec. 21 in Alexandria and Falls Church. The best place to catch this fun holiday revue will be at the Metropolitan School of the Arts Winter Concert. Four performances — at 10 a.m., 12:30, 3 and 5:30 p.m. — will be held at Woodson High School in Fairfax.
For more photos, go to my Facebook album here. To purchase photos from the performance, go to the E-store link at the top of this page.
Shooting "The Nutcracker" this year was a different experience than I've previously had. For one, I know my camera and the theater much better. Second, this year's version seemed much brighter and more buoyant than in the past.
Also, it helped that Emma and Ben weren't in the show — even though I missed seeing them do it and hope they will again — because I was able to be much more objective and wasn't always trying to ensure I captured their work first.
Finally, I spotted something I hadn't in the past that informed my choices of where to go and where to shoot. Much of the action this year seemed to be generated from the sides, rather than center stage, and by moving around a little bit I could get some fun angles. Also, during the dress rehearsal, I went directly to the stage and shot from there to get a different perspective.
Here are three images from the shoot. I'll have more from the Sunday performance soon, where I was able to build on the lessons I learned from this performance.
Live performance: It's never the same twice...
This past week, I shot a dress rehearsal and a performance of MSA's annual production of "The Nutcracker." Here are a few behind-the-scenes shots, including the warm up, a view from backstage right, and some hardworking, tired kids listening to notes after a long rehearsal.
For more, check out my Facebook album here.
"Senior Night," Lake Braddock's final home football game of the regular season, was a romp over Robert E. Lee High School and the final performance of the Golden Girls varsity dance team this fall. Congratulations to Emma on a terrific junior season.
For more photos, visit my Facebook album here.
You can still order your 2015 "Art & Dance" calendar and support the Metropolitan School of the Arts scholarship fund. Orders are being accepted through Dec. 1 and will be delivered in time for the holidays. Out of town orders also are accepted for an additional $4.50 shipping. Suggested donation is $20.
Place your order now at the MSA studio in Alexandria or Lorton, or by filling out this form. Thank you!
This is the one that started the Art & Dance series — a shot of my son, Ben,rehearsing at the Lorton Workhouse. This image, and many more, are featured in my 2015 Art & Dance calendar now available as a benefit for Metropolitan School of the Arts.
Suggested donations are $20; shipping outside Northern Virginia is an additional $4.50. To purchase your calendar, send me an email at email@example.com or a message via Facebook.
The first shipment of "Art & Dance" calendars has arrived. Orders can be picked up at MSA's Alexandria studio and I will ship calendars to those of you from out-of-town soon. There's still time if you haven't purchased yours yet, and you can see a sample at either the Alexandria or Lorton studio.
Calendars are being sold for a suggested donation of $20. Click here to order yours today!
Hi, everyone... Consider this a blatant bid for your business. I am available for headshots, portraits, family events, conferences, etc. All you have to do is send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get something on the books!
Meanwhile, now through October 31, I'm having a special sale on prints and downloads from all of my Metropolitan School of the Arts photos. You can check them out at http://glenncookphoto.smugmug.com. More than 4,000 photos taken since May 2013 are on the site.
Prints are $2 for a 4x6, $5 for a 5x7, $8 for an 8x10 and $10 for an 8x12. High-resolution downloads are only $3. A portion of the proceeds will be given to MSA.
Thanks for stopping by for this Photographer's PSA. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
Fly 2014, the two-week Metropolitan School of the Arts summer intensive showcasing the work of three levels of dancers in multiple genres, concluded with a spirited show and demonstration on Friday, August 8 at the Northern Virginia Community College's Alexandria campus. More than 30 numbers were featured in the show, which ran almost two hours.
Students participating in Fly auditioned for a chance to perform self-choreographed solos, duos and trios during the showcase. This year, for the first time, a separate student showcase was held prior to the main performance, with the top vote getters receiving a chance to perform in the main show.
Here is an interesting project that required all of my photography, editing and storytelling skills (limited though they may be), a little ingenuity, some painful choices, and — in the end — a great sigh of success.
“art in an instant” features 228 Instagram images taken over the past 18 months, scaled down (which improves the resolution) and painstakingly assembled onto a 36x24 document using Pages software. I can scale down the image further (30x20, 24x16, 18x12) if necessary.
As with every project, this one has a backstory, so let’s start at the beginning. Surprisingly, given that I’m a first-generation Apple geek, I didn’t get an iPhone until December 2012. So much for being an early adopter.
The reasons, however, were practical. My then-employer assigned a phone/Blackberry to us, and said we could use it for personal as well as professional calls. What was the purpose of having two phones when I could use my employer’s for free?
But almost two years ago, I finally broke down. The work phone was constantly dropping calls and given that I was often out of town with Ben, it made sense to get something that was more reliable and consistent. For me it was not a question; I was going Apple all the way.
One of the best features on the iPhone, of course, is the camera, and I quickly fell in love despite its obvious limitations. (It’s called iPhone, not iCamera, after all.) Having the equivalent of a good point-and-shoot in my hand, along with a host of cheap apps, provided an interesting intellectual and compositional challenge that is outside the realm of most of the photography you see on this page and on my website.
I quickly signed up for Instagram (@ourrealityshow), in part to follow my kids and in part to conduct a social media experiment. I wanted to see whether the audience would follow my work from platform to platform, and I regularly checked to see how they reacted to the various images I posted. Instagram also gave me a chance to play with filters, something I never really had done, and to look at life more from an artistic standpoint like my father did.
Over time, however, I started to run out of storage on my phone, and finally had to do something about the 2,000+ photos I had on its hard drive. Time to dump them on to the computer and free up some space.
After backing up the family photos and deleting the photos and videos that made no sense (sadly, there were quite a few of those), I still was left with more than 900 Instagram images. They also are not high-resolution; prints much larger than 5x5s would not be worth your time.
The photos are truly random; things I see that catch my eye at unscheduled moments. Most are things I took, edited, posted, and never looked at again. At the same time, they provide you (and me) with a window into what I have found intriguing in my day-to-day travels. (Blue skies, sunsets, tunnels, and bare trees in winter seem to top the list.)
I decided to assemble as many of the photos into one image to see what sort of story they would tell. And, after cutting them down, I see a story there. It’s of a photographer interested in making art of the ordinary, of a son who pays inadvertent tribute to his dad with almost every image, of a person who wants to entertain, challenge, and share what he sees with the world.
It's what I see in an instant.
One last plug for "Footloose." This was a huge undertaking — shooting and editing more than 2,500 photos taken over four days. The pictures are available for purchase and/or download in low- and high-res format at my e-store.
If you'd like to take a visual tour, check out this video that I compiled of stills from the Sunday performances. I think you'll enjoy it...
Metropolitan School of the Arts' production of "Footloose" had an unprecedented number of boys participating in the annual production. These stills, set to a video slideshow, pay tribute to their performance.
You can purchase these photos at my e-store. Photos are priced at a reasonable $2 each for 4x6 images, plus shipping, and 5x7, 8x10, and 8x12 prints are also available. You also can download low-res images suitable for sharing on social media as well as high-resolution images.
A huge editing project is complete: More than 2,500 photos from the recent Metropolitan School of the Arts production of "Footloose" are available for purchase and/or download on at my e-store. Take a look!
Last week, I spent three days photographing dress rehearsals for Metropolitan School of the Arts' production of "Footloose." Over the next several weeks, I'll be editing more than 2,500 images that will be available for sale at my e-store.
Photos are priced at a reasonable $2 each for 4x6 images, plus shipping, and 5x7, 8x10, and 8x12 prints are also available. You also can download low-res images suitable for sharing on social media as well as high-resolution images.
The first set of photos, from the Saturday matinee, are already up. They will be followed by the Sunday matinee, then the Saturday and Sunday evening shows.
Ben in mid-air during Footloose — June 2014
Below is a video of stills set to music and highlighting performances from the Saturday show. You can purchase any of the stills at my e-store.
A video focusing on Sunday's show will be posted tomorrow.
Photos for Sale