Currently showing posts tagged Photography
Here's a story about two of my professional worlds — music and event photography — colliding.
Last week, I shot the American Staffing Association's annual conference at National Harbor. For the finale, ASA brought in pop star Andy Grammer and his band in for a private concert for attendees.
Currently on tour behind his 2017 album, "The Good Place," Grammer was scheduled to play in Baltimore the next evening, As a result, Staffing World participants saw a 90-minute show with his six-piece band.
Grammer played a string of hits — “Keep Your Head Up,” “Fine By Me,” “Honey, I’m Good,” and “Good to be Alive (Hallelujah),” among others — in an energetic and well-received show.
To see more photos, go to my Concert Photography page.
Photos from an acoustic evening with Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen at The Birchmere last week. For a review of the show, go to my new Music: Live & Otherwise blog here.
Taking a side road and seeing where it leads you is one of my favorite things to do when traveling. Those opportunities are rare, however, and I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out on a lot every time I'm in a new place.
This was especially true during the ongoing saga of this month's 10-day trip to New England. Throughout the adventure, Mother Nature let me and everyone else know she is in everlasting charge. (No shock to the folks there I realize, but still…) The arrival of fall meant the weather ping-ponged all over the place — sunny and warm one minute, cloudy and cold the next, wet after that.
Nowhere was this in more evidence than during the 20+ hours I spent in New Hampshire, the bridge state on my trip from Vermont to Massachusetts. Traveling alone — my friend, Eric, had left Vermont early due to a death in the family — I dodged clouds and raindrops and found a couple of sunny/cloudy moments to take pictures.
These photos were taken in Sunapee and on the grounds of the Fells House, a lakeside estate that was originally the summer home of John Milton Hay, who was Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary during the Civil War and Secretary of State from 1898 to 1905.
To see more photos, go to my Facebook album here.
The fourth and final album from this month's New England adventure focuses on Cape Cod, where my wife and I stayed at a friend's beach house for two-plus days. As it was throughout the trip, the weather was flaky, with a beautiful sunset one evening and two solid days of rain that accompanied us all the way back to Boston. These photos were taken in three places: Provincetown, Wellfleet, and Hyannis.
To see more photos, go to my Facebook album here.
Earlier this week, someone asked if I still do headshots/corporate portraits. The answer is most certainly yes, as I spent 14 hours today editing 90 of them, with another 30 or so in the queue for tomorrow.
If you want me to do headshots, senior pictures or family portraits, get in touch. The next month is busy, but I would love to be part of your schedule in late October/early November.
A true highlight of a 10-day trip that covered large parts of New England was spending an afternoon with one of my best friends seeing sites in his home state of Vermont.
Throughout the trip, the weather was decidedly unpredictable, a mashup of sun, clouds, fog, drizzle and rain. It was all three last Sunday, especially as my friend Eric Kleppinger and I approached Smugglers Notch.
Referred to as “the notch” by Vermonters, this mountain pass separates Mount Mansfield — the highest peak of the Green Mountains — from Spruce Peak and the Sterling Range. Its name comes from Thomas Jefferson’s Embargo Act of 1807, which prevented the U.S. from taking part in trade with Great Britain and Canada.
Vermont’s proximity to Montreal made the state a convenient trade partner, and Jefferson’s embargo — an attempt to prevent American involvement in the Napoleonic Wars — caused great hardship. Smugglers Notch was a way to carry goods and herd livestock illegally.
Over time, Smugglers Notch was used by fugitive slaves as an escape route to Canada. When the one-lane road at the peak was created for automobile traffic in 1922, it became a convenient way to smuggle liquor into the U.S. from Canada during prohibition.
Eric told me these stories as we approached the summit on an overcast Sunday morning. Fog and mist rolled in as we moved toward the notch itself. We parked and got out — the area is popular for hikers — and I took these photos.
To see more from my "Smugglers Notch" album, go here.
As I see it, a person’s life is a collection of experiences, big and small. What I love about this work are the types of experiences it brings to my daily life. Each job — whether it’s a photography assignment or a freelance story — provides new opportunities for learning. Each trip to another place represents another chance to be creative, and then share what I see with my eyes.
Chaotic juggling at times? Certainly.
Scary to be out on a creative and financial limb? Definitely.
I would not be able to do this work without the support of Jill, my wife and partner in this life, and my family, friends, and clients. I am eternally grateful to each and every one of you who takes the time to look at my work, show me what you like, and help me in the search for ways to improve.
I hope you enjoy my collections.
Earlier this week, I posted a series of photos from a recent trip to Smugglers Notch at the top of the Green Mountain in Vermont. Here are more photos I captured on the visit, showcasing the changing leaves, the beauty of the landscape, and a 1939 Hudson found in a backyard.
To see more photos from "Visiting Vermont," go to my Facebook album here.
While shooting at a conference earlier this week, one of the attendees sat next to me at lunch and asked, “How long have you been doing photography?”
This question usually comes up at least once or twice when photographing a multiple-day event, and my standard explanation is pretty simple: When I was working in newspapers and school communications, I had to know my way around a camera, but I became really interested in it about a decade ago. After getting laid off in 2013, I turned it into a business to supplement freelance writing income and it’s taken off from there.
The attendee, like me a middle-aged man, nodded and asked several more questions about the subjects I like to shoot, the types of equipment I use, etc. As the conversation wound down, he asked, “What was the one thing that really spurred your interest in this type of work?
That answer, too, is relatively simple: My dad.
My father was a middle school art and history teacher for most of his career, but his first love — besides my mom — was visual arts. Drawing, painting, sculpture — he could do it all and make it look easy.
Conversely, I can’t draw a straight line while using a ruler. My painting skills are such that I usually have to bring in a hazmat team to clean up while I go buy new clothes. And my sculptures all look like the mashed potatoes that Richard Dreyfuss used to visualize the mountain in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” (If you want that visual, I’m sure it’s on YouTube.)
Nine years ago this month, I was spending several days a week in New York with our youngest son, who was in rehearsals for a show, and found myself navigating a series of two and three-hour gaps. Sometimes I’d go back to the apartment or find a Starbucks to work, but two or three times a week there just wouldn’t be enough time to get back or to be truly productive, so I picked up my camera and explored.
I had never taken “fine art” pictures before, but soon found myself looking for the types of things that would attract my dad’s eye. A year-plus after his death, I thought it would be a neat way to pay tribute to him and found that it kept him closer to me. Soon I posted photos online and folks said I had a good eye for it, so I pursued it further.
Why tell this story now? Consider it a late birthday present.
As I returned to the task of editing conference photos this morning and realized how it’s been some time since I’ve updated the blog, I went to my “Daily Photos” folder from this month to assemble the picture you see here.
On almost every photo, I see my dad’s influence, whether it was in capturing something he would like, or in photographing the lines I cannot draw or the paintings I can’t paint.
In those times, I realize my eye is his and through my eyes (and others) he lives on.
My father would have turned 78 yesterday. Happy belated, Dad.
My wife and I took a three-day mini-vacation this past week to Virginia's Shenandoah Mountains. It was a chance to unplug and get away from everything — except my camera, of course. To see more from this album, go here.
One afternoon. Two dancers. A black box and a chance to experiment with angles and light for something a little different. To see more, go to my Facebook album here.
"When it rains, it really pours... "
Two weeks ago: Headshots for the MSA Academy, Nutcracker promo shoot, photography for Motion X Dance DC, corporate headshots and a two-plus day retreat on the Pennsylvania-Maryland border.
Last week: Washington-Indianapolis game, three-day trip to Texas for a magazine feature, day-long conference photography in DC, engagement party for Nick and Conner in NC.
This week: Writing, editing and catching up.
Oh my. Feeling blessed.
As a photographer who loves architecture, I’ve long been fascinated by the imagery you can find in churches, so it is somewhat surprising that — until last weekend — I had only been once to the Washington National Cathedral.
Gary Rubin, a photographer friend, and I shot photos of the cathedral on a weekend excursion in 2016, but most of the photos were outside and in the Bishop’s Garden. Time and circumstances prevented us from truly exploring the inside — the cathedral is the second largest church in the U.S. — and I vowed to return at some point.
Last Sunday, another longtime friend (Cecile Holmes) was in town for a journalism educators conference. Cecile and I have known each other for more than 30 years since our days at the Houston Chronicle, where she was the religion editor and I briefly worked on the features copy desk.
Cecile, now a professor at the University of South Carolina, had arranged a tour for the journalism educators group with Kevin Eckstrom, one of her colleagues who now works as the cathedral’s chief communications officer. She invited me to come along, and I jumped at the chance to learn more about this fascinating structure and take some photos.
You can see the results here, including several photos taken during a quick 5-minute visit to the seventh-floor overlook at the back of the chapel. With limited time and lighting coming from all sides, the photos from up top — scattered throughout the album — were a challenge to get, but I’m pleased with the result.
For those of you interested in history, here are some facts we learned during the 90-minute tour:
• Formal name: The Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington.
• Affiliation: Episcopal
• The longest ongoing construction project in Washington, D.C.’s history, work on the building started in 1907 and ended in 1990.
• Designated by Congress as the “National House of Prayer,” the cathedral is funded entirely from private sources. Fundraising has been ongoing for operations and maintenance, as well as repairs following the 2011 earthquake that damaged parts of the facility.
• State funerals have been held at the cathedral for three American presidents — Eisenhower, Reagan, and Ford. Woodrow Wilson, the only U.S. president buried in Washington, D.C., is entombed in the cathedral. (Also buried in the cathedral: the ashes of Helen Keller and her tutor, Anne Sullivan.)
• The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his last Sunday sermon on March 31, 1968 from the cathedral’s “Canterbury Pulpit.” He was assassinated the following week in Memphis.
• Based on various Gothic architectural styles from the Middle Ages, the cathedral has more than 200 stained glass windows. One, which honors the landing on the Moon, includes a fragment of lunar rock in the center.
• Befitting a national memorial, the cathedral has a mix of religious and secular decorations. It includes statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, tributes to America’s war veteran, and state seals that are embedded in the floor of the narthex.
Thanks to Cecile, Kevin and the group for allowing me to join them on the tour. I highly recommend taking some time to see the cathedral if you have the chance. For more photos, go to my Facebook album here.
The first of the three multiple week camps Metropolitan School of the Arts holds each year is Fly, a two-week dance intensive that ended with a performance at Northern Virginia Community College's Annandale campus. Here are some highlights from the dress rehearsal; see more here.
On Friday, students who participated in MSA’s two-week musical theatre camp performed two shows in the studio's black box theatre. The students performed selections from current and former Broadway shows, including "Pippin," "Mean Girls," "Once on This Island," and "My Fair Lady," with a 10th anniversary shout out to "High School Musical." Below are some highlights, with more in my Facebook album here.
Photos from every show I've shot for MSA are now available on the studio's SmugMug website. You can see my archive dating to 2013 here.
What I like most about photography is that it gives me a chance to look at familiar things from another perspective. And everyone is familiar with the elements that you see in a school — the playground, the logos, signs, and murals.
Combine that with an opportunity to collaborate with people I respect and admire, and you have a great time working together on a project, such as the one I did last month in Caroline County, a rural farming area on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Just after students were released for the summer, I was hired by Sandi Barry to take photos of the exteriors of the district’s 10 schools. Sandi, who became the district’s public relations coordinator in January, is a longtime colleague and friend from the days when I worked with the National School Boards Association.
Sandi and I collaborated on various projects during her tenure at the Maryland Association of Board of Education, and it was obvious from the start that we share a number of things in common. One is an interest in photography, and we have talked on occasion about looking for ways to work together since I went out on my own.
The task at hand was to photograph the school exteriors for use on the district’s website and in framed prints that will be displayed in the board room. The only rule was that no students or staff could be shown.
As we discussed the project, Sandi said she also wanted me to look for things that “catch your eye” to see what I could find. The challenge was to creatively illustrate the things and places we pass by daily and rarely take time to look at or study. A photographer’s dream job, in my opinion.
This selection represents just some of the photos; about one-third of what I took is in my Facebook album here. In addition to the school photos featured in the album, I also included a few landscapes, two photos of a church that has been converted into a meeting space, and photos taken of the Chesapeake Culinary Center, a restored building that opened in 1901 as the Caroline County High School.
I’m curious to see what you think of the result, and grateful to Sandi for the opportunity to collaborate again.
Anyone who knows me understands how much I enjoy shooting live theatre and dance. That said, photographing a live event — especially when it’s something you’ve never seen — can be daunting.
Even though my skills have certainly evolved since I started shooting our kids’ dance recitals almost a decade ago, I’ve seen time and again why some compare photography to golf. No matter what, there’s always room for improvement.
After a year away, I have greatly enjoyed shooting photos during the 2017-18 season for Metropolitan School of the Arts, which concluded last month with the annual spring production/recital. This year brought us four performances of “Wonka,” an adaptation of the famous children’s story.
Photographing a show this large is both a marathon and a fascinating challenge. Four dress rehearsals in four nights, with class dances mixed in with the narrative, make up the three-hour show, which is then performed over a weekend.
One goal I’ve always tried to meet is to photograph the director’s vision through my eyes (or eye, as the case may be). That means walking around and trying different shots from different parts of the auditorium, which is something you can do when shooting a dress rehearsal. At the same time, I work to be as inclusive as possible — taking photos of every dance and every group as they are on stage.
The result is a lot of photos — about 6,000 shot for this particular show. It’s both the blessing and curse of digital photography — shooting way more than you might need because you can delete the image rather than pay for a print.
Once the performance is over, that’s when the “job” part of this task truly begins: How do you take 1,500 photos from each of the four shows and present a selection in a way that:
• Is not overwhelming.
• Is fair to as many of the participants as you can capture.
• Presents the show — and studio — in a good light.
• Makes people want to come back for more.
So, as I start to post photos from the show, let me explain the process.
This year, MSA has purchased a license for a SmugMug website, where you can download watermarked photos for free and purchase prints/high-resolution downloads at a low cost. (The website is at http://metropolitanarts.smugmug.com). Parents and students can go here and download the photos for free (with our shared watermark), or purchase prints/downloads at a low cost.
As much as parents and their children want to relive the memories of the show, sorting through masses of pictures puts a huge strain on the eyes. I’ve tried to break it down in a way that makes sense and allows you to find the photos in an organized manner.
Sorting and cutting down the number of photos is the first phase. With double casting for many of the principal roles, I merged the ensembles from shows 1 and 4 and shows 2 and 3 to get the best possible representation of the narrative. Those are where these photos are from and they are the first albums you will see.
I’ve tried to make sure every class dance is represented by at least one photo (usually more). Class dances from each show will appear in separate albums in the coming days, except for the ones that were featured in all performances and will be separated into a fifth album.
Once the culling, sorting and organizing is complete, editing the photos (mostly cropping and color correction) begins. Each album is uploaded to the SmugMug site, and then I cull through the photos again so highlights can be shared on social media.
I’ve attempted to be as thorough and complete as possible. It’s not a perfect system, and chances are I’ve missed some things, but I hope I’ve captured the spirit and hard work that went into this show.
If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email at email@example.com, and enjoy the photos!
An estimated crowd of more than 30,000 people rallied in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Park Saturday to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies. The "Families Belong Together" march and rally was held despite steamy, stifling hot weather in which temperatures reached the mid 90s.
In addition to speeches and performances, the rally featured a march from the park to the Department of Justice offices, and a fire truck that sprayed water outside Lafayette Square offered children and adults a chance to get away from the heat.
The rally was one of more than 600 marches that were held Saturday to protest the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that separates children from their parents at the border.
To see more of my photos, go to my Facebook album here.
And finally, take a look at this CNN report on the march and you might see some folks you recognize.
I'm shooting the Graduate Management Admission Council's annual conference for the fifth time, and was pleased to see my work from previous years in both the exhibit book and on the main general stage. Kinda cool...
I've been experimenting recently with some abstract photo art, trying to broaden my horizons in other directions. What do you think of these four pieces?
Shooting live theatre/dance is one of my favorite challenges as a photographer, and I have been fortunate to work this past year for Metropolitan School of the Arts in capturing various performances. These photos are from the Metropolitan Youth Ballet's performances of "Snow White" at the Ernst Cultural Center in Annandale.
The principal roles for the two performances were double cast, which meant I had only one chance to capture each group. The show is an original production developed and choreographed by the studio faculty, lead by Jackie Doherty.
To see more of my photos from MSA shows, go to http://metropolitanarts.smugmug.com.
This weekend marks 5 years since I started this website and my Facebook page to share my photos and writing. The goal — then and now — was to tell stories through words and images while building a business that focuses on creative expression. Thanks to all who have supported this journey. Tell your friends to join in, and enjoy the work!
The Academy at Metropolitan School of the Arts honored its third graduating class in a celebration at Old Town Hall in Fairfax. The celebration marked the end of the Academy's fifth year and featured performances by the graduates and students who attend the grades 6-12 school. For more photos, go to my Facebook page here.
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.
It's been a busy past few days, with two shoots, a large D.C. banquet, family visits, a mini-reunion with longtime friends from North Carolina, and wrapping up our move from Lorton to Old Town Alexandria.
This week brings trips to New York (for another shoot) and Pittsburgh (for another family move) before returning home to take photos of Metropolitan School of the Arts' production of "Snow White."
More photos coming soon, I promise, but for now I'll leave you with a few from MSA's "10+1" show earlier this month.
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.
My oldest son received his master’s degree on Thursday. Less than 24 hours later, a 17-year-old gunman killed eight of his classmates and two teachers in a high school only 16 miles from my childhood home.
The shooting at Santa Fe High School was and is disturbing for all the reasons you can imagine: Another senseless loss of lives. Another incident of gun violence in a country marred by decades of it. Another realization that, no matter how many steps local districts take, preventing someone determined to come into a classroom with a firearm is perhaps just … not … possible?
My four children are 25, 21, 20 and 20. Ben and Emma were 16 months old when Columbine occurred. Kate was 2 and Nicholas was in first grade. We count ourselves lucky that nothing like this happened to them when they were in school.
What does that say about our society?
This school shooting was the third in eight days and the 22nd since the start of the year in the U.S. It occurred just three months and four days after 17 were slain at Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School, which led to two student walkouts and the March for Our Lives events across the nation.
I was at the March in Washington, D.C., taking photos and working on a freelance story about youth who were galvanized by the movement started by Stoneman Douglas students. I didn’t write the headline for the story, which looked at whether the Florida shooting could lead to a new era of civic engagement, but believe it is perfect.
It reads: Generation Why.
That’s the burning question asked first and most often when something like this happens. We are on an endless search for motive, a trend that will be the path to answers. Camps form within minutes, if not seconds, on social media. The phrase “thoughts and prayers,” no matter how sincere in intent, now is considered a synonym for doing nothing.
At the March, I interviewed more than 20 students and adults for a series of portraits that would accompany the story. (Some are in the magazine article; you can find the portraits in expanded form here.) I was struck by the kids’ determination not to go through life afraid of going to school.
Despite our need to understand why something happens, we are stubbornly resistant to one-size-fits-all answers, which leads to an endless round robin of he-said, she-said rhetoric that does no one any good. It’s not guns; it’s people. It’s not people; it’s guns.
Grieving quickly turns to shouting. Nothing happens. And we wait, knowing that it likely — inevitably — will happen again.
I am returning this week to Boston's Wheelock Family Theatre to shoot photos for "Stuart Little," my fifth show in 15 months. You can purchase photos and downloads from the other four shows — "Billy Elliot," "Charlotte's Web," "In the Heights," and "Beauty and the Beast" — by going to my SmugMug page here.
A portion of the proceeds will be returned to the theatre.
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.
Tennessee's Maury County Schools, located about 50 miles from Nashville, has embarked on an ambitious K-12 STEAM initiative in one of its communities. My story (with photos) about the resurrection of Mount Pleasant is the lead story in this issue of the Association of Career and Technical Education's magazine, Techniques. Read more about it here.
My four-page freelance story on the push for improved preschool programs is featured in the current issue of American School Board Journal. See the story, which includes six of my photos, here.
Photos from today’s March for Our Lives taken from the 6th floor of the Newseum. More to come soon from this moving event.
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.
Here’s a good Sunday read…
In September, three weeks after Hurricane Harvey, I went to Texas to write a story and take photos on how schools were recovering. The result is the cover story of month’s issue of American School Board Journal.
You can see the story and layout, which includes more than 30 of my photos, by clicking on this link. If you’d like to read just the narrative, go to this page on the National School Boards Association’s website.
I've also done a narrated slideshow that the accompanies the story. Take a look below:
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.
Shooting "The Nutcracker" as well as senior photos for Metropolitan School of the Arts this week, then off to my third conference in five weeks on Monday. Back here 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 past weekend, I shot my first show in almost a year for Metropolitan School of the Arts, taking photos of "The Company Project | EVOLUTION."
The 90-minute show, focusing on the theme "Past, Present, and Future," featured innovative pieces designed by MSA faculty and guest artists. Members of MSA's pre-professional dance companies — iMpulse, Metropolitan Youth Ballet, Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble, and dynaMYTE — performed with local musicians to choreography by Tiffanie Carson, Jaqueline Doherty, Stephanie Dorrycott, Sara Hart, Jared Jenkins, Roxanne King, Charles Renato, Roger C. Jeffrey, and Caroline Frankil Warren.
It was a pleasure to be back shooting a show at MSA, and I'm looking forward to returning next month to work with them again on "The Nutcracker."
To see more photos, go to my Facebook album here.
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.
Pittsburgh's architecture, narrow alleyways, and bridges make it a great place to take dancers, especially when you have ones as talented as these sophomores from Point Park University. To see more, along with other Art & Dance albums, go here.
It wouldn't be the holidays without an appearance from "The Nutcracker."
Earlier this month, Metropolitan School of the Arts presented its annual production at the Ernst Cultural Center in Annandale. I shot parts of two dress rehearsals and two of the four shows. Highlights are posted here and on my Facebook photography page.
As part of an arrangement with MSA, I have made photos from “The Nutcracker” and other shows dating to 2013 available for free download at http://metropolitanarts.smugmug.com. All you have to do is right click on the photo and drag it to your desktop. You also can share individual photos or entire galleries on social media by clicking on the share icon at the bottom of a photo.
Low-cost prints without the MSA watermark can be ordered from SmugMug and delivered to you via mail. Cost of prints is $1.50 for a 4x6, $3.50 for a 5x7, $6 for an 8x10 and $7 for an 8x12. To get prints larger than 8x12, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via private message.
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
I was challenged recently to post seven black and white photos of my life, with no people and no explanation. Here’s what I came up with.
Last month, my son Ben and I returned to Hickory, N.C., where he taught master classes at Sonya’s Dance Academy and I did headshots and this new installment in the Art & Dance series.
The setting was a section of downtown that is under construction in front of the old City Hall, which houses the Hickory Community Theatre. A huge part of the arts in Hickory — many of the students at Sonya’s studio perform there — the building it is housed in has a fascinating history.
The City Hall building opened in the 1920s with a full auditorium that was rented to Paramount studios as a movie theatre in the 1930s and early 40s. The second balcony, which has not been used since the 1940s, was segregated and the seats were wooden slats. Some of the original seats remain.
All of these elements made their way into the shoot. To see more, go to my Facebook album here.
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.
Check out these senior pictures of Alexa, a repeat customer from Northern Virginia, at http://glenncook.virb.com/alexa. It's not too early to schedule a session for your high school senior this fall.
Check out these new headshots of Katie, a high school senior in Northern Virginia, at http://glenncook.virb.com/katie. Now is a good time to schedule headshots for college auditions as well as senior portraits. Different packages are available.
Just added an Instagram account for my business. Follow me @glenncookphotography
Check out these headshots of Madison, taken during a mini-session last month in Hickory, at http://glenncook.virb.com/madison. Schedule your own session now!
This is an edited narrative of a presentation I gave at the National Dance Society’s annual conference on Aug. 4 in Norfolk, Va. Photos included in this blog entry were taken during classes offered to area students and attendees at the conference. My wife, Jill, also was a keynote speaker at the conference, talking in separate sessions about mental health and bullying.
The purpose of this session is to talk about the role of the dance photographer so you can capture and promote the work that you do as educators and studio owners. But first, let’s start with a bit of background — the “why” you’re listening to this person on a sunny, summer Friday afternoon.
Here’s what I’m not:
- A painter, or sketch artist: I can’t draw a stick figure or a straight line with a ruler — that type of talent skipped from my father to his grandchildren
- A singer: My wife and oldest son are the singers in the family. I lip-synch “Happy Birthday.”
- A dancer: My son and daughter have that down, thanks to their mom and her excellent coordination. I have to look down to make sure both feet are moving in the proper order.
Here’s what I am: A photographer, writer, storyteller, husband, father, and the son of two teachers. I learned my way around a camera out of necessity while working as a journalist and communications professional, and was told I had an eye for it.
Like many parents, I found myself taking pictures at my kids’ major events, including their dance recitals. The limitations of my camera and lenses made it difficult get much, however, and I did not know enough about dance to capture the proper technique.
Over the last four years, since going out on my own, I’ve learned how to capture the art of dance, both in performance and in various settings that make up my “Art & Dance” series. This series, primarily focusing on young, pre-professional dancers performing on city streets, in an abandoned church, in a creek, in a subway tunnel, and under a bridge, among others, has been profiled in a Northern Virginia arts magazine and has been the subject of three exhibits at a local art gallery. You can see my photos on my website — http://glenncook.virb.com.
What I’ve discovered is that these types of photographs are powerful marketing for educators and studio owners. So let’s spend a little time looking at photography, the basic technical information you need to know, and ways you can broaden your audience.
Getting the Right Equipment
Photography is, like any art form, both independent and interdependent. Yes, anyone can take a picture, and technology has made it easy to capture beautiful shots with our phones. But if you want to shoot dancers, especially during a performance, your iPhone won’t do the trick. In fact, rather than promoting your brand, it dilutes your impact.
The reason, not to get too technical here, is cell phones do not have what is known as an SLR, or single lens reflex. This allows you to focus, click and — if your light and shutter settings are correct — stop action. Your phone camera can’t do all of those things at once, especially in dim light, and it can’t do some of them at all.
So that means you need “a real camera,” and depending on the complexity of what you’re trying to capture, the reality is that a “real camera” and good lenses don’t come cheap.
Here’s why: Going beyond composition, photography comes down to two things — light and speed. This is where photography is most interdependent. If the two are not in sync, it will be difficult to capture what you want to achieve, even if everything is perfectly composed and in focus.
In most performance settings, you will need a camera that can handle low light really well. This is where ISO, the setting for how much light you allow into the camera, comes into play.
If you’re shooting outside, you can normally set your ISO on 100 (brightest), 200, 400, 640 or 800 (getting dim, but still light out). When you’re indoors, you likely will need your ISO settings to start at 1600 (if you’re lucky), 3200 (if there’s good lighting), and 4000 or 5000 (most common).
Although technology has improved greatly, it’s still hard to find an inexpensive camera that can shoot with the speed you need at ISOs of 4000 or 5000 consistently without too much “noise,” which affects the sharpness of your picture.
This is further complicated by the speed factor. To stop a dancer’s motion without blur, you need to have a shutter speed of at least 1/200th of a second. Anything less — whether you’re outside or inside — and you will get blur. Sometimes you can get a flash to sync at 1/200th of a second, but I haven’t been to a performance yet where you can shoot photos with a flash.
So if you decide to take this on yourself, remember these things:
- Get a camera body that can comfortably handle an ISO of at least 4000. (To do that, you’ll need one that can shoot at an ISO of up to 25600, because that means the camera’s sensor will be able to handle 4000 without too much noise.)
- Set your shutter to at least 1/200th of a second.
- Start shooting.
Shooting a Live Show
Photographing a live performance is one of the most difficult and demanding things I’ve done. You have to learn how to anticipate the action, and find ways to shoot so that both technique and emotion are captured. Yes, you want the leaps and jumps, but it’s also about telling the story of the work your students are doing.
This again, speaks to the interdependence of photography. Understanding the story being told on stage is key to capturing the big moments, and the small ones as well. Knowing generally where the performers will be positioned also is helpful.
In most cases, a photographer will not shoot the actual live performance, but a dress rehearsal. This prevents you from disrupting the paying audience and gives you time, in case anything bad happens, to ensure that you get decent shots. It also offers you flexibility because you can shoot from all areas of the performance space.
What happens all too frequently is a photographer will set up in the back of the auditorium and shoot from the same spot. This does capture the show itself, but it prevents you from getting those small moments of emotion that help you tell the story.
So what does this mean for you?
- Talk to the photographer beforehand. Let him or her know what you’d like to see captured — the big and small moments — but give the photographer the flexibility to surprise you.
- Let your dancers/performers know in advance that someone is shooting the dress rehearsal and/or show itself.
- Given that you are capturing a live performance, be prepared for things not to be perfect and know, generally, how that will affect what you choose and use to promote your work.
- If there is time, consider setting up certain scenes to be run more than once so the photographer can capture the action from multiple angles.
Storytelling and Photography
You have millions of ways to tell stories today. Video, stills, audio, the written word. You are in a visual medium, and social networking — despite the political wars many get into on Facebook these days — is geared toward the visual.
This should be a great match, so why don’t you invest in it? And why do you accept poor quality, or opt for the cheap stock art, rather than focusing on your performers? As you put your shows and performances together, do you think about how you will tell the story to the outside world?
Folks are interested in process, the “how” of you put something together. Behind the scenes videos, photos, and short narratives are increasingly popular because of the online world’s endless thirst for content. You don’t have to have high production values for these types of stories; simple iPhone interviews often will do.
As the performance nears, this is where you need to engage a professional photographer and talk about telling your story. Consider having a promotional shoot that can be used for posts — posters, post cards, online posts.
Finally, as the show/performance nears, have the photographer shoot the dress rehearsal. Let your cast know the photographer has free reign to walk around. Say you want 10-15 shots to use for social media purposes immediately; the additional photos can be sold or made available for download to parents.
There are many ways to do this effectively, but being willing to partner and plan is key. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve been asked to shoot something at the last minute. The photos turn out decently, but they would be so much better if I had the opportunity to meet and plan beforehand.
Make It Work for All
I understand that your bottom line on these types of performances is often razor thin, and photography is the first thing to get cut when finances are tight. But you can be creative and original in ways that are fair to everyone involved.
This is my pitch/plea to you: In addition to remembering the photographer in your planning, be prepared to work out some sort of financial arrangement for the work he or she does.
Many photographers I know are willing to go the extra mile for their customers, but free is not acceptable. Think about how you feel, as a business person, when someone constantly asks you to do something without compensation of some sort.
As fellow artists, we understand the financial constraints you’re under, but you can make it work. Telling a photographer he or she can “sell” pictures in lieu of a shoot fee is, unfortunately, a nonstarter. We are in a share society, not a sell society, where consumers feel like they can get their music and media for free.
Here are some things you can do:
- Offer the photographer a shoot fee or a per diem in exchange for the right to sell prints on your own.
- Add a small extra fee for photo services to your recital fees or master classes to offset your cost.
- In return, work with the photographer to make a selection of photos available for sharing on social networks. Usually, these will have the photographer’s watermark on them so that intellectual property rights are not violated.
That’s it, really. If you know your audience, assess your needs, make marketing your story integral to what you do, and work with your photographer and your students to tell it, your audience will be much more engaged in the great work you do.
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 email@example.com.
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.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted an album featuring images taken during two walks through New Orleans last month. As I mentioned, persistent rain throughout the week I was there provided limited opportunities to take photos outside the conference I was shooting.
Here are some candids of people I captured during those two walks. All comments welcome. To see the other album, go here.
Over the past two weeks, I've:
• Shot and edited more than 1,000 photos at two conferences in New Orleans and San Francisco.
• Written a column for one magazine and a paid-sponsorship feature for another. Also wrote a blog on Fathers and Sons and posted two albums of photos on my business page.
• Officially (at least according to LinkedIn) marked year 4 of this solo business gig.
• Visited a Louisiana swamp and Bourbon Street. (I'm not talking about the same thing, despite many similarities.)
• Spent an invaluable week with my oldest son, showing him NOLA, Texas, and (long enough to snap a picture) Oklahoma.
• Saw and spent varying degrees of time with my mom, aunt, sister, first cousin, and nephews/grandnephew. (Just saw one of the nieces in a literal drive by.)
• Took a number of photos in Kilgore, where my parents first got together.
• Visited my grandparents' gravesite and showed Nick the places where my parents grew up.
• I did not leave the hotel these last three days in San Francisco, but with an afternoon to kill before my red eye back to Virginia, I went to the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park to see the Summer of Love 50th anniversary exhibit. Before leaving, I also walked through the National AIDS Memorial Grove, where I had a fascinating conversation with two college-age women.
And despite a trigger finger that is rapidly approaching carpel tunnel status, I took my camera. It was nice, after all the work-related stuff, to let my eye roam free.
All in all, it's been a great and productive trip, exhausting but emotionally recharging at the same time. I'm truly grateful to Jill (who's had a couple of interesting weeks in her own right) for having the love and patience to let me do these things.
So that's the news from this end. Look for more photos here and on my Facebook page soon, and hope I sleep well on the plane ride home.
Thanks for reading... How's your week been?
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.
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.
Conference photography is a growing — and highly enjoyable — part of my business. Earlier this month, I shot the APMP Bid and Proposal Conference in New Orleans and the Graduate Management Admission Council’s annual conference in San Francisco. I already have three more conferences scheduled in November and December and am bidding on several others.
The best conference photos, in my opinion, tell stories using visuals rather than words. Nothing bothers me more than the photographer obstructing the views of both the speaker and audience, so I try to remain as unobtrusive as possible. Unless it is absolutely necessary, I do not use flash during sessions, because this has the same disrupting effect on the speakers and audience at a live performance or show.
APMP, which serves professionals dedicated to winning business through proposals, bids, tenders, and presentations, holds a three-day professional conference for its members. More than 900 attended this year’s June 13-15 event, the largest in the association’s history. Over three-plus days (including preconference sessions and portraits for the board of directors before the meeting started), I shot and edited more than 600 photos, completing the task before leaving New Orleans to visit family in Texas.
This marked the fourth time I’ve shot the GMAC annual conference, held June 21-23 in San Francisco. Each time, I cull through the edited photos to produce a 2- to 3-minute slideshow of highlights that is aired during the final general session.
An aspect of my journalism career — working on deadline — also has helped in my approach to conference photography. I carve out time during breaks and in between sessions to dump and edit what I’ve shot. Typically, you shoot three to five photos for every one you keep, so this approach gives me a running tally of what I’ve got, and allows time for more shooting if necessary.
This year, for the first time, the slideshow came as close to real time as possible. I had a backup from the first two days already completed, but wanted to see if I could push the envelope. I took photos from the final morning of presentations, went out, picked the best, and edited them. I then shot photos at the start of the 90-minute final general session, edited the best, and added those to the slideshow as well.
When the slideshow — see below — aired, audience members saw about 15 photos that had been taken that morning. In that respect, the photos told the whole story of the meeting.
I watched the Tonys last night in my hotel room in New Orleans, where I'm starting a two-week trip that includes shooting conferences here and in San Francisco, with another trip to Texas in between. (Bonus: Nick is meeting me here tomorrow and will be with me through the Texas jaunt. Yay!)
It was wonderful to see so many people I've become acquainted with performing and being part of the ceremony, and you couldn't help but love the speeches of Ben Platt and the Divine Miss M.
I got here early yesterday and walked around the city, dodging the raindrops to take a few photos. In the afternoon, I went on a swamp tour (why not?) and then called it a night, sitting in my bed and happily watching the Tonys.
Based on all the noise I heard outside, it sounded like the streets of NOLA were viewing the show on a giant screen, but I decided not to be part of their fun. And given the marathon of the next two weeks, I'm happy with that.
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.
Last week, I had the privilege of shooting the 28th annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner for Legal Aid of the District of Columbia.
Legal Aid is Washington, D.C.’s oldest and largest general civil legal services organization serving low-income residents in our nation’s capital. This year’s dinner, with 775 guests and more than 40 sponsors, raised $1.2 million for the organization.
Honored with the Servant for Justice awards this year were Vanita Gupta, former head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and Donald B. Verrilli Jr., former U.S. Solicitor General. Gupta is incoming president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, while Verrilli is a partner with Munger, Tolles and Olson. David Young, an associate with Ropes & Gray, received the organization’s top honor for volunteer excellence.
For more photos from the dinner, go to my Facebook album here or visit www.legalaiddc.org.
Soggy conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm of thousands of supporters who came to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to advocate for environmental causes and science research on Earth Day.
The set up for the March for Science was similar to the Women’s March on Washington, held just three months and one day earlier. I was hired by the Entomological Society of America, one of numerous science organizations that took part in the event, to shoot members getting ready for and participating in the rally.
Throughout the rally, a broad range of speakers were supported by entertainment and a series of short films and clips. Questlove, whose Grammy Award-winning group The Roots serves as the in-house band for The Tonight Show, was one of the co-hosts. Jon Batiste, music director and bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, led the house band.
The steady drizzle turned into a downpour by late morning, and I left before seeing Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) speak or Thomas Dolby perform. These photos, however, capture some of the spirit of the day, which was mirrored in more than 600 cities on more than six continents.
To see more photos from the March, go to my Facebook page here.
Last night, in a small, sweltering room on the 18th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School, I shot production photos for Metropolitan Youth Theater’s production of “columbinus,” a provocative and troubling play that that focuses on “the dark recesses of American adolescence.”
Suggested by the April 1999 Columbine shooting, with a script that includes excerpts from discussions with parents, survivors and community leaders in Littleton, Colo., the play was created by the United States Theatre project and performed Off-Broadway in 2006. It runs at 8:30 p.m. today and 7 p.m. Saturday in the Black Box Theatre at Metropolitan School of the Arts.
The cast of eight opens the show as teenage archetypes, without names but labels (Loner, Freak, AP (Advanced Placement), Rebel, Faith, Perfect, Prep, and Jock). Freak and Loner are bullied by their classmates and morph into Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold at the start of Act 2. The rest of the show, which takes its script from the journals and videos of Klebold and Harris, shows what happens in the days approaching Columbine and their subsequent suicides. An epilogue features survivors, parents, and townspeople reflecting on the events.
Warning: Given the subject matter and language, this is not a play for young or impressionable children. It is, however, a courageous step forward for Metropolitan Youth Theatre, which was founded in 2014 by three high school students who wanted area youth to perform in shows with adult themes. Past productions, all musicals put on entirely by high school and college students, have included “Rent” and “Spring Awakening.”
“columbinus,” is directed by Chad Vann, a Hayfield High School senior who is one of the group’s co-founders. Vann also is one of the eight cast members (Jock). The rest of the cast includes Brian Perry (Loner/Dylan Klebold), Danny Waldman (Freak/Eric Harris), AP (Joshua Mutterpearl), Rebel (Bridgette Saverine), Faith (Erin Claeys), Perfect (Hallie Friedman), and Prep (Jackson Miller). Madison Hite is the understudy for Faith.
Alyssa Denton is producing the show, with Hailey Parker-Combes serving as the costume designer and Delaney Claussen as the sound designer.
A limited number of tickets are available at the box office for the shows. MSA is located at 5775 Barclay Drive, Suite 4 in Alexandria, Va., 22315.
To see more photos from the production, go to my Facebook page here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
For the second time this year, I was fortunate to go to Boston to shoot a show at the Wheelock Family Theatre, a small regional Equity house on the campus of Wheelock College. Last Wednesday and Thursday, the cast of “Charlotte’s Web” conducted their final two dress rehearsals before opening on Friday night.
As with many shows that focus on kids, the children in the cast were split into two companies, with the adults doing all the performances. I especially appreciated Wheelock’s total sense of inclusion in casting both the children and the adults. It gave this classic children’s story an even greater sense of universality.
Also fascinating was the aerial silk choreography, which used fabric suspended from the ceiling to transport Charlotte (played by Caroline Lawton) around her web as she writes various words about Wilbur the pig (Michael Keita Hisamoto). It really is something to see.
“Charlotte’s Web” runs through May 14. For tickets and information on the theatre, its classes and its mission, visit http://wheelockfamilytheatre.org.
For more photos from the show, go to my Facebook album here.
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.
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.
My son, Ben, is performing tonight and Saturday as "Older Billy" in a special guest appearance as part of Wheelock Family Theatre's regional production of "Billy Elliot: The Musical."
I went to Boston during Thursday's blizzard to spend time with my 19-year-old and took a few shots at this morning's rehearsal with Seth Judice, who is playing the title role.
With appearances in "Law & Order: SVU" and the "Newsies" movie next week, the boy is well on his way to an adult career. But for a brief time at least, it's nice to see Ben return to the show that dominated much of his childhood.
Bonus photos: I took the photo below of Ben and Salma Hayek after she saw the show in Boston during the national tour in 2012. Right: Caught this picture of the boy with the “Newsies” poster during a lunch break today in Boston.
Given our family’s lengthy history with “Billy Elliot: The Musical,” it felt a little strange to see — and photograph — the show after three-plus years away. But anyone who has read my blog knows that being part of a theatre community means you will inevitably encounter circle backs, in which a show returns to your life in an unexpected way.
Circle back is what I did for two nights last week, watching from behind the lens while shooting “Billy Elliot” production photos for Boston’s Wheelock Family Theatre. On Feb. 10 and 11, our son Ben will have a circle back of his own when he teaches master classes and plays the role of Older Billy.
Moving any large show into a smaller regional house can be a challenging logistical task, but the cast and crew have done a terrific job. Thanks to Linda Chin Workman for bringing me in to photograph the show — I also took headshots for several cast members — and to everyone for making me feel welcome.
Here’s a taste of what I saw — and shot — over the two nights. Some of these photos are being used in reviews in local newspapers and online, a nice bonus.
If you are in the Boston area, you can see the show through Feb. 26. Buy your tickets by visiting www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org. Ben will perform as Older Billy at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. He also is teaching master classes for youth ages 8 to 16 at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 11.
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.
In my 30-year career, I've been fortunate to see — and photograph — the last five presidents at various events in Texas, North Carolina, New York City, and Washington, D.C. The first four times I saw the nation's commander-in-chief are from the pre-digital days (Reagan at the Challenger Memorial Service, Bush I at NASA's Johnson Space Center and at a campaign stop in Tyler, Clinton at the 200th anniversary of UNC-Chapel Hill).
I don't have any photos from those events scanned, but here are a few selections from others — Teacher of the Year ceremonies, NBC's Education Nation — dating back to 2003 and featuring Bush II, Clinton, and Obama.
For more photos, go to my Facebook album here.
My father was a visual artist who painted not one, but two large murals on the living room wall in my childhood home when I was growing up.
I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.
That said, I’ve always been drawn to large murals, especially knowing that an artist’s creation can be painted over at any time and lost to the whims of boredom, creativity, or both. This is especially true with graffiti and street art.
As a photographer, I like to find ways to show the artist’s work, but with a twist. Rather than capture just the image that an artist has created, I rarely opt to shoot straight on. Using a different angle, or taking it from another spot, can occasionally illuminate the work in an interesting way.
Although graffiti is and remains illegal, with the potential for some stiff fines, Washington, D.C., has joined other cities — Philadelphia immediately comes to mind — in supporting the growth of public art. Open Walls DC, for example, holds “mural jams” to paint the walls under the overpass at Garfield Park, but you must get a permit.
I find myself returning regularly to the bridge under Garfield Park on H Street in southeast D.C. to see what has been created since I last visited. (It’s a great place for portrait shoots, too.) These photos were taken during three to four stops I made over the past year. For more, go to my Facebook album here.
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.
Photographer Lawrence Schiller took this lovely photo of 6-year-old Carrie Fisher watching her mother, Debbie Reynolds, perform at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas in 1963. The photo has received renewed attention after the deaths of Fisher and Reynolds a day apart, and prompted this fascinating New York Times story.
Also, the deaths of these two Hollywood legends reminded me that I've written a fan letter to two people — Fisher and Richard Nixon. (Note: I was 8 when I wrote to Nixon.) If you'd like to see the letter and the response, go to this blog entry from late 2010, and catch HBO's documentary of "Wishful Drinking" when it airs again next week.
A family tradition has always been to visit the Lincoln Memorial when NIck is in town (see below). This year, I decided to capture a few extra shots while we were in our nation's capital.
It's not too late to have senior pictures taken for your son or daughter. Check out these of Meryn that I took recently in Alexandria, Va., at http://glenncook.virb.com/meryn.
Metropolitan Youth Theatre concluded its second year with a sold-out winter concert, “Let the Sunshine In: The Music of Hair,” Friday at MSA’s Alexandria studio. The show, directed by MYT co-founder Chad Vann, featured the work of 12 area high school and college students and a three-piece band led by MYT co-founder James Woods.
MYT was founded in 2015 by high school students Vann, Woods and Sam Cornbrooks (now in college in Manhattan) to give area youth the opportunity to create and perform in shows while learning all aspects of theater. The group, which has drawn student performers from both Northern Virginia and Maryland, has already done “The Last 5 Years,” “Rent,” “Songs for a New World,” and “Spring Awakening” in its brief existence.
Two more shows, including a production of the Tony Award-winning musical “Chicago,” are planned in 2017. For more information, visit www.metroyoutharts.org or follow the group on Twitter @metroyoutharts.
For more photos from the concert, visit my Facebook page here.
Last week, I shot a half-day Capture & Business Development Conference for APMP, a Washington, D.C.-based organization for professionals dedicated to the process of winning business through proposals, bids, tenders, and presentations. The association then posted the photos to its Flickr site for attendees to download
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.
Highlights from the Association for Career & Technical Education's "Vision 2016" conference, held Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This slideshow of my photos was shown at the final general session.
Five recent articles published in three different magazines this fall have recently been uploaded to my "New/Recent Articles" section. You can check them out by clicking on the links below or by going here.
Act Globally (November-December 2016): Increasingly, higher education drama programs are offering international experiences for their students through academic exchanges and education abroad opportunities. This story, published in the November-December 2016 issue of International Educator, focuses on how these opportunities focus on skill development as well as social justice and global issues in the developing world.
Leading the Leap (December 2016): Online assessments are here to stay, regardless of whether your state has embraced the Common Core Standards. In this column for American School Board Journal, I look at how a toolkit scheduled to be unveiled in December 2016 will help schools and districts assess their readiness and ability to effectively deliver these assessments.
Cracking the Literacy Code (October 2016): Cracking the code on literacy, especially in majority-minority school districts, is no easy task. As this story in American School Board Journal notes, large-scale initiatives are costly and time intensive, and the needle on achievement rarely moves quickly. Earning buy-in and support from community and business leaders is critical, as is the need to provide strong professional development to teachers and a rigorous evaluation system that can accurately determine whether a program is working.
Technology Evolution (October 2016): In today's device-filled world, the tools students and teachers use can be terrific, but they have proven time and again to be no replacement for quality instruction. As this column in American School Board Journal notes, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is taking on the conundrum with its second revision of its technology standards for students.
Finding the Class of 2009 (October 2016): The latest in a series of articles written for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Diversity & The Bar magazine focuses on Nila Bala, a public defender in Baltimore, Md.
CareerWise Colorado, a statewide initiative that aims to place 20,000 high school students in apprenticeships by 2027, led a delegation of educators, state government and nonprofit leaders, and workforce development officials on a five-day tour to Zurich, Switzerland, last week to study the country’s apprenticeship programs.
Led by officials from CEMETS, a division of the KOF Swiss Economic Institute, the tour included site visits to Libs, CYP, Zurich Business School, Swisscom, and EWH-Zurich, which provide a variety of training programs to Swiss students. In Switzerland, 70 percent of students choose to do apprenticeships in more than 200 occupations.
CareerWise, a nonprofit that formally launched in September with the support of the state’s governor and several large Colorado companies, is inspired by the Swiss model for connecting employers and educational institutions.
CareerWise Colorado’s goal is to serve about 10 percent of eligible high school students in the state within 10 years. Starting in 2017-18, businesses and corporations in the fields of information technology, financial and professional services, advanced manufacturing, and hospitality will offer high school juniors and seniors paid, on-the-job learning experiences in high-demand fields.
One highlight of the trip was a visit to the Bern home of U.S. Ambassador Suzi Levine, a leader in the initiative to implement Swiss-style apprenticeship programs in the U.S.
Ambassador Levine and her husband, Eric, were gracious hosts and described in detail their passion for bringing the model to K-12 schools and community colleges in the U.S.
Photos taken of three dancers and Ben that were part of a weekend of master classes and shoots earlier this month in Hickory, N.C. The girls are students at Sonya's Dance Academy. The photos were taken in downtown and at the Bunker Hill covered bridge.
We also held a Sunday morning shoot at a railroad yard featuring some, though not all of the teenage dancers from Sonya's Dance Academy. The shoot produced an interesting set of images, and a whole lot of fun for everyone involved.
Seven performing arts students from Point Park University, including three Metropolitan School of the Arts alums, went with me on a cloudy, breezy Sunday afternoon earlier this month for a dance shoot. The intent was to go to a variety of locations, but the shoot ended up taking place in and around Point State Park across the river from Heinz Field.
I'm sure there will be other shoots in Pittsburgh, but for now, enjoy these and others on my Facebook album here.
elan Magazine, a monthly publication devoted to the fine arts in Northern Virginia, has published a very flattering story on my "Art & Dance" series in its October issue, accompanied by several images from the various shoots I've been doing since August 2014. You can read a PDF of the feature here.
I'm grateful to the writer, Donna Cedar-Southworth, who spent a long time culling through the images for the magazine, which is mailed to homes and real estate agents serving the Greater Washington, D.C., area.
My only wish is that the article mentioned my association with the Arches Gallery Artists, which is where Donna found my work in the first place. Exposure of this type is critical to anyone trying to make a living in the fine arts, and I've been blessed to work with — and learn from — many of the terrific photographers, painters, and designers in this area.
Last week, while in Salt Lake City, I had an opportunity to see Ryan Adams & The Shining with opener Amanda Shires on tour at the Red Butte Canyon outdoor amphitheatre. The setting just outside the University of Utah campus was beautiful, complete with an almost full moon.
Adams, one of the most prolific and diverse musicians of the past two decades, has been dipping into his extensive catalogue for the past couple of years. A lovely highlight from the show was his duet with Shires on "Oh My Sweet Carolina."
Shires, the wife of Jason Isbell (another favorite), has a new CD scheduled for release in mid-September. Nothing has been forthcoming — yet — on Adams' next project.
At 17, Tade Biesinger already has lived a very interesting life, becoming one of the youngest boys to play "Billy Elliot" on Broadway and later reprising the role in London for several months.
Now a senior just outside Salt Lake City, this very talented young man is taking college dance classes as he finishes high school. We've known Tade and his wonderful family for six years, and I was fortunate to catch up with him on a recent trip to Utah.
To see more from this shoot, go to http://glenncook.virb.com/salt-lake-city-tade.
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.
One of my "Art and Dance" photos has been selected to hang outside the office of Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, for the next year. I was asked by the Workhouse Arts Center to provide the photo after winning Best in Show at the 2016 Collectors Showcase earlier this year. I've been a member of the Arches Gallery Artists at the workhouse since 2014.
The Metropolitan Youth Theatre, a company run completely by high school and college students, will present the Tony Award-winning musical "Spring Awakening" this weekend at 1st Stage Tysons in McLean, Va. The musical is the fourth presented by the company since it was founded by three then-high school students (Sam Cornbrooks, Chad Vann, and James Woods).
All of these photos were shot live during the final dress rehearsal on Thursday. No set ups and no retakes.
It has been a pleasure to serve as the company's photographer for all four shows, all of which have been interesting, contemporary, and challenging fare. "Spring Awakening" is suitable for mature audiences only.
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.
Headshots of Kylie are now up on my website at http://glenncook.virb.com/kylie. Check them out and schedule a session!
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.
Congratulations to Metropolitan School of the Arts for reaching its $60,000 fundraising goal to help fund a new black box theatre. An anonymous donor agreed to match any amount raised up to the $60,000 figure during the campaign, which ended on Friday.
The theatre, which will be located at MSA’s Alexandria studio, will be in place this fall. It will accommodate up to 200 patrons and will save the non-profit more than $50,000 a year in facilities rentals.
Proceeds from your purchases of my 2016 “Art & Dance” calendar helped make a $500 donation to the campaign. Several of my photos, including those in the graphic above, also were used in the fundraising materials.
Thank you again for your support of the arts!
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.
A weekend with my oldest son, Nicholas, and his girlfriend Conner in Durham, N.C. led to a walk around downtown and a series of fun photos of a cute couple. To see more, go to my Facebook album here.
Icons and portraits — New York City, April 2016
Here is a 3-minute slideshow of photos I took at the Graduate Management Admissions Council's annual conference last week in Washington, D.C. The slideshow aired at the beginning of the conference's final general session.
GMAC has been an outstanding client. I've shot the council's last three annual meetings as well as other events and staff portraits.
Send me an email or give me a call if you are interested in having me shoot your conference or event. Hourly, half-day, daily, and multiple day rates are available.