Tag: family portraits

I am an extremely lucky person – I have met and photographed some simply amazing people along the way, but few as incredible as world class potter and close friend Elizabeth Cohen. Her pottery inspires me – as it probably will you, check it out at http://elizabethcohenpottery.com/ – and she and her family are among the most grounded folks I know.

A month ago I traveled to see her to photograph her children and to do a family portrait. After those were shot, Elizabeth asked if I might do some of her…but not in her studio.

Here’s one of the photos from the shoot, one that, at least for me, travels deep into her soul. Tell me if it strikes you that way, is it more than just a portrait of a person?

2bwsep38-30-15 Cohen-Pratt portrait375

Starting to revert more and more to Black and White – it’s where I started and where I keep returning. There’s just something so honest about black and white – you don’t get lost in the color, your attention is forced into the content and composition of the photo.

In this day and age of filters, presets and canned actions the craft of imaging feels lost in a sea of one-click adjustments. It feels nice to look at images in a simpler way though I think black and white is really much more complex.

Take Torunn, for instance. Her blond hair and red shorts pull your eye away from the feeling of the pure innocence of a napping child. There’s certainly a time and place where color really adds to the information, but for the most part I think it detracts.

Torunn is the youngest daughter of the head of the textile department at Charles River Arts Camp ( my home away from home in the summer). She – like her Mom – is a super high energy never-stop-for-a-break kind of kid.
The other day she finally ran out of steam – much to the surprise . . . and delight of her babysitter.
I was threatened with my life if I woke her while shooting – I was very careful!
Now if I could figure out how to load that Tri-X film into a digital camera! Just imagine, the speed of digital combined with the quality of film.
Nirvana indeed.


I, like so many other people, am aware of how quickly time passes, but nothing makes it so evident to me than when I photograph children.

In late November I photographed Tiana, the daughter of one of the great tattoo artists of New England, Phil at Tattoo Junkies in Newmarket.

Last weekend I went over to Phil’s to copy some of his painting for him, and while there I saw Tiana. Now almost 6 months old, I barely recognized her from the infant I had photographed in November. Could this really be the same little girl?

The paintings would have to wait – the fast passage of time had it’s hook in me, and Tiana was the only subject I could photograph.

A little time with her, I finished the paintings and jumped in the car to drive home, thinking to myself I’m glad I act so young – because time flying by makes all of us older by the day.



It’s last second scramble for yearbook pictures time at school, so suddenly my equipment is at school daily and I’m doing head shots of students who weren’t here for school picture day. One student wanted me to photograph him…how could I say no?

I enlisted two other students to hold a piece of black cloth – one had it wrapped around the side so it would prevent the window light from bouncing back and filling in the not-lit side of his face.

A conversion to black and white, minor skin retouching and…Mikey!mikey

Thanksgiving is simply one of the best holidays – no pressure to buy gifts, surrounded by family and exceptional food, a lazy day ( unless you are without a dishwasher), a day to take a walk, a day to reflect on being thankful.

Two very good friends – Phil and Trina had their first child three weeks ago – and have no doubt what they are thankful for today! I spent part of yesterday hanging out with them and shooting photographs of newborn Tiana. (more…)

I market myself as shooting non-traditional family portraits, but I got a big helping hand recently from a seven-year-old.

A few weeks ago good friend and teaching mentor Stacey Clark asked me to shoot a family portrait of her, her brother and their families. It was a no-brainer for me to say yes – Stace has been ( and continues to be) instrumental in my becoming a good teacher, is a favorite photo subject of mine, and I love her family like they were my own. (more…)

There’s no end to the things I love about my daughter, but ranking right up there near the top is her attitutude about her hair – she views it as a canvas upon which art should be created, and if it doesn’t work, Oh well, it will grow out again.

Yesterday she decided to get a radical cut – I envisioned a mohawk or other such intense cut, but when I got home last night, I saw the most beautiful cut ever. The stylist, Shannon Dalesio, who owns Shearindipity in Newmarket, turned out to be a mind reader in the project. (more…)

Boston Public Garden – a beautiful spot but tough for an engagement shoot. Why? Well, the list is long, but the big two are parking ( or lack of) and crowds.

Originally when Anvi, Augustine and I had talked about an engagement shoot we were looking at a few parks outside of Boston. Later Anvi asked if we could go to the public gardens.  I mentioned the problems but she clearly wanted to go to the gardens…and after all its her wedding. OK, we’ll do the gardens. (more…)

Got together with Hannah and Miles to do an engagement shoot the other evening, so good to be back doing what I love doing the best. A really nice evening – mid 50’s, only trouble was the wind – real feel temperature was closer to 40, hair blowing, dust flying wind. The three of us donned jackets between locations…OK, for the most part I left mine on the whole time, but the location was spectacular – Searles Castle in Windham.

The castle itself was closed, but the grounds are amazing. Stone turrets, stone walls, beautiful woods, simply a great place to shoot photos. (more…)

Hanging out the other night with my two favorite girls, my daughter and her best friend, who is almost my second daughter. I have photographed these two young ladies so often, never get tired of shooting them either. In Maine, an old farmhouse, needing a coat of paint, but what a wonderful environment for some photos. Light going fast, cloudy overcast end of the day light. First processed them in color until I realized these photos were made for black and white. (more…)