As I was putting the finishing touches on a fantastic looking portfolio edit this morning, I could not take my eyes off these photos. His look, his eyes, his character , they kept pulling me in. While Jared Leeds and I were discussing the edits, I asked him what the deal was with this amazing looking and captivating guy. Jared replied with “there is a great story behind the man in those pictures”. Jared proceeded to share the story of unimaginable persecution and violence, against all odds life experience and mind blowing resilience. Jared shares some of the details of this tragic story that has a beautiful ending.
"A couple of years ago I was asked by Bicycling Magazine to photograph Charles Opiro, a former child soldier from Uganda. He was only 21 and really not that far removed from those experiences. He was captured and forced to be a soldier at age 10 and escaped 6 years later. I won’t go into all the details of his story here, but I don’t know how someone comes back from an experience like that. Charles was so sweet and genuine and thankful. Through Unicef, he eventually made his way to New Hampshire to live with a host family. He got into cycling and started riding with a local cycling team. This is what the story was supposed to be about, however the story never got written and the photos never used, sadly. I’ve been sitting on them until now. When I met Charles, he told me his bike had just been stolen. He was working on his GED and working at Fedex at night at the time and had no money for a new bike. I’m an avid biker and have a good friend who works for a major European bicycle company so I approached him with the idea getting a bike donated to Charles so he could race again. He said he could get a frame and with donations we were able build a beautiful bike for Charles which my wife and I delivered to him about a year later. He was so excited and couldn’t have been more thankful. We still keep in touch today."
In June we spent a few days photographing the annual report for the Whitehead Institute and I’m psyched about how it looks. A big thanks to Alice Hecht at Hecht Horton for bringing me on to photograph the brilliant scientists at Whitehead and making the images sing with impeccable design. These spreads are my 9 favorite of the 20 or so in the book. We also photographed everyone on a white seamless background as well, but everybody agreed that the black popped.
Minna (top) and Marlo, about 4.5 months old.
Last month a bunch of Cosplayers came by the studio for Boston Magazine. The passion and level of detail that went into these costumes was impressive and the transformations were dramatic. For most of these folks, there is no way you’d ever spot them in street clothes.
Above we have Daenerys with her baby dragon and Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones and Louis Vuitton Storm Trooper. See the rest here.
A few months back I photographed Steven Pinker at his home in Boston for the German magazine Terra Mater. Pinker is a famed psychologist and Professor at Harvard University. He’s written 8 books including his most recent The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. He’s a smart man.
I actually photographed him years earlier when he was at MIT and I was a much less seasoned photographer. These photos are better. He’s really into photography (he’s a pretty good photographer himself) and understood the process, which made my life easier. I almost always prefer to photograph someone at their home than at their office. They seem to be more relaxed and less distracted by deadlines or whatever work they have piled in front of them. Steven was a gracious host.
Poet and Wellesley College Professor Dan Chiasson for Wellesley Magazine.