sculptor Emile Birch for New Hampshire Magazine

I have a great love of photographing artists at work, if only to observe their process, which is invariably unique. So when I received an assignment to photograph Emile Birch, who is one of New Hampshire's preeminent sculptors, I was grateful for the opportunity. His public monuments and work in schools had earned him a feature in New Hampshire Magazine exactly six years prior; this time, however, the circumstances were different. Emile had begun suffering from dementia, and this article would confront that issue directly.

Editor Rick Broussard sent me an advance copy of writer Karen Jamrog's article to help me prepare. Rick, creative director Chip Allen, and I decided the photography would require two stages: first, him working in his home studio; second, a portrait at one of his public sculptures. I would coordinate with his wife, Cynthia, whom he relies upon for appointments, transportation, et al.

The studio visit was scheduled first. I traveled west early on a Saturday morning, enjoyed brief introductions and a tour, and watched as he touched up some paint on a few of his new wooden pieces. (He's now limited to small-scale productions, which fill his studio.)

Although I knew another session for the portrait would occur, when I saw Emile step into the doorway to his studio towards the end of my time there, I couldn't help but ask him to pause while I made a series of photographs. As it happens, the magazine chose this portrait as the opening photograph (rather than the location one, as initially planned).

For the location portrait, we decided to use a lesser known work of his but one on prominent display in the capitol: The Eternal Shield, which was commissioned to memorialize the state's fallen firefighters. We met there a few weeks later around dusk to make the portraits. We lingered a bit (and enjoyed a coffee in a local shop) to allow darkness to fall in hopes that the statue's installed lighting (in the "flame") would illuminate; when that didn't happen, we said our goodbyes.

Karen's article about Emile, his legacy, and his current condition are well worth reading. I'm honored and grateful to illustrate a very small part of his life and work.

Tim Roemer, engineer

Parable Magazine assigned me to make a portrait of Tim Roemer, a young engineer who holds multiple degrees from University of New Hampshire. We wanted to create the photographs in the UNH engineering lab, so he and I met there, and he gave me a tour of the facilities, including the machine he built for his graduate degree. (The device tests and measures the rate at which metal stretches over tension—I think.)

Tim was a great host and subject. We were able to go anywhere we wished, thanks to his good relationships with the administrators. A real joy of these assignments is seeing a world hidden from everyday view—and then showing them to my audience. I could have made his portrait anywhere, but by using a location that was his academic home for 6 years, the photograph becomes a small part of the accompanying written narrative, allowing the reader to see a view of an engineering lab. Such an environment is also more visually interesting, of course.

David Clayton, artist

I met David many years ago. We were introduced at a reception--and then again a few weeks later. Our social, academic, and artistic circles overlapped, and we became friends. He's a trained iconographer, and his most famous venture is a series (and blog and book) called The Way of Beauty.

These photographs were made in his (now former) studio and the chapel at Thomas More College, where he was artist-in-residence, in 2012.  We spent a good portion of an afternoon discussing his work, students, philosophy, and more. He's always working on multiple fronts as an artist (visually & musically), author, and educator, so conversations with him are always varied and engaging.

He now has a new project and lives on the other side of the continent, from where he taunts us New Englanders with photos of tremendous views while hiking (among other things).

York Family for Family Business Magazine

I’ve known various members of the York family for years. Most recently, I created executive portraits for the Dyn leadership team, including Kyle York, their CSO. So I was excited when I received an assignment from Family Business Magazine to photograph his entire family--parents, the five brothers, spouses, and grandkids. The magazine needed a portrait with the parents and brothers for the cover, and another with everyone. I wanted a different location for each, but I knew the timeline would be tight, so we couldn’t move too far between the two photos.

Fortunately, Kyle's assistant, Ashley, helped coordinate this entire project. She and I worked through some ideas for locations, and we settled on the building owned by the family and the current home of GYK Antler: located in the millyard of Manchester, I had just been there a few weeks prior for a meeting. As it happens, the building itself was owned by Henry Spaulding, grandfather of the York brothers, when he ran an athletic shoe manufacturing company. So this location not only had ideal spots to create the photos I needed to make (my primary concern), but it also had significance to the family and relevance to the article being written.

Ashley also coordinated the entire family schedule for this session--twice, in fact. We had initially settled on a Friday afternoon in October. I was in my studio preparing that day when Ashley called a few hours prior to the session . She asked whether I had seen the news: I hadn’t, so she told me about the major DDOS attack on Dyn’s servers that had been occurring all day. The company had thought that the attack had ended in the morning, but another round had started, so Kyle was going to be occupied for the rest of the day, and we had to reschedule. The day's weather had been overcast and raining anyway, so I wasn’t terribly disappointed.

The weather was far better for the new session, but Daylight Savings had also occurred in the interim, which meant our timeline was going to be pushing against the available light. I had prepared the lighting for both locations (with Ashley standing in as a test subject) to be ready to move quickly once everyone arrived.

After some lighting adjustments (to account for the difference of light between setup and the start), the session went smoothly. Meeting and working with the entire family was wonderful. Gratefully, both the magazine and the family seems pleased with the results.


Liza is only in high school but has already won some local acclaim as an actress, including for her performance as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. She's a wonderful young woman who clearly has great potential on and off stage.

Liza, 2014. Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

portraits from TEDxAmoskeagMillyard 2013: the presenters

Continuing yesterday's post: these presenters (the host, speakers, and artists) excelled in their respective tasks. I didn't want to ask them for a portrait prior to being on stage: some were clearly (and understandably) nervous, so being relaxed and open to a portrait would have been difficult or even impossible. The one exception to this was the host Virginia Prescott: being a host for NHPR, I knew she'd be comfortable on stage; and she'd be occupied all day, so she became one of my first subjects.

I'm grateful to everyone who agreed to sit for me during a full and hectic schedule. The entire experience of the TEDx conference—the people, the presentations, the portraits—made for an unforgettable day.

The full set of portraits is also available on my website.

Virginia Prescott, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Victoria Arlen, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Aaron Tolson, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Dick Anagnost, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Dr. Felix Warneken, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Elaine Hamel, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Sy Montgomery, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Heather & Shaunna Murphy, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Kusum Ailawadi, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Pete Worrell, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Meryl Levin, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Randolph Langenbach, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Dan Habib, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Elizabeth Resnick, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

portraits from TEDxAmoskeagMillyard 2013: the team

When I photographed the 2013 TEDxAmoskeagMillyard conference, I had realized the night prior what a wonderful opportunity I had to create portraits of the volunteer speakers, performers, and organizers. So decided at the last minute to bring a small portable studio to the event, find a few square feet of space, and work like mad to cover the event and to spend just a few precious minutes tracking down each of them, explaining the idea, and making a few frames.

Here are some of superb teamwho worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the day was seamless. Tomorrow I'll post the presenters.

Roseangela McCann, 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Bob Batcheler, 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Kira Morehouse, 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Kristian Gustafson, 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Jillian Adams, 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Harry Umen, 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Gabbi Hall, 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

Eric Ratinoff, 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.


Keith Sarasin

Keith and I met professionally through his organization, The Farmers Dinner, which connects local farmers, restaurants, and the public in an evening of great food, education, and community. I've created many of the photographs (both of the events and the food) seen on their media platforms, but he and I never really had the opportunity to sit and chat (the events are always hectic).

But we finally did meet—and we discovered many shared ideas, struggles, and hopes. He has an endearing and open personality, and sitting with him instantly became an opening and intimate experience. Here's to Keith's continued professional success as a farm advocate and—more importantly—personal thriving as a friend.

Keith Sarasin, 2014.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

portraits from theatre kapow's 24-Hour Play Festival

I've worked as a photographer with theatre kapow since their inception, and their efforts to create an authentic and unique dramatic experience is nothing short of inspiring. A few years ago, they began a 24-Hour Play Festival, which produces about five original short plays--from writing to performance--in a day. The experience is both absolutely taxing and thrilling for everyone involved.

Two years ago, I photographed the dress rehearsals, but I wanted something more. I decided to set up a small portrait studio (single softbox on a grey backdrop) in the wings of the stage, and when the cast and director finished their allotted 30-minute final rehearsal on stage, each graciously sat for a brief portrait. I've posted only a portion here; the full set can be seen on my website.

The 2014 24-Hour Play Festival starts tonight and will be performed tomorrow evening.

Aaron Compagna, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Olivia Dodd, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Justin Voshell, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Emily Sarah, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Karen Oster, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Kelly Litt, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Anthony Febo, 2012.Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Kathryn & Sam, engaged

I've known Kathryn for a few years, after I met her (and Sam) at her sister's wedding. When she and Sam became engaged earlier this year, they called to book me. We made these engagement portrait (and some others) a few months ago. Everyone is excited for their wedding next year, and I'm honored to be making photographs for their families again.

Dan Burke

Dan Burke, May 2014.
I met Dan Burke after photographing the College of Saint Mary Magdalen's graduation in May. He gave the commencement speech, and I had the good fortune of dining with him and a few others from the college afterwards. In addition to his work as Executive Director of the National Catholic Register and founder of the Avila Institute, he is an author and speaker on Catholic spirituality.

I asked to make his portrait, and we found a quiet space in the office of the president (who's also a good friend). We spent more time discussing art, aesthetics, and films than photographing, but we fit in a few portraits.

Cristina Staltare, artist

Cristina Staltare, April 2014.
I discovered Cristina and her paintings through her senior thesis exhibition, Nature in Passing, at Saint Anselm College last year. Her small, intimate works invite the viewer to approach and linger in her landscapes.

Her paintings will be on display at Amoskeag Studio for the coming weeks, with the opening held on April 26 in conjunction with a performance by the Brad Myrick Quintet, celebrating the release of their album, Halogen.

Beth Ann O'Hara for New Hampshire Magazine

Beth Ann O'Hara, March 2014.
I was assigned to photograph Beth Ann as part of New Hampshire Magazine's "Remarkable Women 2014: Game Changers" article. While known for her theater work, I was more intrigued by a passing reference to her being McGovern's photographer during the NH component of his presidential run. I asked her about this when I visited her, and she revealed that he had invited her to continue with him throughout his national campaign. Her family obligations, however, led her to decline this offer.

I asked whether she had those photographs at hand, but after a search, she couldn't locate them. We promised each other another visit to explore them and discuss this part of state and national history from one who witnessed it in a way few others did.

The above unpublished photograph from our session shows her intricate needlepoint art hanging on the wall. They depict the four seasons.