The Farmer's Dinner at Generation Farm

Between photographing the culinary results of The Farmer's Dinner; enjoying those same results; and, on this particular day, checking in with three of my children, who were among the dinner guests at Generation Farm (and entertaining them with aplomb); I greatly enjoy observing and photographing the process of making these rather remarkable courses. A professional kitchen is a maelstrom of activity; in the case of an outdoor improvised one, it can be trecherous. But achieving a photograph during those few moments where all of the elements converge is compelling to the point of obsession, comparable to a chef's plating a single course.

Sophia & Andrew, married

I’ve made photographs for Northeast Catholic College for many years now, so I know many of the students (and the grounds) fairly well. Sophia and Andrew, both alumni, asked me to photograph their wedding ceremony, performed by the college chaplain and accompanied by the school choir. They were married in the campus chapel last month on a chilly spring morning.

a house concert

I met The Hickory Horned Devils last year when I hosted a performance at Amoskeag Studio; since then, I've also gotten to know most of the band members. So when we were invited to a house concert (hosted by their lead singer, Jen) with other friends and family, we gladly accepted. Located on a hill in Pembroke, their property has a tremendous view and overlooks Concord (we could see the state capitol building miles away).

From the porch, the band performed three sets throughtout the evening before guests with chairs and blankets. The potluck was varied and plentiful, along with the grill and beverages. Dozens of children wandered and played in the yard. Adults strolled in the field past the stone wall. We visited with friends we didn't expect to see there. The band finished at dusk, and we lingered for a couple hours more while our children eeked out as much time in a new house with new friends as they could.

I didn't have a plan for photographing. I relaxed and ate (and drank) first while listening to the music and waiting for the light to improve. The resulting work is an eclectic collection of the day: friends lounging, musicians performing, corn and grass growing, suns setting. They do not convey the high spiritedness of the music, the sounds of conversation and laughter, the smells and tastes of the food, the serenity of a location felt in the midst of dozens of other people. They are moments, scenes worked over (with many failed attempts), and an opportunity to create something different and new.

Élevage de Volailles for The Farmers Dinner

My latest work for The Farmers Dinner brought me to Élevage de Volailles, a small, family-run farm in Loudon Centre, New Hampshire. The event was held entirely outdoors: making the firepits, preparing the food, plating the dishes, and serving the guests. The process, of course, took days, and cooking and smoking the meat over open pits started early that morning. The summer sun was out in full force, with barely any clouds in the sky, so in addition to preparation, the chefs were battling smoke, heat exhaustion, sunstroke, and dehydration—for nearly 12 hours.

Photographing in harsh, late-day sun has its own challenges, but I fully embraced the high-contrast light and deep shadows. I had no doubts that the results would exist only as black-and-white. Seeing the chefs work in these circumstances, tasting (most of) what they served, and hearing the reactions of and appreciation by the guests gave me a further appreciation of the chefs' commitment to their 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.

a Romanian Orthodox ordination

My wife initially met the wonderful Geana family a couple years ago through a homeschool group. The children of both families have become close, too. Their father, Mircea, was already a deacon at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (part of the Romanian Orthodox Church), and we were excited to hear that he was going to become a priest. Being invited to the ordination was an honor, especially among the small and close community that exists within this parish.

The church was small, and the interior was covered in dark wood and icons, illuminated by low but mostly even light. According to Orthodox (and other Eastern church) tradition, standing throughout the liturgy is expected, so pews are hardly existent. (As a photographer, this would have certain benefits.) With the Church hierarchy (including Mircea's father, also a priest), traveling from Romania, in attendance, the event was sufficiently significant that they had hired a photographer (or at least an advanced amateur was working). I wasn’t planning to photograph, but of course I had my camera with me.

I’m unsure how long I lasted until I was compelled to create something, but I began photographing intermittently. I didn’t want to interfere with the other photographer, or move around too much, but I’ve photographed enough liturgies to know how to be subtle while working. Being over two hours long, I had plenty of opportunities to create at a measured pace.

One of the remarkable elements of this event was experiencing the community’s unity and support for Mircea and his family in this moment. Such occasions are rare in the church, and the joy among the parishioners and visiting clergy was palpable. The day was a true celebration.

Bridgewater Old Home Day, or, Bean hole beans

Last summer I had a brief Saturday assignment about an hour north of my home: create the annual town portrait for Bridgewater during their Old Home Day. It was straightforward: any town residents present will be photographed en masse in front of the town hall.

After we finished, my contact invited me to enjoy their "bean hole beans"--another (very old) annual tradition. Here, on the day prior, pits are dug; fires started; and beans are prepared in large cast iron kettles, covered, and cooked overnight. Every year, after the town portrait, the pits are uncovered and served to the town. According to the organizers, this tradition is the longest running in the state, and they take great pride in it.

I discovered the history and process only after I recognized that—at the very least—this was a unique local tradition. As the townspeople gathered to watch, I started photographing the volunteers uncover the pits, remove the kettles, and begin serving the meal. I finished working just about when the line was gone, and I was invited to have a plate.

Realizing that these traditions still exist and even thrive after over 100 years is rather remarkable. To experience and document it as it has been practiced (except for the wooden structure, which was built a few years ago) since its inception is humbling.

casting a ballot

As on most occasions, I brought my camera with me when my wife and I went to the polling station (a local school). I didn't set out to create a small project, and I didn't really spend any more time photographing than I would have if I had only voted; but, within the 17 minutes between the first and last photographs, I had inadvertently made a photo essay.

Presented here chronologically:

Madeline & Gerin, married

Madeline and Gerin were married on a beautiful summer day at The Abbey Church of Saint Anselm College. Their reception at the Stonebridge Country Club was slightly delayed by a wicked yet brief rainstorm: once it ended, however, the festivities commenced. 

The day was filled was families and friends celebrating this wonderful, genuine couple.

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.


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.

TEDxAmoskeagMillyard: Mindset

I was grateful to have been the official photographer for last year's TEDxAmoskeagMillyard conference. The presenters and performers were informative, entertaining, and especially inspiring. In anticipation for this year's conference, my results are just being released. I've included a few favorites here; a full set will be on their site.

In the coming days, I'll be posting other work from that day—but more on that then.

The videographer silhouetted against the 2013 conference sign.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
The Executive Committee of TEDxAmoskeagMillyard 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Eric Ratinoff, Executive Team Lead, TEDxAmoskeagMillyard. 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Virginia Prescott, Host of TEDxAmoskeagMillyard 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Felix Warneken, psychology professor, Harvard University. TEDxAmoskeagMillyard, 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Victoria Arlen, Paralympic Gold medalist. TEDxAmoskeagMillyard 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Aaron Tolson, Tap Jedi. TEDxAmoskeagMillyard 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Kusum Ailawadi, marketing professor, Dartmouth College. TEDxAmoskeagMillyard 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Peter Worrell, entrepreneur and author. TEDxAmoskeagMillyard 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Randolph Langenbach, architect and conservationist.
TEDxAmoskeagMillyard 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.
Dan Habib, Filmmaker. TEDxAmoskeagMillyard 2013.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno.

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.

Andrew Sterling in Mill Pond Music Studio

Last year, producer Joe Deleault invited me into the recording studio to photograph Andrew Sterling as he finished his album. We spent a few hours in Jim Prendergast's Mill Pond Music Studio in Portsmouth, NH, reviewing previous results, recording a few more tracks, and watching Andrew and Jim work. The environment was relaxed yet technically precise, and everyone ended the day pleased with the results.

a cover for Parable Magazine

Claire Aucoin had been a person of interest for Parable Magazine's editors for some time, but her work in Colombia kept the New Hampshire native far from her home. So when she was here briefly last summer, author Gary Bouchard and I visited her together for an interview and some portraits. As she related her personal history and awe-inspiring work for Colombia's poorest at a nearby church, Gary and I both realized that hers was a much larger story than initially thought.

Knowing that I may not have access to her again, we asked to see her family farm, where many of her siblings still reside and work. Knowing this would very likely become a cover story, I made portraits in multiple locations there. The resulting article and photographs were just published.


Littles and Bigs

On an early December morning, I photographed a fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Manchester. Part of my task was to create portraits of the Littles (in their lingo) with his or her respective Big. Given the hundreds of supporters waiting in the next room, our time was limited, but I hope the portraits reflect the ease and comfort of these special relationships.