Category Archives: Biotech


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My first digital shoot was in 1998. It was portraits for Fidelity to be used in a completely illustrated environment. We’ve come a long way since then. I still shoot film for personal projects; never commercially. The digital environment has brought us immediacy, spontaneity, flexibility, and the ability to take risks with a buffer of certainty. It has also afforded us  the potential for a new level of authenticity and, paradoxically, the possibility of  infinite manipulation … strange bedfellows indeed. Where I used to need lots of gear, I can now go into an environment quietly and in the background to tell a story. This method takes me back to my roots as a photographer (think Tri-X  .. the iconic high speed black & white film). It is nice to be back. To fill the gaping maw of websites, I often go into an environment with a couple of cameras to observe and record. This is pure visual storytelling and an effective way to build an authentic library of images for an organization.

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Anatomy of an Annual Report Cover

Alnylam Pharmaceutical is a biotech firm in Cambridge, MA. I have photographed their annual report for the last five years. There are usually two components to the assignment; the first centered around an idea or theme and tied into a fairly demanding graphic; the second a very free form visual record of the company at that time. This year the theme was focus. The graphic solution entailed having eyes and action in the center of a vertical, with room at the top a bottom for type and text.

There were chosen players and it all had to be setup. The cover was supposed to adhere to the same criteria, but incorporate warmth and accessibility as well. That is all about casting (in this case finding). I try to avoid faking nice. Tatiana is a natural. I brought a lab mate in for entertainment and occasionally interjected some bon mots to keep things lively.

… and we ended up here:

Designer: Michael Persons … Gill Fishman Design.

(See More Photos From this Shoot)

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