Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to make a few portraits of Indiana University President Pamela Whitten for the cover of the Indiana University Alumni Magazine. Whitten was in town for meetings before officially taking office, giving us a chance to snag her for a quick six-minute photo shoot. My colleague Chris Meyer and I worked with folks from the magazine to scout locations that morning, allowing us to quickly run her through four different “looks” near the front entrance of the Indiana Memorial Union. To light President Whitten I used a Flashpoint (Godox) XPLOR 600 fired into a Westcott 7-foot Parabolic Umbrella, a pandemic lighting gear purchase that has quickly become my go-to modifier because of the soft, wrap-around light it creates.See more photos
Earlier this month, Indiana University formally dedicated a building based on designs by legendary modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Mies originally designed the structure in 1952 to be a fraternity house for the Alpha Theta chapter of Pi Lambda Phi. The fraternity abandoned the project and the little-known designs were largely forgotten. In 2013, Sidney Eskenazi, a former member of the fraternity, related the story to IU President Michael A. McRobbie, kicking off a search for the designs. The search uncovered the designs and eventually led to the building’s construction thanks in large part to a $20 million gift to the school from Sidney and Lois Eskenazi. Once completed this fall, the approximately 10,000-square-foot building will be a shared facility for the IU Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design.See more photos
When we started planning our team’s coverage of Indiana University’s commencement ceremonies back in March, I challenged my colleagues to “photograph the weird”. Things are weird. Document it. Document the history. My unit’s primary focus is marketing, but I have felt a big, self-assigned responsibility since the beginning of the pandemic to make sure our 200-year-old university’s history is captured. After all, I don’t anticipate much of a shelf life for marketing photos featuring masks and social distancing if the pandemic ends.
I photographed five commencement ceremonies this year. After two ceremonies here in Bloomington, I traveled to IU regional campuses in Kokomo, South Bend and Gary. The ceremonies were held without audience members in attendance making for a striking visual component to each ceremony. Commencement is arguably a university’s most important ritual – and typically one of the most photographed. By documenting it this year I hope my photos will stand in contrast to those taken in “normal times”.See more photos