When Mehran Fanoos was just 7 years old, he enrolled at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music and started violin lessons with Indiana University Jacobs School of Music alumnus William Harvey. Following the collapse of the Afghan government in 2021, Harvey immediately started to think of ways he could use his non-profit, Cultures in Harmony, to help Afghan musicians long-term, including connecting them with educational opportunities in other countries. With Harvey’s help, Fanoos was admitted to the Jacobs School on a full scholarship.See more photos
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
About a month ago I had the opportunity to photograph some faculty members in the Piano Department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. My goal going in was to create a simple and replicable headshot style. I fired one Profoto B1 camera right feathering the light across the subjects’ faces through a 36-inch octa softbox. The texture in the background is a limestone wall about four feet behind the subjects.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to do a two-day wet plate collodion workshop with the great Dale Bernstein here in Bloomington at the FAR Center for Contemporary Arts. I have always been curious about the process and came into it without really any prior experience. My background was much different than the other folks in the workshop. I walked away with a great respect for everyone who is able to create beautiful images using this process. It’s incredibly hard. Really hard. I made a few images (poorly), but really loved the deliberate thought process that goes into creating each image. It’s something that can easily be lost today with digital cameras. I’d love to give it another shot again soon although it might be hard to convince my wife to keep potassium cyanide around the house with a newborn.