It was my pleasure to meet and photograph two amazing Mainers, Peter and Paula Lunder, a few months ago. The couple were sitting for video interviews for Colby College, and my task was to photograph them inside the wing of the Colby College Museum of Art that bears their name. The couple are longtime supporters of Colby College and lifetime members of the board of trustees. In 2007 they pledged their collection of more than 500 pieces of American art from the 19th through 21st centuries to create the Lunder Collection, where I would be photographing them.
Meeting and photographing such an interesting couple was the fun part—but it was also necessarily brief. We’d have less than 20 minutes—perhaps much less—to take several different portraits. Given the nature of being around priceless art, we were limited in where we could set up and even how much power our lights could emit lest we damage light-sensitive artwork. We arrived early, formulated a game plan and and set up several different options well ahead of time. The Lunders were then delayed, which cut a bit into our planned shooting time. Thanks to my assistant, Colby student Joseph Bui, we were able to photograph the Lunders—three different setups—inside of the seven minutes remaining to us.
I love the challenge of creating storytelling environmental portraits on location. Even more, I enjoy meeting people who have dedicated themselves to living lives filled with meaning the way the Lunders clearly have.