Portfolio > Photography

Before turning to magazine writing, I was a documentary photographer, earning several awards. My undergraduate degree is in photojournalism, and I subsequently interned for the National Geographic Society. Later, I held a job in the studio of noted Manhattan photographer Jay Maisel, where I worked as a photo editor and as an assistant studio manager.

What I liked about photojournalism was going out into the field, meeting interesting people, and telling about what they do. I continue to do that now, but with a pen instead of a camera.

I do still bring my lenses with me on occasion. And I credit my visual background with giving me an eye for the telling detail when doing a story. The following photo portfolio contains a baker's dozen of favorite images:

  • Photos 1 through 8 are from an extended photo essay I did on an old-time sauna in New York City, called the Russian Baths. One of these images ran in the New York Daily News; three others now hang in a Manhattan museum.
  • Photos 9 through 12 are of a fascinating old character who lived in my home town. These first ran in the (Northampton, Massachusetts) Daily Hampshire Gazette, in a story called "An Old Man Prepares for Winter."
  • The final image - of cats at a dairy barn - is a case of "ƒ8 and be there." Like the rest of the photos shown here, this photo was not stage-managed, manipulated in a darkroom, or computer enhanced. What you see is what you get.

Click on the images to enlarge.


1. In the sauna of the Baths on a co-ed day. The man in the center pours icewater over himself while Pauline St. Denis and Stephen Shioppo size each other up.


2. St. Denis and Shioppo. Formerly an all-male enclave, the Baths are now open to women.


3. Three men in the sauna, where the temperatures are rumored to rise above 240 degrees.


4. Andrew Winter, one of the Baths' regulars, scrubs himself with an oak-leaf whisk broom. The combination of the scrubbing and the tannins in the leaves makes an already hot sauna feel even hotter.


5. Two elderly Hasidic men in the sauna. Man on right is administering an oak leaf massage, or platza, to the one on the left.


6. Another day in the 100-year-old Russian Baths, one of the last old-style communal saunas on New York's Lower East Side.


7. Walter Thomas gets a face-ful of ice water to cool down. Traditionally, after soaking in the steam for several minutes, patrons pour freezing water on themselves or plunge into a pool of cold water. Then they'd go to the establishment's bar, have a shot of vodka, and repeat the process.


8. In an effort to modernize, the Baths owners have added a tanning salon.


9. Part of an essay I did for The Daily Hampshire Gazette on Whately, Massachusetts, farmer John Kennedy, who lived in the same rural New England town where I grew up.


10. Kennedy did not have much use for electricity, central heating, hot water, or anything else that he called "modern inconveniences." He raised a little corn on his 200 acres.


11. After more than 60 years of manual labor, Kennedy was still able to shuck corn by hand.


12. Kennedy did bow to modern life in one respect, using a tractor to drive into town to pick up his mail and run errands. But he still kept his oxen, which were pets as much as anything else.


13. Milking time at the old University of Massachusetts Dairy Barn in South Deerfield. The place had dozens of barn cats running around; whenever the cows were milked, the cats got a little squirt as a little treat. The cats got a little crazy just before that time arrived.



  • 1992 Exhibition of Photography, Berkshire Art Association. Three works chosen for this National Juried Exhibition curated by John Szarkowski, Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.
  • Show at the Art Director's Club, American Society of Picture Professionals, New York, 1993.
  • Anderson Ranch Arts Center Scholarship Award, Aspen, CO 1992.
  • Award of Excellence, CA Magazine's Photo Annual 1992.
  • "New Directions," National Juried Exhibition, Dutchess County Art Association, 1991.
  • "Photowork '90," National Juried Exhibition, Mid-Hudson Arts Center, Poughkeepsie, NY 1990.
  • "Eddie Adams Workshop II." 5-day workshop given free to selected photojournalists. NY 1989.
  • National Press Photographer's Foundation/Joseph Ehrenreich Scholarship 1985.
  • Black Star/Kosti Ruohomaa Scholarship 1984
  • "150 Years of Photography," National Juried Exhibition, Westport Arts Center, CT 1989.
  • "Conway Festival of the Hills," Conway, MA 1984.

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