This fall I began partnering with local entrepreneur and visionary Jeanne Dasaro on her project to document the stories of Boston’s North End. Appropriately named “North End Stories,” the project intends to use photos, videos and audio recordings to share the stories of Italian-Americans in the North End. I am so lucky to be collaborating with Jeanne on this project by making portraits of the people she is interviewing. I get to be part of her effort to preserve the history of this landmark Boston neighborhood AND I get to orchestrate fun photo shoots with really amazing people.
First, we photographed Nicki and Bobby, the guys who own Polcari’s Coffee, which has been a fixture on Salem Street since 1932! I posed them at the counter in the front of the store, surrounded by the amazing selection of dry goods and using mostly natural light. They have so much personality and the store is so interesting, I wanted to keep it simple!
Second, we photographed Peter and John at DiPaolo & Rossi Meat Market, which they opened in 1974 when they both emigrated to the U.S. from Italy. Neither of them were very comfortable in front of the camera, so I set up some soft lights and just clicked away while they worked. This is one of my favorite shots of Peter.
Last weekend, we did two more portraits – you can see them below – and have several more lined up. To read the latest stories and see the collection of photos that Jeanne has built, visit the project website. If you have any old photos of Boston’s North End, or if you have a story you want to share, be sure to contact her! And stay tuned for more photos and videos in the very near future.