Hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as a “promising and confident” member of the newest generation of conductors, Geoffrey McDonald commands a broad repertoire with extensive experience in operatic, symphonic, and choral works. He is the music director of the Long Conservatory Orchestra which, under his leadership, has earned praise as “an ensemble with an impressive level of technical polish and uniform blend” (Boston Classical Review)…”McDonald’s leadership of the ensemble was thrilling and dynamic, coaxing a rich sound that resonated satisfyingly…The Gone with the Wind suite was the clear hero of the evening, reveling in a generous performance that clearly understood the breadth of Steiner’s motives, presenting them in a wide scope while maintaining significant attention to the minutiae of the score” (Boston Musical Intelligencer).

When he asked me to shoot his head shots I felt honored but at the same time it was a challenge: He wanted something special and different from regular head shot sessions. I decided go back in time and set him up in a classic Hollywood actor style lighting, which I think fits perfectly with his background and position.

At the beginning of this project I was thinking about using a more diffuse lighting scheme on him. But I took a look at the head shots of the new conductors, musicians and singers inside classical music and opera and realized that they are being portrayed in a modern way. They are not anonymous anymore, and they want to share not only their music, but their style, thoughts, personalities… That’s why I decided to risk a little bit more and give more personality to his portraits, something that would be not so washed-out, but have more character. He is a very easy going guy but with a lot of personality, and that’s how I see this set.

I know this kind of set looks classic, but taking a look at what people are doing now, I think nowadays this style could be considered modern in some way and also very elegant. I feel that everybody is using the same type of diffuse easy light, and I can include myself: beautiful but boring, without personality. But this set, and especially the last three pictures that were illuminated in a different way, feels modern.

– The making of these images was possible thanks to: Carolina Restrepo (MUAH)