Best Shots from 2013

Tufts photographers share their favorite images and the stories behind them
December 23, 2013


During the past year, Tufts’ staff photographers took thousands of pictures on the Medford/Somerville, Boston and Grafton campuses—from the joy of graduation and athletic triumph to the poignancy of move-in day and the beauty of nature.

We asked the university photographers to choose their favorite photographs—and tell us a bit about them. We’re exhibiting but a small sample of their work here.

To see more, go to the archive of Tufts Now spotlight photographs.

A Snowy Welcome

Students walk through a snow-covered campus on Jan. 16, the first day of the spring semester. Photo: Kelvin Ma

“Winter can be a tricky time of year to shoot on campus. The weather can be miserable, temperatures low and people sometimes unpleasant. But if you time it right, you might get a picture. In this case, a fresh coating of snow had greeted students as they returned to campus. If I recall correctly, it was the first memorable accumulation of the season, which had everyone in good spirits.”—Kelvin Ma


Diver Ali Maykranz, A13, during practice at the MIT pool on Jan. 29. Photo: Kelvin Ma“During my time shadowing Tufts’ defending national champion diver Johann Schmidt (see the story ‘Knife in the Water’), I had the opportunity to incorporate some underwater photography into the story. Depending on the sport, underwater photography can be a bit tricky—a lot of effort goes into the setup, and there is a low likelihood of getting something really striking. I shot a lot of frames of the divers at practice, and most didn’t work for a variety of reasons—bubbles obscuring the face, surfacing in the wrong direction and so on. Everything in this photo worked in my favor, though. I caught up with Ali at a recent swim meet, and she mentioned that this photo came up in a Google search her boyfriend did before their first date, so everyone ended up a winner.”—Kelvin Ma

Grace in Motion

The Aftab Dance Group performs traditional Iranian dance at Norouz, a Persian New Year celebration hosted by the Persian Students Association on Tufts’ Boston campus on March 12. Photo: Emily Zilm“This image is all about motion and celebration. The vibrant, flowing costumes and wild, dark hair complement each other, showcasing the movement of this traditional Iranian dance performance. Many of those who came to celebrate their heritage brought friends of other backgrounds to experience a piece of their culture. The dance group brings together students from different schools around the Boston area, too.”—Emily Zilm

Putting on Airs

Evey Reidy, A16, plays the role of a madame in the drama department’s production of “Measure for Measure” on Feb. 11. Photo: Kelvin Ma“After you set up all the lights, backdrops and cameras, a lot of portrait photography simply boils down to getting your subject to be comfortable in front of the camera. In this case, working with a bunch of actors for a feature on the drama program for the undergraduate admissions magazine, that was almost too easy. Evey had the benefit of wearing one of the more elaborate costumes for Measure for Measure, and she brought the attitude to match.”—Kelvin Ma

The Kissing Gate

Seniors Matthew Russell and Stephanie Howell pose for a picture beneath Bowen Gate after commencement on May 19. Photo: Emily Zilm“It wasn’t until this spring that I learned about the good luck Bowen Gate is supposed to bring to couples who meet at Tufts. Legend has it that if a couple meeting at Tufts kisses for the first time in this spot, they will be together forever. So as I made my way from photographing the main commencement ceremony, I noticed this couple and knew the significance of the spot they chose to make this memory.”—Emily Zilm

And Baby Makes Two

Katarzyna E. Dionne, D13, holds her newborn daughter, Chloe, as she receives her hood at the School of Dental Medicine’s graduation ceremony on May 19. Photo: Emily Zilm“Just two days after bringing a daughter into the world, Katarzyna Dionne carried her as she was hooded getting her D.M.D. degree. This was not a particularly difficult image to make, as I knew exactly where she would stand on the stage and had plenty of time to make sure I was in position to get a good expression. What really makes this picture is its extraordinary content and the milestones it represents. Her expression is simply brimming with pride as a graduate and mother, and I can’t help but smile when I look at this photo.”—Emily Zilm

Softball Champs!

Watch a slideshow of the Jumbo softball team as it plays in the NCAA Division III College World Series in May. Photos: Alonso Nichols

“The run-up to the final game of the softball championship was a rush. The Jumbos made clutch plays and showed their grit as they defeated each opponent in Eau Claire, Wisc., despite intermittent torrential rain, cold and even lightning. Of all the images that I made during that week, this first was the one worth waiting for. The final game of the series was a tough one. Tufts was up 6–5, and I knew this could be the last out. I was standing just on the other side of first base with a view of the batter at home. Kris Parr, A15, tagged the final out and there was a moment when time stood still. Slowly, I saw the meaning register on each face: “We won!” Catcher Jo Clair, A14, ran straight to pitcher Allyson Fournier, E15, and the rest of the team came pouring out of the dugout. I was in just the right position to see it all come together.”—Alonso Nichols

The Waiting Room

Roger Inhorn and his sons, from left, Tony, Vince and Joe, kill time in the common area on the second floor of Tilton Hall after helping incoming freshman Emma Inhorn of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, move in on Aug. 28. Photo: Emily Zilm“Move-in day is always busy, a rush of excitement amid turmoil. So I was surprised when I saw this father and his sons hanging out, no boxes or luggage in tow, as freshmen moved into dorms around campus. No incoming student in sight, either. ‘We got kicked out,’ I remember Roger Inhorn explaining. The whole family had come to send off the oldest child, Emma—and there were just too many hands on deck.”—Emily Zilm

The Huddle

Special teams coordinator Patrick Madden goes through his pre-practice meeting as the Jumbos prepare to play Wesleyan on Sept. 17. Photo: Kelvin Ma“It hasn’t been easy for the football team the past few years—there’s no getting around that. Still, that doesn’t diminish at all the feeling of anticipation that comes at the start of a fresh season. This fall, I shadowed the team for the week leading to their season opener, and the guys earned my respect for the amount of effort they put in day in and day out to get ready for each game. In this photo, special teams coach Patrick Madden positioned himself perfectly between the sun and me, which let me backlight him for one of my favorite frames of the 2013 season.”—Kelvin Ma

From the Sky

Aerial photo of the Grafton campus on Oct. 21. Photo: Alonso Nichols“It’s not every day that I get to go up in a helicopter. To see Tufts from the air was a revelation. The rolling hills on the Cummings School campus are nature at its best.”—Alonso Nichols

Sail Away

Tufts hosts the Nickerson Trophy Regatta at the Bacow Sailing Pavilion on the Upper Mystic Lake on Nov. 3. Photo: Alonso Nichols“After the Bacow Sailing Pavilion was inaugurated, the sailing team hosted its first tournament, the Nickerson Trophy Regatta. The fall weather was perfect for photographs: fluffy clouds, warm light and just enough wind for sailing.”—Alonso Nichols 

Living with Water

Daniele Lantagne, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, photographed on Nov. 7. Photo: Alonso Nichols“Often, scientists and engineers are photographed in the lab or another scientific setting. In this case, we decided to take a different approach, making an image that connects to Daniele Lantagne's work on developing and implementing water and sanitation interventions in developing countries and emergency contexts. Lantagne was very patient and accommodating as we sprayed, squirted, poured and dripped water all around her to make a different picture.”—Alonso Nichols

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