Portraits of more than 400 naturalized U.S. citizens of the Commonwealth benefitting The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA).
In youth my penchant to discover places and people began, National Geographic, my guide; for forty years with wanderlust and curiosity I covered the continents photographing cultural landscapes. I’ve come full circle—traveling the world not leaving the state. The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape supporting MIRA is a collection of informal, environmental portraits of ethnic diversity in Massachusetts. 400-plus photographs that represent over 180 countries are touring the state; a companion book for donation to schools and libraries will bring awareness to our cultural diversity: subjects of various stations, foreign-born, naturalized U.S. citizens residing in the Commonwealth. Prompted by the 2010 Census, the seed was planted earlier on assignment at Ellis Island for a 1978 essay by mentor Charles Kuralt. Unlike my candid street photography, this is a straightforward approach: individuals looking into the camera, telling stories through expression, place and pose.
— Mark Chester