Commercial Work

Mario Testino Event by Ron Cowie

A few years ago I was hired by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to photograph the opening reception of Mario Testino's traveling show. This was a really big party with a lot of moving parts. When a PR representative hands you a list of who to photograph, it make your job a little easier and frees up some time. In between making pictures for immediate release, I'm still looking for the human story. 

It's really easy to take a stab at the fashion industry and these images do that. Underneath all the smiles and incredible gowns is a huge business that affects us all. I'm kinda jealous and also identify with the deep desire to move in this world. So, there is a little heartbreak wrapped up in these shots too. I wanted it to remain beautiful.

Hot Rod Photography by Ron Cowie

One of the great things about my job is getting to see some pretty amazing things. This car was one of them. I had a ball photographing this hot rod for a private client. A lot of time and energy went into the car. Pretty neat stuff if you ask me.

Automobile restoration is an art form to itself. I admire the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into it. 

Yes, it was loud.

Hounds About Town Project by Ron Cowie

Pet Care Services Website & Photography

Hounds About Town is a dog walking and pet care business located in Roslindale, MA. They serve Jamacia Plain, West Roxbury, Roslindale and Boston. They wanted to freshen up their web and social media presence. They have been in business and thriving since 2002.


The previous website was on a free platform and out of date. The content was done "in-house" but lacked visual integrity. This is not unusual for small businesses with limited budgets for advertising. They know they need to be on the web but are more focused on the actual customer experience than visuals. This is where "good enough" is born. So, instead of rebuilding what they had, we started fresh.

They wanted something contemporary with more polished content. This was partly motivated by an increase in competition in the area but also it just made good sense to improve the online image. Also, Hounds About Town is one of the top pet care businesses in the area and  the website should reflect their level professionalism. 

The website had to be simple, easy to navigate and, visually rich with happy dogs and staff.


The real selling point are the dogs. Anyone can take a picture of a person and tell them to look trustworthy but dogs don't lie. So, I went on some walks near the Arboretum and made pictures of the dogs and their walkers. There is a genuine connection between the two and I was very impressed with the positive energy I felt. It isn't just a job for these people. Making authentic images of happy dogs was not a problem.

Assembling the website and making sure everything worked well took a little time. Once it was all ready to go, we launched. The client was very happy with the result and I am grateful for the chance to do it.

What I learned

One major change I've seen in my business has to do with where the job ends. It used to be I would be hired for my photography services only but, that's not the case anymore. Today, everyone claims to be a photographer using the tools and technology at their disposal. For the most part, it works just fine. Knowing what to do with the image is a whole other issue. For businesses, a professional image is worth investing in and maintaining.

My skills in editing and content management come are used more often. This project is a perfect example. I enjoy assisting in the implementation of my images. Helping businesses connect with their customer is my job and, I love my job.

Follow Hounds About Town on Instagram and Facebook



Rhythm & Roots Festival: an annual treat by Ron Cowie

I was first introduced to the Rhythm & Roots Festival in 2012 when I was assigned to cover it for SO Rhode Island, a local magazine. It made sense to bring the large format camera to set up a portrait studio backstage. I photographed the artists in a semi-formal setting that spoke to everything roots music represents.

What is "Roots" music? It is a style of music that includes folk music from a variety of American and French Canadian cultures. 

In any case, this weekend is always a lot of fun for me and a story to follow. Here are some images from the past years.

Portraits with an 8x10 camera. by Ron Cowie

Before I went to photo school, the only thing I knew I wanted to do for sure was "Make 8x10 portraits of people and print them in platinum."

The reason had a lot to do with my tendency to be a bit grandiose but, it also came from a real interest in making something beautiful. The large format camera and platinum printing give a depth and dimension to a portrait that cannot be duplicated any other way. This was how the masters did it and it was the normal way to do it not too long ago. Just about any and all of the glamour shots made in the first half of the 20th century were made using large format cameras. I fell in love with them and that is that. 

I still haven't fallen out of love with this process. Lord knows it has cost me a great deal but everything a negative comes up in the fixer, I can see a little into the eternal. If twenty somethings can go on about the latest toy camera app for their phones, I can talk about my love of the classic portraits. 

Who are the people I look to for inspiration?

  • Dorothea Lange,
  • Irving Penn,
  • Richard Avedon,
  • Yosuf Karsh, 
  • Margaret Bourke White
  • Edward Steichen

Something happens when I use a bigger camera, time slows down because I have to slow down. It isn't about "capture" but more about "creating". My subjects have to trust me a little bit more than usual. The successful portraits show this.



"No, You Get A Room!" (Engagement Portraits) by Ron Cowie

A little liplock at sunset never hurt anyone.

A little liplock at sunset never hurt anyone.

New England is known for being a little uptight around public displays of affection ("P.D.A." according to The Preppy Handbook). However, when you find that one person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you get to make-out a little.

Sessions should be kept simple. I'm interested in showing the connection you share with your partner. Often, for me, that just requires simple light, a beach and, my camera.


Matunuck Oyster Bar by Ron Cowie

Rhode Island's best seafood restaurant is the Matunuck Oyster Bar. Located on Potter's Pond in East Matunuck, Rhode Island, MTKOB is nationally known for their great food and commitment to sustainable, organic farming.I was commissioned to create and manage the content for their social media platforms. I have been an admirer of the restaurant and Perry Raso for a long time, so it was a real honor to be a part of the team.

Here are some of the videos and still images I've made in support of their mission

A short piece about how the oysters are farmed and what give them their unique flavor.

The term "farm to table" gets tossed around a lot but Matunuck Oyster Bar has invested deeply in the idea. Most, if not all of their vegetables come from their own farms within three miles of the restaurant.

Oyster Facts for Matunuck Oyster Bar. Using humor to promote the health benefits of oysters.

A video playing on the idea of Oysters as aphrodisiacs and the sexual powers contained within. The object was to be scientifically accurate and funny at the same time.

A quick spot taking a fact and using it to promote the restaurant.