Congratulations Graduates!

Tis’ the season for graduations.  Here’s to the Graduates!
Wishing you prosperity, good health, and success in changing the world for the better.

Portland Oregon event photographs
editorial photographers portland oregon
Portland Oregon editorial photographer
Portland Oregon event photographer
editorial photographer portland oregon
Portland Oregon editorial photographers
photographs of graduates in cap and gown

For a Portland Oregon editorial photographer, photographing commencement ceremonies is always a fun time.  Who’s not happy to walk the stage, pick up their diploma, and revel in the accomplishment of years of hard work culminating in graduation? When an event photographer has a graduation assignment, they know a good time will be had by all.

Copyright 2014 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.
Portland Oregon corporate photographer.


Photos of Ravens on Mt Hood

Three ravens in snow

I meant to go skiing when Raven caught my eye, flirting in the trees behind the parking lot at Timberline Lodge.  Were there ten, twenty, maybe thirty?

I watched from the car.  They flew with delight, diving and rising, weaving in and out and around snow covered trees.

At the stand of old growth Douglas Firs there were at least twenty ravens, of that I was sure.  Part cunning, part mischief, and part charmers, it wasn’t long before my lunch was their lunch.  Together they finished a roast beef sandwich.

We both had agendas, and both left with our appetites filled.

Photo Tips: Photographing birds (see end of post).

Raven flying in snowy forest

Raven flying in snowy forest

Three ravens flying in snowy forest

Raven looking in camera with snow on face

Photo Tips:
1. It’s important to use a fast shutter speed for photography of birds in motion to avoid blurry birds. If you’re using a point and shoot you can accomplish this by setting your camera to sports mode.
2. When photographing in the snow or high key (brightly lit) places, it’s likely the meter in your camera will not give you the correct exposure. Light meters in cameras are dumb, and you may need to increase your exposure by one f-stop.

Copyright 2014 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.
On location photography, Portland Oregon photographer Adam Bacher.


Professional photography and your online presence – building trust and connections with clients

A picture is worth a 1,000 words.  Building trust with your clients is priceless. How photography can increase your bottom line.



Frequently the first contact prospective clients have with your business is online.  The image you project and the photographs you use can make the difference between them contacting you, or moving on.

Website and social media photographs are a key component for increasing viewer interest in your products and services. Recent studies show a direct relationship between the use of photography on internet sites and the ability of your business to establish positive connections with clients and prospects.[1] Initial trust is enhanced for web sites using photographs compared to sites without photos.[2]  People want to do business with someone they know and trust, and feel more connected when photographs are present on your website.  Additional studies also demonstrate that owner and employee photos on websites have a strong positive impact on a visitor’s first impression of your trustworthiness.[3]

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Why not make it your best? Whether it’s your company website, LinkedIn profile, or another online presence, good photography can make a difference in your bottom line.  So what are you waiting for?  There’s no better time than now to get it done.


Concerned about the process?  Take a look at these examples from three recent photography assignments.  Updating your photographs may be easier than you think, take less time to accomplish, and no matter how you feel about being behind the camera, it feels better than a trip to the dentist.

CASE 1 – Sabrina Parsons: CEO of Palo Alto Software and Forbes Magazine blogger on working mothers.
Assignment: Show Sabrina as a confident CEO engaged at the work place, while adding a taste for her passion as an advocate for working mothers.
CASE 2 – Michael Wise, Attorney: Principal, Michael Wise and Associates.
Assignment: Create photographs of Michael emphasizing his court room experience and friendly demeanor.

CASE 3 – Jonathan Blasher, Executive Director, Playworks Northwest.
Assignment: Photograph Jonathan for a testimonial ad for the school where he received his MBA degree – Oregon Executive MBA.  Highlighting success stories of former alumni, the school also wanted a strong Portland feel in the images.

Contact now to schedule your new business photographs.

Copyright 2014 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.
On location photography, Portland Oregon photographer Adam Bacher.


Photographing Waterfalls in Winter


It doesn’t snow often in the lower elevations of the Pacific Northwest, but when it does opportunity abounds for beautiful photography.  Silver Falls State Park, and the Trail of Ten Falls is a favorite. Ten major waterfalls are accessible in an 8 mile loop, four of them over 100 feet high.

If you’re going out in the winter to photograph waterfalls, here are a few tips for better pictures:

  1. Bring a Tripod: To give water the smooth silky effect you see in most photographs of waterfalls, you’ll want to use a slow shutter speed when taking your pictures (a fifthteenth of a second or longer). Unless you don’t care about focus, you’ll need a tripod to keep the camera still.

  2. Take multiple exposures: Snow will frequently fool the light meter in your camera  causing you to under-expose your images and make the white snow look gray. If you have a small point and shoot there’s usually a “snow” option in the program mode. Other cameras allow you to adjust the exposure. In snow scenes you’ll want to overexpose your image about one f-stop.

  3. Bring a Lens Cloth: Snow makes things wet and so does the spray from a waterfall if you get close or the wind is blowing your direction.  Your lens is going to get wet and you’ll need something to keep it dry.

  4. Be Creative: Photographing waterfalls from a variety of angles will yield more good shots, you’ll have fun getting them, and will impress your friends and family too.  Take photographs from up high or down by the ground, include trees and other foreground elements, and vary your lens from wide angle to zoom.  In the digital world, every additional photo you take is free.

  5. Have fun and be safe!

CLICK HERE – for more photographs from Silver Falls State Park this winter.

silver-falls-waterfals-thumbnail composit
Copyright 2014 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.

On location photography, Portland Oregon photographer Adam Bacher.


3 Tips for Better Holiday Photographs

To get results like a pro you need to shoot like a pro.
Here are few easy tips to improve your photography.


Keep the best and leave the rest

A big difference between a professional photographer and an amateur is also a simple difference to overcome and master.  For every shot an amateur takes of a given subject, a professional will take15-20, maybe more. Even one extra shot with your phone or camera will double the chances of ending up with a good photograph.


I rarely get my best photograph from the first shot, especially if there are people in it. People move and blink and make silly faces, times 2 for kids. One exposure rarely achieves best job status. So take a lot, then keep the best and leave the rest.



When you begin taking more pictures your results will improve, but quantity is no substitute for quality. Becoming a better photographer requires practice and learning, and a great place to learn is from the photos you don’t like.

Don’t delete your bad photos without taking time to learn why you don’t like them. Is the lighting off? Is it blurry or the composition is wrong? Would you prefer your subject to fill the screen? Is the background too busy? You need to learn what you’re doing wrong before deleting. If you skip this step, you’re prone to make the same mistakes over and over. Take a little time to look at the bad shots and think about why they’re bad. Your photography will improve instantly.



When you write, is your first draft your final draft? No way! You scratch things out, edit, rewrite, rewrite again, whatever it takes to have the beautiful finished piece you want. Photography is no different.

Whatever you’re shooting, your first photos are your rough drafts: a family gathering, an office party, kids by the tree, the grandeur of nature. Sorting these photos is your first edit. And since you’re shooting more (see #1, above), you have more choices to edit. Now it’s time to think about cropping..

Cropping is one of the most underutilized tools in amateur photography editing

Garffiti, Vernonia

Whether it’s from an app on the back of a phone, an iPad, or your home computer, always consider whether cropping can improve your photos. The crop tool may become your new best friend. Sometimes cutting a small amount from the side, top or bottom, can make a big difference. And sometimes a small part of what looks like a crummy shot turns out to be a gem.

Try these tips see you photography improve. Happy Holidays!

Copyright 2013 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.

On location photography, Portland Oregon photographer Adam Bacher.


Sunset on Haiti's Caribbean Coast

Sunset in Haiti - Caribbean Coast
When you hear the word Haiti, do you ever think of beautiful sunsets, clean beaches, and warm waters of the Caribbean? Have a stay at the L’Amitie Hotel, twenty minutes east of Jacmel. Count the steps from your room to the beach and a chair under a brightly colored umbrella. Order your favorite drink, have a swim or two, and stay for the sunset.


School Children in Lory, Haiti.

School children in front of school, Lori, Haiti.

All of the children at the Lory school, Haiti, were treated today at a mobile medical clinic run by a small team of doctors and medical professionals from the U.S.  For the past seven years the HACAOT medical team has come to Haiti for one week each November.  Over 600 people in the village of Lory were treated today and yesterday.

Copyright 2013 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.

On location photography, Portland Oregon photographer Adam Bacher.


Why go to Haiti?

When people ask why I keep going back to Haiti, this image frequently comes to mind.

School children in Haiti blowing a kiss

Tomorrow will begin my third trip to Haiti volunteering with local aid organizations.  During the next 4 weeks I’ll be documenting the work of a mobile medical clinic, an environmental restoration project, and a youth program in the slums of Port Au Prince.  I’ll be blogging regularly from Haiti. Please follow along.

Copyright 2013 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.


What a goal looks like at a Portland Timbers soccer game

Portland Timbers vs L.A. Galaxy, Soccer match, Timbers Army, Jel

Soccer fans, the Timbers Army, celebrating when the Portland Timbers scored the winning goal in a game vs. the LA Galaxy, on a very rainy Saturday in Portland, Oregon.

Copyright 2013 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.

On location photography, Portland Oregon photographer Adam Bacher.


On Location – Photography in Haiti: Mobile Medical Clinic in Rural Village of Dondon

Waiting for care is a photographic essay of people waiting to be treated at a one day mobile medical clinic in the village of Dondon, Haiti.  All the photographs were taken on November 9th, 2011.  This collection of 13 images has recently been accepted to the Social Documentary website, dedicated to using the power of photography to promote global awareness.

Dondon, Mobile Healthcare Clinic Continue reading


Sunrise over Sahara Dessert from Airplane Window

Up late editing and I came across this sunrise, taken from the airplane window over the Sahara Dessert on my first trip to Rwanda, September 25th, 2007.

Sunrise over Sahara Dessert from Airplane

Copyright 2013 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.

On location photography, Portland Oregon photographer Adam Bacher.


Johnny Cash Live – Portland Oregon 1992

What makes you feel nostalgic?  How about Johnny Cash? or black and white film? or both?

Johnny Cash on stage, Portland Oregon 1992

Johnny Cash and June Carter in Portland Oregon 1992
Lower left image – Johnny Cash singing with his wife, June Carter Cash.

Copyright 2013 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.

On location photography, Portland Oregon photographer Adam Bacher.


Photographer proposed to by stranger during photo shoot

My co-photographer, Christa Taylor, was proposed to by a stranger during our photography assignment yesterday for Triquint Semiconductor.

Photographer Christa Taylor is proposed to during photo shoot
Team members from Triquint couldn’t keep their feet on the ground after hearing the news.

Feet off the ground for Triquint Semiconductor employees

Copyright 2013 Adam Bacher. All rights reserved.

On location photography, Portland Oregon photographer Adam Bacher.


Timbers Army – The Gift of Soccer

“A hero is a kid who accepts responsibility to uplift herself in the most adverse conditions,
maintains herself, and really does succeed in changing her life.” – Boby Duval

L'athletique d'Haiti, Cite Soleil, Haiti

The past two years Timbers Army (supporters of Portland Timbers professional soccer team), and Far Post Soccer Supply, made generous donations of soccer balls and apparel for children in Haiti.  The equipment they donated filled more than half the luggage in each of my last two trips.  Because of their help I’ve been able to bring  balls and equipment to remote villages in northern Haiti - Lori soccer team, and a youth development program in the slums of Port Au Prince - L’Athlétique d’Haïti.

The photo above was taken in Cité Soleil (considered the poorest most violent slum area in the western hemisphere), at the L’Athlétique d’Haïti sports program.  Founded in 1995 by human rights activist Boby Duval, L’Athlétique d’Haïti is an after school sports and development program for underprivileged youth.  It serves over 2,000 kids daily.

Read more – about L’Athlétique d’Haïti

See more photos from the program - Photo Gallery L’Athlétique d’Haïti

 Haiti soccer kids at L’Athlétique d’Haïti

Copyright 2013 Adam Bacher.  All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.

On location photography, Portland Oregon photographer Adam Bacher.



Labor Day 2013 – To the workers of the world.

Conductor and Train,  ©2013 Adam Bacher

Conductor and Train, ©2013 Adam Bacher

Sixteen TonsTennessee Ernie Ford

“Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man’s made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that’s a-weak and a back that’s strong

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin’ when the sun didn’t shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said “Well, a-bless my soul”

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

Continue reading


Haiti Mobile Healthcare Clinic

An open stairway climbs the outside back wall of a church in the village of Lorie, in rural northern Haiti. It leads to a low abutting roof, a gap in mason covered wood slats, and a view into the church. In November 2012, the church was transformed into a medical clinic run by the Haitian Caribbean American Organization of Texas (HACAOT).

Click her to read the full story

Copyright 2012 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.


Soccer in Haiti – History in the Making?

El Toro and L’Athletique d’Haiti players on field at soccer match in Pétionville, Haiti.

The larger paths of history are often unrecognizable at origin.  November 10th, 2012, may have been one of those times. The question remains – will the moment be seized now or later.  Either way change is inevitable.

Continue reading


Giving thanks to those who protect our freedom

Yesterday, a soldier stationed in Afghanistan made his final trip home – American Airlines flight 1037.  Passengers at gate C-2, Dallas Fort Worth airport, stood in silence when his flagged draped coffin arrived on the tarmac.  They watched as the flag was folded with precision into a thick triangle, and his coffin slowly disappear into the underbelly of the plane. Fellow soldiers held a salute.  Passengers in the terminal held their silence, not their tears.

My three week trip to Haiti felt less important.  I expected death there, but not here, not today.  At the end of the flight I would see my loved ones in Oregon.  He wouldn’t.  My reunion would be filled with joy.  His family’s with sorrow.

Continue reading


Veterans in Haiti Provide Medical Relief to Cap Haitian


Six Veterans with disaster relief team from the Haitian Caribbean American Organization of Texas.

In Honor of 6 extraordinary Vets, on VETERANS DAY – the heart and soul of a 17 member mobile medical team in northern Haiti.  Today they begin a disaster relief mission after severe flooding killed 10 people over the weekend.

Thousands were injured and hundreds of homes swept away.  Three days of Heavy rain drove flood waters over the port city of Cap-Haitian.  The team, from the Haitian Caribbean American Organization of Texas, is the first outside relief group to reach the area.  In one week they’ll treat upwards of 2,000 people.

Two weeks ago Hurricane Sandy killed 54 people and destroyed 70% percent of the crops in the southern part of the Haiti.  Sandy left the land so saturated that any large rainfall is a now threat.  Yesterday new flooding also hit the southern part of the island.

All photographs, COPYRIGHT 2012 Adam Bacher.  All rights Reserved


Hurricane Sandy in Haiti

Reminders from the 3 days of torrential rain in southern of Haiti are many, compliments of Hurricane Sandy.  A week before striking New York City, Sandy was parked just east of Haiti, sucking water from the Caribbean and dumping it back over the land.  It was worst in the south, with upwards of 20 inches of rain on the vulnerable deforested countryside.  Homes were washed away, crops were whipped out, and cholera spread with dirty flood waters.  The storm killed at least 54 people. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Sandy caused colossal damage to Haiti’s crops, land, livestock, fisheries and rural infrastructures, leaving more than 600,000 Haitians at risk of food and nutrition insecurity.”


Saint Pierre Church after flooding from Hurricane Sandy, Baraderes, Haiti.

Saint Pierre Church after flooding from Hurricane Sandy, Baraderes, Haiti.

In the city of Baraderes, a brown line runs the circumference of the town square, five feet up and clearly visible two weeks later.  Thick mud, stubbornly wet, has yet to go.  It blocks the entrance to the church, clogs the intake for the minority of buildings connected to the cities’ water system, and suffocates what few crops remain in the fields.  Opportunity for replanting is weeks away.  Hunger will soon be rampant if food relief doesn’t arrive soon.  Cholera is spiking yet again.  This is life in Baraderes, fortunate to have lost only one of many lives taken by Sandy.

Continue reading


Photography in Haiti

Sister Denise Desil with the Little Sisters of St. Thérèse.

Sister Denise Desil with the Little Sisters of St. Thérèse.

For the month of November I’ll be doing humanitarian photography work Haiti.  Tomorrow morning, Sister Denise Desil, a nun from the Little Sisters of St. Thérèse, will pick me up at the Port Au Prince airport.  Founded in Haiti in 1948, the Little Sisters of St. Thérèse is the largest Catholic community on the island.  They support 34 elementary schools, 20 health care clinics, 15 home economics centers, secondary schools, orphanages, nursing homes and more.

Sister Denise’s base is in the city of Baraderes.  Less than a hundred miles west of Port Au Prince, the trip there will take about 8 hours.  After the first week in Haiti, I’ll travel to Ti Bwa (north of Port Au prince), to follow up on an agro-forestry project I photographed last year.  Then it’s on to Cape Haitian, for a week documenting the work of a mobile medical clinic run by the Haitian Caribbean American Organization of Texas.  If all goes as planned I’ll be blogging as I go.  Stay tuned.

In addition to clothing and camera gear, I have a large suitcase full of soccer balls and stuffed animals to give to children throughout the month. Big thanks for donations from the Timbers Army, the fan club of the Portland Timbers professional soccer team, and to my daughter Mia and her good friend Abby.


Interior Architectural Photography – Alexander Hamilton Custom House

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, rotunda, National Museum of the American Indian,

The historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, in New York City’s financial district, is currently the home of The National Museum of the American Indian. The Customs Service occupied the building from 1907-1973.  A hub for international trade, activity in this rotunda was engulfed with frenetic energy integral to the economic engine of American capitalism.

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, rotunda ceiling , National Museum of the American Indian.

The oval rotunda is three stories high and measures 135×85 feet.  Designed by architect Cass Gilbert (1859-1934), the building is an elaborate example of Beaux Arts design style.  The domed ceiling is a masterpiece of Spanish engineer Raphael Guastavino (1842-1908).  The murals between the skylight and entablature, portraying ships arriving in New York Harbor, were painted by New York artist Reginald Marsh (1898-1954).

More information on the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House.

All photographs © 2012 Adam Bacher.  Absolutely no usage without prior authorization.


A Photo Salute to Labor

Stone worker at Butarro hospital, Rwanda.


Grateful for the construction workers who build  the homes and buildings where we live and work.

Grateful to the people who build the roads and bridges we drive on, the cars and trucks we drive in, and the trains and planes that bring us and our goods from one place to another.

Grateful for the people who built my refrigerator, assembled my computer and smartphone and iPad.

Grateful for the public servants – police, fire, and first responders who keep our streets safe, our buildings from burning down, and accident and health crisis victims from dying.

Grateful for the teachers who educate our children, and those who build, maintain and clean our schools.

Grateful for people who collect the garbage, wire our homes and buildings, and lay the pipes and pumps that bring clean water in and dirty water out.

Grateful for the farmers who grow our food, the truckers who deliver it, the grocery workers, cooks, waiters, and fast food workers who ready it for consumption.

Grateful for all the workers who have and continue to enrich our lives.


Time Lapse Photography – Pitching a Tent in the Wilderness

With time lapse photography and some whimsical music, even the weariest hiker can look like he’s having fun.

Sometimes getting to camp means going the extra mile -uphill.  Four thousand feet uphill.  It took six hours and six miles of backpacking to reach the base of the Sahale Glacier, in the North Cascades National Park.  The last quarter mile was the steepest.  If the mountain had a middle finger, the final boulder field below the glacier was it.

Time to set up camp, but first tripod and camera.  Exhausted, with the wind gusting over 30 mph, a room at the Hilton seemed like a better option. The space between level ground for the tent and the rocky steepness up  down and around me, was limited.  It took ten minutes to excavate a platform stable enough to keep the tripod and camera from toppling over.  That would happen later (the toppling over).

Many cameras, professional and consumer, now have a feature called an “interval timer.”  It lets you program your camera to take multiple pictures over a set period of time.  This video  is a composite of 705 images using the interval timer, one every second for 705 seconds.  I then used Photoshop software to compile the images into the video above.  The software gives different options for playback rates.  I tried several, and liked fifteen frames per second best.

All content (photography, video, writing) ©2012 Adam Bacher.


Disconnected in the Wilderness

Mountain goat, Sahale Peak, North Cascades National Park, Washington.

Mountain goat on the side of Sahale Peak, North Cascades National Park, Washington.

The mind’s internal chatter is quieted, miles into the wilderness of the North Cascades National Park.  Completely disconnected from the electronic busy-ness below.  Not a care in the world.  Face to face is the only communication for the coming days.  Pen and paper are steady companions; an occasional deer, a marmot, a mountain goat, maybe another hiker.  Four thousand feet up and a six mile walk from the trail-head is where you could find me, camped at the side of a small glacier.

White tailed deer

A white tailed deer at the cascade pass trail-head.

Native sounds, rock fall across the valley, an effortless breeze, and foot-steps of a mountain goat searching for culinary donations.  I hear him before I see him.   At mid-day a comforting aloneness, laying on a cool rock, concave smooth under my body.  Warm sun melds one form into the other.  The earth could absorb me.  All would be right.

On Friday I climbed Sahale Peak.  The benchmark, a small bronze disk embedded in the summit rock of all peaks in the U.S., has a scratched out yet readable name, “Boston Peak.”  In the late 1800’s a U.S. Geological Survey team mismarked the Sahale summit for the slightly taller Boston Peak to the north.


A friendly marmot.

Three hours of solitude, a baggie of peanut butter filled pretzels, dried apples, and an energy bar later, a group of 6 mountaineers ascended. Each popped up, in 15 minute intervals from the boulder behind me.  As self-appointed greeter my welcomes were returned in kind with smiles and a bites of communal chocolate passed one hand to the next in celebration of a successful climb.

Off the summit before sunset, the last light of day is exchanged for the white glow of a recent full moon.  It drifts a slow arc across the sky.  The upper layer of the glacier is still wet and slushy.  The remaining eight-hundred feet of elevation is easily covered boot skiing to my tent door.

Sahale Peak, North Cascades National Park.

Sahale Peak is illuminated by a full moon with the stars of the northern sky as a backdrop.
North Cascades National Park, Washington.

All photographs © 2012 Adam Bacher. Absolutely no usage without prior authorization.


Happy 4th of July

Portraits of Haiti – Patient at Lorie clinic.

Native Americans and Alaskans account for 1.2% of the U.S. population.

The rest of us are immigrants.   HAPPY 4th of JULY!


This woman was one of 1500 patients treated in five days at a mobile healthcare clinic in Haiti, run by the U.S based   She comes from the northern rural village of Lorie.  Most of the villages hadn’t seen a doctor in 5-10 years.  Some of them never.  In five days a 28 member team treated 1,500 people.

Click here and READ STORY



Portraits of Haiti – Healing the Land, Healing the People – Mercy Corps in Petit Bois

You are my brother and I am your brother, fellow man.
Whatever desire comes from your mouth, I will grant,
just as you will grant the desire that comes from my mouth.

- Inscription on clay tablet letter sent by King of Eble to King of Hamazi, late 3rd millennium BC


Two brothers in Petit Bois, Haiti, return from foraging in the surrounding hills.  The sticks and branches they gathered will be used for cooking the family’s evening meal.  No longer plentiful, wood is still the primary source of fuel in rural Haiti.

The town of Petit Bois is located in the upper reaches of a deforested valley, two and half miles long and a mile and a half wide. In the broader landscape, it’s but a wrinkle, part of a tangled mix of ridges and ravines – a small piece of the west-northwest trending mountains reaching from Port Au Prince to St. Marc.

Continue reading


Portraits of Haiti – J/P HRO Petionville IDP Tent Camp

One of 23,000 Residents of the JP/HRO, Petionville Tent Camp.

January 12th, 2010 was a typical day in Port Au Prince, Haiti.  The streets were busy, the skies were partly cloudy, the air was humid and the temperature was in the mid 80’s (Fahrenheit).  Life for two and a half million people in the surrounding area moved along like any other day.  Without warning, at 4:53 pm, the ground, buildings, roads, structures, people and animals shook violently for 30-40 seconds.  When the quake ended, over 200,000 people were dead, 300,000 injured and 1.3 million were displaced.  The sun set at 5:30 that evening.  The city was completely dark at 6:00.  It happened in about as much time as it would take you to read this paragraph out loud.

Continue reading


Portraits of Haiti – Cow Intestines

In the back of the Point Sande Market, along the Artibonite River in Haiti, a woman hangs cow intestines on a line to dry in the sun.  Citrus juice from sour oranges is commonly used to clean many types of meat, including this – inside and out.  Once dry the intestines are cut up and used to flavor different foods, rice dishes, and vegetable stews.  Used like a spice, they add a refined meaty flavor.  For people who can’t afford meat, adding bit to other dishes gives a mild taste of beef.

Drying and dehydrating lean meat under natural conditions has been practiced for centuries to keep meat from spoiling.  It’s also a popular method in developing countries, particularly where cold storage is unavailable. Exposure of fresh meat to the sun or open air reduces water content so rapidly that no bacterial spoilage can take place, even though the temperatures may remain high.  You don’t have to go back many generations in your own family to when they ate meat in a similar way.

If you look closely at this image, the colors, shapes, and interactions have an interesting appeal.

Copyright 2011 Adam Bacher.  ALL rights reserved.  Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.


Portraits of Haiti – Soccer in Cité Soleil

Cité Soleil is the poorest most dangerous area of Port Au Prince.  Twenty years ago Robert Duval went to Cité Soleil and established the Foundation L’ Athlitique d’ Haiti, teaching sports, and providing meals and schooling for many of the children.  Full story to come.

Copyright 2011 Adam Bacher, All rights reserved. Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.


Portraits of Haiti – Elder Abandonment

Her face pulled attention for a photograph.  Local vendors and their story drew wonderment.  The old woman often accompanied her daughter, a regular seller at the Pont Sondet market, along the Artibonite River in Haiti.  They arrived in mornings from the northern area of Haiti’s central plateau, worked the market all day, and left before dark.  Over time the daughter amassed debt, buying on credit and promising to pay later.  Her husband had financial troubles of his own.

One afternoon the daughter left the market without her mother, never to return.  Now the old woman lives at the market.  Other sellers give her handouts and make sure she’s taken care of, yet resent the burden of another mouth to feed. She’s wasn’t supposed to be their responsibility. The old woman is sick and can hardly stand.  She seemed ashamed of being abandoned and showed anger when speaking about it.

A man in a crowd of 15 vendors who care for the old woman made his own plea for help.  They are all poor and the woman is nearing the end of life. Funerals are expensive and she deserves a Christian burial.  Can we take her or give them money?  His breath smelled of rum.  If we made a contribution would it help the old woman, or buy the man rum?  There’s no way of telling.

The need in Haiti is endless and foreigners are looked to for answers.  We have none.  Elder abandonment is rare. Usually a family member is found to take a relative in need.

The market vignette happened so quickly we never got the old woman’s name.  This was my second experience with elder abandonment. The first happened a few years ago to Shirley, a neighbor across the street in Portland, Oregon.  She lived alone for two years after her husband passed away and needed assistance now and then.  We helped when we could.  Her son and daughter, who I never saw in the five years I knew Shirley, managed to get a power of attorney over their mother.  Before the rest of the neighbors knew what was happening, Shirley was moved against her will to a retirement home far from the familiar neighborhood she lived in for most of her life.  We could have helped but were never given the opportunity.  Jonah the cat, who followed Shirley everywhere, was left alone in the house.  He came and lived with us.  Soon after the house was emptied into a garbage bin, remodeled and sold for profit.  We visited Shirley when we could.  Her children were rarely heard from.  Last month Shirley passed away, five years after being abandoned to by two children interested in their mother’s money, but not their mother.

Copyright 2011 Adam Bacher.  All rights reserved.  Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.


Portraits of Haiti – Battle of Vertières Day

Haiti’s ultimate independence from France was won in The Battle of Vertieres, a site now part of the city of Cap Haitian.  Historians tell that on November 18th, 1803, the leader of the Haitian rebels, General François Capois, mounted a great horse and led the charge against the French army.  In a hail of bullets Capois went down – his horse killed in the barrage.  Undeterred, he rose from the ground, drew his sword, and advanced shouting “Forward! Forward!”  Watching from the field, French commander, General Rochambeau, ordered his drummers to sound a temporary cease fire.  The fighting halted and a French soldier rode across the battle field to deliver a message to Capois:  “General Rochambeau sends compliments to the general who has just covered himself with such glory!”  The soldier then saluted the Haitians, returned to his position, and the fighting resumed.

A monument now marks the historic site of Haiti’s final battle of independence.  Now a national holiday, The Battle of Vertieres Day is celebrated each year on November 18th.

This year a crowd of over 200,000 Haitians gathered to celebrated The Battle of Vertieres, and to hear Haitian President Michel Martelly deliver a speech at the monument site.

The Battle of Vertières marked the first time in recorded history that slaves successfully led a revolution for their freedom.  Less than two months after the battle, Haiti became the first black independent republic.

The following photographs are from the holiday celebration last week.  President Martelly was a no show.


All writing and photographs copyright 2011 Adam Bacher.  All rights reserved.  Absolutely no usage without prior authorization.


Portraits of Haiti – Citadel Cistern from Bottom

The Citadel is a fortress built on a mountain top in northern Haiti after the revolution in 1804 to defend against any French attempt to retake the former colony.  Inside are cisterns built to retain enough drinking water to sustain Haitian troops for up to a year.  This photo was taken at the bottom of the main cistern.  Copyright 2011 Adam Bacher, All rights reserved. Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.


Portraits of Haiti – Midwife of Lorie Village

Bernadette Joseph is a  traditional Haitian midwife working in the Lorie Village area of northern Haiti.  The following is from an interview I did with her last week.


Q: What’s your name and what do you do?

A:  They call me Bernadette Joseph.  When the women are pregnant I deliver the babies.

Q: How long have you been a midwife?

A: For a very long time.  More than 10 years.

Q: Why did you become a midwife?

A: When I was a young girl there was an old lady who used to do this, and I used to watch her.  That’s how I learned how to deliver babies.

Q: How many babies have you delivered?

A: All those babies over there (pointing to the closest row of people in the clinic – photo above), I delivered all of them.  In a month, on average, I have about 4 or 5 babies that I deliver.  I have babies that I have delivered that now are pregnant.  Everybody calls me because they know how well experienced I am.

Q: What kind of training did you do to become a midwife?

A: I learned from the old woman in the village when I was young, and by myself, and with the help of god.  Nobody (formally) taught me anything.  There are others who are beginners, but I am the most qualified in this area.

Q: Where are the babies delivered?

A: I deliver the babies at the patient’s house.  Then I have to give them a bath; the baby and the patient.

Q: What do you like most about being a midwife?

A: I’m the type of person who likes to do good for everybody and that satisfies me.  They don’t pay me to do this.  I like to do this so much that the whole community calls me Grandmother.

Later in the day after speaking with Bernadette, I past by her house and took this photo with her husband and three of their five children.

Copyright 2011 Adam Bacher, All rights reserved. Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.


Portraitsof Haiti – What’s Coming Up

The mobile medical clinic members (less six interrupters and a Haitian doctor), pose for a photo after 5 days of clinics which treated 1,480 people.  I’m on the far left.

The team is now back in the United States.

Tomorrow is a national holiday. Haitian President, Michel Martelly, will be in Cap Haitian in honor of the last major battle of Haitian independence.

“The Battle of Vertières marked the first time in the history of mankind that a slave army led a successful revolution for their freedom. November 18 has been widely celebrated since then as a Day of Army and Victory in Haiti.” - wikepedia


After that I travel south to St Marc, then to Meribalais in Haiti’s central plateau.  For any readers who are new to this blog, the Portraits of Haiti Project is entirely self funded.  I’m donation a month of time photographing and another month editing and producing media materials for three non-profits working tirelessly in Haiti.  To pay for basic travel expenses I’ve been running an internet fundraising campaign.  To date 57 people have given money to support the Portraits of Haiti project.

CAN YOU HELP with a small DONATION to cover the basic travel expenses of this trip? There are ONLY 4 DAYS LEFT before this campaign ends.  Any amount donated goes a tremendous way to making this work happen, and helping the organizations who are doing the hard work on the ground in Haiti.


Copyright 2011 Adam Bacher, All rights reserved. Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.


Portraits of Haiti – HACAOT Saves Boy’s Life

This boy arrived to the HACAOT mobile medical clinic in severe respiratory distress.  He was immediately taken from the waiting crowd, and given a nebulizer to open the airways in his lungs (photo below).  A doctor worked with him for two and half hours.  Each time the nebulizer was removed he went into respiratory failure.

To give him a chance after the clinic closed, a medical technician fashioned a take home treatment device from an inhaler and an empty water bottle (seen below).

The device was never used as the boy began to crash (an abrupt decompensation of a patient’s clinical status).  Arrangements were made and he was rushed to a hospital.  “If the doctors from HACAOT hadn’t been in Cap Haitain, there is no doubt in my mind this boy would have died,” said a staff member.   There are too few hospitals in Haiti, and all are severely overcrowded and under staffed.  Without HACAOT’s presence, this boy wouldn’t have been able to go to the hospital.

Copyright 2011 Adam Bacher, All rights reserved. Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.