What do Haiti and The Doylestown Food Market have in common? Peter Hewitt, retired Johnson & Johnson executive turned photographer!
As part of a portfolio development and guided study program held by B&H Photo Video in New York City, Peter was invited to explore two separate but compelling human interest stories, one based in Doylestown and one in Haiti. The program goals will culminate in a month long exhibit at the Soho Photo Gallery and the publication of a magazine that will benefit NYC Salt, the non-profit organization that is using photography to help at-risk kids in New York City.
This portfolio development program began with an application and jury review of images submitted by approximately 250 photographers in August 2015. Fifty were accepted with the expectation that less than one-third of the artists will succeed in making it to the final 2016 summer exhibition. Participants attend lectures and are coached by some of the most skilled photographers in our country as they tell weekly stories with words and pictures on social media.
Hewitt’s first pictorial essay, all about food from farm to table, led him to discover the Doylestown Food Market with its abundance of locally sourced foods and products. He found the store much more than a small footprint of retail space in town. To Peter, the Market truly embodies the vision of a way to find good food that also fosters a healthy and economically viable environment for our farmers and our community in Bucks County.
The stories Peter has told so far explore behind-the-scenes photos at this cooperative market, open to anyone to shop. Interviewing and photographing the owners of Luv Superfoods, Greenbrier Herbalist, Barefoot Gardens, Saucy Sue’s, and more, Peter uncovers the hearts and desires of many that create locally sourced food in Bucks County. He “gets to know folks personally” and “explores them with his camera.” And he is a master with that tool. Peter has been recognized as a master artisan by the PA Guild, on whose board he sits, and was spotlighted last fall as the featured artist at Rittenhouse Square Craft Show, one of the top art fair shows in the country. All of his photo essays are posted to social media, and receive many likes and shares. His work can be found at www.instagram.com/peterlhewittand twitter.com/peterlhewitt.
But what does all of this have to do with Haiti? Peter, along with his wife, Dr. Margery Schonfeld, are board members of The Chounelleca Initiative Haiti, known as CIHaiti (CIHaiti.com). Peter is all about “giving back” some of his good fortune, and he and Margery do that regularly with CIHaiti visits to the town of Bois de Laurence. In addition to being the onsite photojournalist for these trips, Peter has become the onsite “pharmacist,” dispensing out prescriptions as written out by the doctors and nurses, and helping out with whatever unexpected needs might occur in this remote mountain village.
A landscape photographer by nature, branching out to take such personal photographs of the farmers and producers of the Doylestown Food Market and the people of Bois de Laurence was a risk for Peter. But he is excited about these very personal projects that connect him directly to individuals and capture the feelings behind their experiences. True to his own personal mission, Peter gives back the proceeds of these passion projects like the Doylestown Food Market and CIHaiti photos to the subject’s favorite personal charity. He also donates a percentage of the profits of his landscape photography to carefully selected “nature” charities. www.peterhewitt.com