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Work Samples

With the precision of a Broadway cast, this group does show after carefully scripted show.

With the precision of a Broadway cast, this group does show after carefully scripted show.


We are alone with our shadows.


About Don

Baltimore County

Don Willett's picture
I started taking pictures as a kid.  I was fascinated by every part of the process that was required to make images with a camera.  From the very beginning the pictures were of people.   Whether it's a street or editorial portrait, the images create a unique opportunity to really see another person up close.    That's why I think portraiture is uniquely different from other forms of photography.   Lately, I've been traveling into different places and spending time there... more

21 Days - NYC

I worked in NYC for 8 years in the late 90's.  It was loud, dirty and a bit dangerous if you weren't familiar with it's rhythms and the places to avoid.  It was a city of contrasts.  Of winners and losers.  Those that were "them" and those that were "us".   I didn't know it at the time, but I was front row center at a time of transition for the city, led by Rudolph Guiliani and epitomized by dramatic changes like the Disneyfication of Times Square.  Seemingly overnight the rough edges of the city were rounded off, and places no New Yorker ever went became packed with tourists, chain stores and art galleries. 

I returned 21 years later to record the people I found there today.  Native New Yorkers and tourists alike.  Not surprisingly, like much of America, the contrasts were even more apparent than they were before.  It seemed like every measurable attribute had been pushed to a new extreme.  This is 21 Days in NYC through my eyes.


A collection of portraits of people who I knew well or had only just met. 

Each situation brought a different challenge as I sought to either connect with someone I'd only just met, or create as honest a portrait as I could of a friend or collegue.

The 16x20" black and white prints are hand-colored with oils.

  • Paul and James

    Paul and James
    Stuck in Bumper to Bumper Traffic, I pulled over and met Paul (L) and James (R) working on the road.
  • Peter and Cheryl

    Peter and Cheryl
    I knew Peter in the course of my work at the time. His girlfriend Cheryl was not pleased that I was there.
  • Albert

    Albert is my Grandfather. He is seated in his kitchen, which like the rest of the house remained unchanged since the passing of his wife in the early 1960s.
  • Sara

    Sara is an accomplished artist who I've known for many years.
  • Martha

    Martha is an art historian with the Corcoran.
  • Linda

    Linda is a veterinarian and a research scientist with the government.
  • Hope

    Hope was a client of a company I worked for. She is now a novelist.
  • Charles, Sally, Charles Jr.

    Charles, Sally, Charles Jr.
    I met this family working at a State Fair
  • Chris

    Chris is a accomplished photographer and has been a friend since I was a child.
  • Mike

    Mike accompanied me to the edge of a runway. I was there on assignment to photograph the jets as they passed closely overhead.


I had to travel to Monterey, the weekend when my Grandfather passed away.   

When a person passes it seems inevitable that you reflect on the things that you did with them and the things that you didn't.  

I realized that we had never gone to the beach together.

I had brought some equipment with me on assignment and so when I heard that he was gone, I walked the beach with a Polaroid camera and took photographs of the vacation that we never had.  Using special film which produces both a negative to keep and a print to give away, I presented each of my compatriots with the original print.

Keansburg, NJ

Stand on nearly any beach on the New Jersey Coast and throw a stone.  You will likely hit a boardwalk with an amusement park.  

Keansburg is one such place.  At just the right level of disrepair and mired in deferred maintenance, it was still a place of joy for the kids who were too young to notice.


I've been lucky in that I have been able to travel around the US and abroad. 

  • Rick

    Rick is a Farrier who takes care of horses at Fairs up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
  • Buster (Dog)

    Buster (Dog)
    I was making a picture of Haystack Rock in Oregon. Buster wanted to be part of it.
  • Devon

    Devon was playing his heart out on a cold San Francisco day.
  • Grandmother, Son

    Grandmother, Son
    Colorado outside of Denver.
  • Honor Flight

    Honor Flight
    WWII Memorial
  • Eyes

    A cow and her kid.
  • Fragile

    Shelley in the Subway with a Snow Globe.
  • Flag

    Patterson Park

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Don's Curated Collection

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