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A photographer aims to connect with and capture Dorchester's community, one portrait at a time

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A Dorchester photographer is snapping portraits of his fellow neighborhood residents as part of a city-funded project aimed at capturing the essence of those who live in the community.

Mike Ritter was awarded a grant this year from Boston's Office of Arts and Culture to launch "Beautiful Dot," a free photography project that asks Dorchester residents to pose for portraits outside various Boston Public Library locations in the neighborhood.

Ritter told WBUR's Radio Boston that highlighting his community plays a big role in his work as a photographer, and he wanted to create this work as a way to give back to the people of Dorchester. He's lived there since 2005.

"I wanted to get photos out to residents; I wanted to give them portraits that they could enjoy," Ritter said. "I wanted to show a side of Dorchester — which I think can get the short end of the stick sometimes — it's lovely people, it's families, it's people from all over."

He wanted to show how Dorchester residents are "people that help each other, pull for each other."

Ritter edits and sends participants of the session their images to keep.

"It's amazing, the blend of people in Dorchester," Ritter said. "I love seeing all the different people coming out and hearing their stories and the differences, but also the similarities in them."

These are the remaining "Beautiful Dot" portrait sessions:

  • Oct. 1  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Adams Village
  • Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Grove Hall
  • Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Codman Square
  • Nov. 5  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Uphams Corner.

Below are portraits Ritter took as part of his project. Ritter is scheduled to deliver a talk about "Beautiful Dot" at the Boston Public Library's Field's Corner branch on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Jen Mcauliffe poses with her niece during a "Beautiful Dot" portrait session outside of the Boston Public Library Field's Corner branch on Sept. 24. (Courtesy Mike Ritter)
Jen Mcauliffe poses with her niece during a "Beautiful Dot" portrait session outside of the Boston Public Library Field's Corner branch on Sept. 24. (Courtesy Mike Ritter)
Tashawn Taylor and Hanna Enoy pose outside the Boston Public Library Field's Corner branch on Sept. 24 as part of the "Beautiful Dot" project. (Courtesy Mike Ritter)
Tashawn Taylor and Hanna Enoy pose outside the Boston Public Library Field's Corner branch on Sept. 24 as part of the "Beautiful Dot" project. (Courtesy Mike Ritter)
An Duong, center, poses with his family during a "Beautiful Dot" portrait session outside of the Boston Public Library Field's Corner branch on Sept. 24. (Courtesy Mike Ritter)
An Duong, center, poses with his family during a "Beautiful Dot" portrait session outside of the Boston Public Library Field's Corner branch on Sept. 24. (Courtesy Mike Ritter)
Ana Gonzalez poses with her daughter during a "Beautiful Dot" portrait session outside of the Boston Public Library Field's Corner branch on Sept. 24. (Courtesy of Mike Ritter)
Ana Gonzalez poses with her daughter during a "Beautiful Dot" portrait session outside of the Boston Public Library Field's Corner branch on Sept. 24. (Courtesy Mike Ritter)
Nildo Silva and his wife, Sarah Fisher, pose with their two children during a "Beautiful Dot" portrait session outside of the Boston Public Library Field's Corner branch on Sept. 24. (Courtesy Mike Ritter)
Nildo Silva and his wife, Sarah Fisher, pose with their two children during a "Beautiful Dot" portrait session outside of the Boston Public Library Field's Corner branch on Sept. 24. (Courtesy Mike Ritter)

This article was originally published on September 28, 2022.

This segment aired on September 28, 2022.

Tiziana Dearing Twitter Host, Radio Boston
Tiziana Dearing is the host of Radio Boston.

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Andrea Perdomo-Hernandez Twitter Freelance Producer, Radio Boston
Andrea Perdomo-Hernandez is a freelance producer for WBUR.

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