Photographing the Cell Manipulation Core Facility at Dana-Farber


I’ve worked on several photoshoots of our projects over the last several years and while I’ve become familiar with arranging access to spaces, planning shots, adjusting our plans due to a poor weather forecast, I didn’t fully know what to expect when it came time to photograph the Cell Manipulation Core Facility at Dana-Farber. It’s one of the largest facilities in the United States specializing in the research and production of customized cancer treatments, which means it has a number of ISO classified spaces (ISO-7 and ISO-8 environments) which require certain protocols before entering.

Though much of the program demands clean room controls, the design brings in color, light and views. While in the lab, there are views to the city beyond and the layers of transparency truly put science on display. Just outside an office entry, you can turn and look into a clean corridor where researchers may be moving from room-to-room or passing materials through an airlock. When photographing the space, we enjoyed showing off the layers of views and transparency.

With any photoshoot, we plan the key shots and outline what we hope to accomplish. During this shoot, we needed to plan to a greater level of detail so that once we gowned up to enter the clean space, we didn’t need to immediately leave and gown up again upon our return. I had to get used to how the airlocks work and what sequence things needed to happen, whether waiting for one door to shut before I could open the next or when to put on gloves, booties and a face mask!

One of the things I love about working with our teams and photographers on documenting our projects, is how much I learn about our work. This one is pretty cool to breakdown by the numbers. There is 25,000 SF of program and includes:


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