Max Cohen Captures The Essence of Need, Hope for Raleigh Downtowner’s December Cover

© Cohen StudiosDecember 1, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – When the Raleigh Downtowner asked Max Cohen of Cohen Studios to create a cover image for the monthly magazine’s December edition, the photographer knew he had a special opportunity. The image would illustrate a lead article on small, less visible charities that play a large role in helping those in need in the Capital City entitled “Nine for the Needy.”

Among those charities is the Raleigh Rescue Mission. And it was there that Cohen found, with the help of the mission’s director of programs Brooks Ann McKinney, the perfect subjects for his cover shot: a mother and daughter who are about to embark on a much better life as they move into their own apartment.

Shanna, the mother, was feeling completely hopeless when she first came to the mission, McKinney said. Her one-year-old was born shortly thereafter.

Over the past year, Shanna has experienced “tremendous growth,” McKinney noted. “She’s totally different now from when she first came to us. That’s why I felt she and her daughter would be great subjects for this story.”

When McKinney brought Shanna and her little girl to Cohen Studios in downtown Raleigh, Max Cohen was immediately struck by “how calm, sweet and pleasant they were,” he said. “They were perfectly comfortable to just do their thing while I did mine.”

An hour and a half later, Cohen had captured a bevy of images that the Raleigh Downtowner’s editor and publisher Crash Gregg would pour over before selecting the one that appears on this month’s cover.

“We chose a poignant photo that evoked the emotional feeling that we were looking for in hopes that it would help raise awareness for local charities,” he said.

Another Cohen image of Shanna appears on the Downtowner’s inside-cover page with her quote: “The Raleigh Rescue Mission means a lot to me because it helped me get on the right track and gave me a second chance at life.”

Max Cohen spends most of his time creating studio and environmental portraiture as well as wedding photography, yet he also enjoys photojournalism, which is why he began working with the Downtowner in October.

“There’s an immediacy to editorial photography and a level of creative freedom that is really exciting,” he said. “It’s also a lot of fun to think about how the images I capture will enhance and illustrate a story or news item.”

According to the Raleigh Downtowner’s Gregg, Cohen’s image of Shanna and her daughter perfectly illustrates “Nine for the Needy.”

About Cohen Studios:

A graduate of the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, Max Cohen of Cohen Studios has been a professional photographer for five years, working in both digital photography and film. At H.I.P., he was exposed to a wide range of technical skills and studied under world-renowned photographers as instructors and guest speakers. Describing himself as a “generalist,” he enjoys all types of subjects, from children and high school senior portraits to commercial and editorial assignments. Cohen Studios is located at 311 West Martin Street in downtown Raleigh.  For more information, visit Cohen Studios is also available on Facebook and Citysearch.

About The Raleigh Downtowner:

The Raleigh Downtowner is a local monthly print magazine dedicated to coverage of downtown Raleigh. The Downtowner’s online publication,, encompasses downtown and the surrounding area. Both are owned and operated by Crash Gregg with offices at 14 East Hargett Street, Raleigh. For more information visit or call 919-821-9000.

posted by blueplate pr

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