As the short days of December come to a close, it seems natural to reflect back on 2018. Although I had three foot surgeries for bone spurs and my Achilles tendon – one planned and two unplanned – I was able to stay busy between rehabilitations and came to greatly appreciate the ability to walk on two healthy feet. I also got really good at flying my drone on crutches.
We were lucky to go to India twice to visit my wife’s family and I was able to do travel photography there, always a source of creative inspiration. In May, Vermont Life ceased publication after 72 years. I have had many photos published in their magazine and calendars for more than twenty years. Whenever driving the backroads of Vermont and seeing a nice image, I would think, that would be a good Vermont Life photo! It will be sorely missed. Now Instagram has become a daily motivator that propels me to get out and try to make good pictures each day, no matter the weather or mood.
I am grateful for the many clients who have hired me to make photos this year, including Vermont Life, Seven Days, Rutland Magazine, Vermont Community Foundations, Vermont Land Trust, Laurie Musick Wright Design, New England Culinary Institute, Kelly Brush Foundation, Reuters, Boston Globe, New York Times, Education Week and many others.
One highlight was an assignment for the Vermont Land Trust to photograph the Collins-Wright Farm in Newport Town in the Northeast Kingdom. The farm has been in the families for six generations and will be conserved by the Land Trust forever. Tom and Carolyn and their family are classic Vermonters, displaying kindness, hard work and deep respect for the working landscape that makes Vermont unique. The view of their farm with Jay Peak in the background is quintessential Vermont.
Making portraits is one of my favorite kinds of photography, whether doing assignments for the New York Times, Vermont Community Foundation or of friends and strangers.
For a Vermont construction company, I created a series of architectural photos of buildings, stadiums and bridges in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. A highlight of that job was making photographs at twilight one September evening in downtown Boston.
In July I became an FAA Certified Drone pilot after studying many hours with an online course called Remote Pilot 101. The drone is very useful for many types of photography assignments including architectural, real estate, editorial, travel and landscapes.
My hometown of Brandon, Vermont is undergoing a two-year $30 million construction project, the largest municipal project in state history. The drone has a been a great way to document the progress.
One of the magical things about a drone is discovering new views of familiar places. I’ve driven along Route 7 in Mount Tabor for years, but only with a drone have I discovered this great view of the serpentine turns of Otter Creek.
In November I covered the Vermont Midterm Elections and Christine Hallquist’s unsuccessful bid for Vermont Governor for Reuters. Here is one of my favorite shots at the end of the voting day in Panton, Vermont, as a mother and daughter leave the historic polling place.
And although work comes and goes and pictures can be good and not so good, what matters most is often closest to home. This year we celebrated our son Bodhi’s fifth birthday and his curiosity, enthusiasm and energy give us daily reason to be very grateful parents.
And sometimes pictures come from simple places, like a mountain cabin on a summer evening.