California Dreamin’

I just returned from a vacation with my wife, daughter and her friend in California, where we started in Los Angeles and ended up in San Francisco. It was a memorable trip and we had a great time! Here are a few of my favorite photos:

From top, a young visitor carries an umbrella for shade while walking on the main courtyard of the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, a Los Angeles neighborhood. The museum opened in 1974 to house the art collection of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty; Friends pose for a portrait at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Designed by architect Richard Meier, the $1.3 billion museum opened in Dec. 1997 and hosts an estimated 1.3 million visitors annually; Visitors look at a jellyfish exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey. Founded in 1984, the aquarium is on the site of a former sardine cannery and has an estimated two million visitors every year; A tourist looks out into San Francisco Bay during a boat tour in San Francisco. The San Francisco Bay Area is the second largest urban area in the American West with about 8 million residents; A visitor checks his cell phone under a room filled with projected video colors and music at the exhibit THE SUMMER OF LOVE EXPERIENCE: ART, FASHION AND ROCK & ROLL at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. The show showcases the music, fashion and art of an era celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Highly Honored

Over the past few weeks, I have been photographing portraits of high school students for the Valley News’ annual Athlete of the Year award, given to a male and female from each of the 18 schools the newspaper covers. It was a privilege to meet and photograph so many great young people! Follow this link to see all of the athletes who are honored. Below are a few of my favorites:

Clockwise from upper left are Hanover’s Bri Laycock, Lebanon’s Ryan Milliken, Sunapee’s Katie Frederick, Thetford’s Connor Brown, Mid Vermont’s Rachel Seale and Woodsville’s Cooper Davidson.

Maggie Cassidy, the newspaper’s super-talented Web Editor, put together this fun video from footage I did with a second camera on the shoots.

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May not be reprinted without permission

Church of the Woods

I recently had the pleasure to make photographs for one of Matt Hongoltz-Hetling’s stories about climate change for the Weather Channel’s web site. He is finding different approaches to the topic in each of the Northern New England states. In Canterbury, N.H., Matt profiled Rev. Steve Blackmer and his unique Church of the Woods. Blackmer and his congregation were very generous and accommodating with me. Editor Patty Cox and her team did a wonderful job presenting Matt’s story — follow this link to take a look!

From top: Rev. Steve Blackmer closes his morning service at Church of the Woods in Canterbury, N.H., with a blessing. The Episcopal church, established in 2014, holds two services outdoors every Sunday; Rain drops linger on an evergreen branch at Church of the Woods; Rick Coffin, of Barnstead, N.H., left, and Wes Jones, of Loudon, N.H., hold hands and sing a hymn with others during the afternoon service. Both attend St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Pittsfield, N.H., and had met Blackmer while he was doing his Episcopal training; Blackmer made a mid-career change to the ministry after working as a land conservation professional, establishing the church on 106 acres in 2014; Blackmer leads the congregation in the singing of a hymn. Blackmer has started the Wild Church Network for other churches who worship outdoors. “It’s a little movement,” he said. “But it is a movement.”

Portraits at Prom

Over the past three years, I’ve been doing a photo booth at Sharon Academy’s annual prom, where my daughter is a student. The prom is open to every student in the school. I enjoy photographing them with their dates, classmates, study and commuter groups. They’re a great group of kids! To see more and to order prints, follow this link (profits will benefit the school’s Annual Fund).

Happy Anniversary

Last weekend Aurore and Luke celebrated their first wedding anniversary with their wonderful nine-month-old son with a family portrait where they were married — on the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vt. What a treat! Follow this link to see more and to order prints in the Galleries section of my web site.

Fiddling Around

My ears were recently filled with the sweet sounds of fiddling while working on two stories for the Valley News. In Montpelier, Vt., the Northeast Fiddlers Association had their monthly gathering on a Sunday afternoon. After an hour of playing together, players signed up to play a selection of 3-4 songs. The group celebrated their 50th anniversary a couple of years ago. The next day, I photographed Patrick Ross rehearsing in Newbury, Vt., with fellow players for the Mountain Money All-Stars’ three-show concert. Here’s a few of my favorites:

From top, Jill Newton, of Saxtons River, Vt., plays with a group of fiddlers and accompanists on guitar, banjo, mandolin and percussion shakers during the monthly gathering of the Northeast Fiddlers Association; Len Dessormeau, of Colchester, Vt., practices and decides which four tunes to play onstage; Lee Deyette, of Randolph, Vt., checks the sound of a fiddle that belonged to the late Martin Wheeler, of West Topsham, Vt., as Oleta Marckres, of Eden, Vt., watches. Deyette said the fiddle, a raffle prize at the get-together, had not been played in a while and its liveliness would come back once it returns to performance; The group jams at the start of the gathering; From left, roots musicians Chance Lindsley, of South Ryegate, Vt., Patrick Ross, of Newbury, Vt., and Hunter Paye, of Portland, Ore., rehearse at Ross’s home for three upcoming Mountain Money All-Stars shows. Paye grew up in the Bradford area and is back visiting his mother; Lindsley, who is the principal at Newbury Elementary School, is recovering from recent heart problems that nearly killed him; Ophelia Ross, 2, helps her father with the fiddle during the rehearsal.

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May not be reprinted without permission

March Madness

In the past few weeks Upper Valley teams took to the road to pursue high school championships and I have been following them for the Valley News with my cameras and laptop. It’s a treat to photograph the teams’ athleticism and the emotional support from fans!

From top, Lebanon basketball players Olivia Greeley, Joslin Wainwright, Josephine Brown, Kassidee Rogers and Rebecca Wright wait on the bench for the state championship awards presentation in Manchester, N.H., along with student fans after their 44-35 win over Hollis Brookline for the school’s sixth state title; Thetford coach Eric Ward, right, the team’s bench and their fans encourage the Panthers as Windsor’s lead shrinks late in their championship game in Barre, Vt. Thetford won on a last-second shot, 53-52; Stevens High School sophomore Derrick Stanhope, center, cheers with a capacity crowd watching the championship game with Kearsarge in Manchester, N.H.; Stevens’ Nick O’Brien and the Kearsarge fans react to the Cougars’ 51-46 win over the Cardinals; Former Hanover High hockey players, from left, Eliza Laycock, Delia Nahabedian, Kelly Brigham and Matti Hartman congratulate current players Cici Barton, left, and Maddie Lyons as they leave the ice with their championship hardware in Manchester. Hanover defeated Exeter, 3-1, for their eighth straight title and the ninth in the past decade; Windsor assistant coach Sarah Attwood consoles freshman Olivia Rockwood following the Yellowjackets’ championship loss to Thetford in Barre.

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Giving Back

As the Upper Valley’s Town Meetings begin this week, I did my first video (yikes!) and portraits of a few elected officials for the Valley News and asked why they felt public service was important. Web editor Maggie Cassidy’s editing skills made the video shine!

From top, Euclid Farnham, Tunbridge’s moderator for 35 years; Kelly McConnell, Hanover school board member for two years; Mary O’Brien, on the Hartland selectboard for 14 years; Marianne A. Blake, elected as Windsor’s Lister/Assessor for 25 years; Jeff Peavey, Lebanon school board member for 14 years; Phil Carter, Canaan cemetery trustee for 10 years.

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May not be reprinted without permission