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.

Copyright © Valley News
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.

Copyright © Valley News
May not be reprinted without permission

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.

Copyright © Valley News
May not be reprinted without permission

Couples’ Choice

Geoff Hansen Photography ReviewsFor the second year in a row, I have been given the 2017 Couples’ Choice award by WeddingWire! The web site gives the honor to the top five percent of professionals in their network, based upon the reviews given by couples. I’ve met so many wonderful people as a wedding photographer — I really appreciate their opinions about me and my work (which can be seen by choosing the icon at right).

All Together

Last weekend, I photographed an annual tradition in Hartland — the Famous Roast Beef Supper at the First Congregational Church for a Valley News story. Started in 1966, the dinner is held on six consecutive Saturdays and is put together by volunteers from the church and the community. It was inspiring to see everyone pitching in for a good cause! Follow this link to read the story.

From top: Volunteer hostess Linda Genovese, of Hartland, Vt., checks her list of diners to be seated. Instead of waiting in line, this year diners listened to piano music in the sanctuary; Volunteers Ali DeCuollo, left, and Jean Day, both of Hartland, laugh about their hands cramping while helping to peel 150 pounds of potatoes for the supper. Day has been helping since 1968 — this year is DeCuollo’s first; Gordon Barbour, right, of Windsor, Vt., enjoys his meal with his sisters as volunteer server Stub Fernandez, left, of Hartland, hustles to refill a serving platter; From left, kitchen crew volunteers Rhonda Lamica, Harriet Dumas, Carmen Summarsell, Pat Richardson and Mike French (in background), all of Hartland, laugh about the gag prize — a cookbook “Cooking in the Nude” — Dumas won for having the closest guess to the evening’s turnout of 229. Leftover rolls were sold after church the next day and beef, rolls and gravy were part of a meal church members put together on Tuesday for the Hixon House, an adult homeless shelter at the Upper Valley Haven; Diners head home after attending the annual Famous Roast Beef Supper. Two-hundred sixty pounds of rolled prime rib beef, 100 dozen rolls, 150 pounds of potatoes and 45 pies are prepared for each of the meals held on six consecutive Saturdays.

Copyright © Valley News
May not be reprinted without permission