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Year in Photos: ‘Every Assignment Is a Treasure Hunt’

Sam Simone, 9, climbs a tree near his home on Slayton Hill Road in Lebanon, N.H. on October 8, 2013. (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

Sam Simone, 9, climbs a tree near his home on Slayton Hill Road in Lebanon, N.H. on October 8, 2013. (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Purchase photo reprints »

One of my favorite images that I’ve made for the Valley News is this one of Sam Simone climbing a tree in the woods off Slayton Hill Road in Lebanon.

I love being a photographer because I get the opportunity to see and learn about a cross-section of society almost daily. From the joyful to the sad, from struggling businesses to successful ones, from fresh takes on old ideas to new ideas with traditional touches, I get to witness it all.

Every assignment is a treasure hunt. With each assignment, I believe there’s a picture that can be found and captured that really tells that story authentically.

But some assignments, despite being necessary and important in the lives of readers, aren’t as exciting to photograph, and the “best” photo of that day may not be anything special visually.

Which is why it’s important always to be looking around and paying attention to everyone, not just the people who are “important” in the context of the story. Moments happen all the time — we just need to notice them.

This image was made in October at the end of an informational tour by engineers and Lebanon officials as they answered questions from residents of Slayton Hill Road about upcoming repair work to the road, which was washed out in summer flooding.

I love this moment because it was delightfully unexpected, playful, fun and even a little bizarre, in that Sam, who is 9, is climbing the tree sideways.

To me, the fact that you can’t see his head makes this more unusual and interesting. But even more than its content, the photograph underscores my belief that there’s always a nice image to be made, and a moment to be witnessed, if you’re looking for them. — Elijah Nouvelage

The Valley News' three staff photographers and two interns are sharing the stories behind their favorite photographs of the year. Read about their favorites in their own words at this link. More of their favorites can be seen in the Photo Galleries section.

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'Valley News' Photographers' Year in Photos

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Valley News' three staff photographers and two interns are sharing the stories behind their favorite photographs of the year. Read about their photos in their own words at the links below. More of their favorites can be seen in the Photo Galleries section. …