While on assignment for the Valley News , I’m often asked, “So you get paid to just drive around and take pictures all day?” There’s a bit more to it than that. Photographs have a way of forming an immediate and emotional connection between readers and the subjects of the pictures. The Valley News photography staff works hard to tell these news stories in images and to show how the national news impacts the Upper Valley. We work with editors and writers, do some of
In early November 2010, on the night after I called the Bassette family to ask permission to photograph them deer hunting as a family, they held a meeting to discuss how they should respond to my request. “We thought you’d be some fancy reporter who wouldn’t be able to climb up a mountain with us,” recalled Elizabeth Bassette, who was 15 at the time I photographed the family, which includes 9 children, for a photo story while I was an intern for the Valley News.
We’re currently in that in-between period when it comes to photographing high school sports. Championships have been decided and next season’s games haven’t started up yet. That means spending time at lots of practices, and warming back up to shooting different sports just as the players are reconfiguring themselves to the game. Practices also offer a number of visual options that are different than those found at games. The geometry of players stretching and the ability to stand in the middle of the field to
One of my favorite parts about working for the Valley News is the time photographers are given to research and pursue stories. While I’ve worked on long-term stories in the past, this story, which focuses on young special-needs adults who are transitioning from school to adult life, has taken a year, the longest amount of time I’ve spent on a story. While researching, photographing, and compiling this piece has stretched out for a year, four months elapsed before I actually began photographing any of my
When I saw today’s story about Windsor High School’s Haley Wood breaking her mother’s single-season field hockey scoring record, I remembered a photo I did for the Valley News in 1992. Doing a little digging, I found the clipping of Wood’s mother, then named Jody Farnsworth, after an on-field collision. “Going All Out For Glory,” the headline said. While some of my co-workers weren’t born when I started in 1989, it’s interesting for me to make connections between events from today and the past. ∎
Autumn foliage is not usually a subject that makes me go out of my way to photograph. This year, however, the fall colors have been undeniably beautiful. Once the leaves began to turn, I started thinking about photographing the thin white line of the Rock of Ages granite quarry in Bethel that can be seen from an opposite hill. I hoped to rise early and catch the morning sun hitting the rock and foliage through the valley fog, but a period of wet, overcast weather
This morning, I was given an assignment for this blog post — details at the Tunbridge World’s Fair. It was a creative challenge to take a fresh look at the traditional, looking closely at the people, places and things at Vermont’s last fair of the season. ∎ Posted to the Valley Visual blog Friday at 6:30 p.m. Follow the Valley News on Twitter @VnewsUV.
Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy is interviewed on television during a visit to the Upper Valley in December 1974, a month after he was first elected to the U.S. Senate at age 34. Leahy ranks first in seniority in the Senate. ∎ Posted to the Valley Visual blog Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Follow the Valley News on Twitter @VNewsUV.
In an outtake from a recent shoot at Northern Lights Gymnastics in Wilder, Annalee Wilson, 18, of Lyme, struggles out of a pit of foam cubes after slipping off the bar while practicing last month. Valley News — James M. Patterson ∎ Posted to the Valley Visual blog Monday at 3:45 p.m. Follow the Valley News on Twitter @VNewsUV.
It will surprise few who know me that I often encounter dogs at my assignments — regardless of what sort of story I am shooting. I am drawn to dogs. They have always been part of my life, and, in fact, they are an important part of the social fabric of the Upper Valley. No wonder that I gravitate toward them when I go out on assignment — and that my inability to pass up on the opportunity to say hello to a dog has