Valley Visual

Spending the Day at the Statehouse (4 Photos)

Spending an entire day on one assignment is a privilege that I cherish not only because it gives me time to explore every visual aspect of a story but also because I know I’ll have plenty of photos to choose from at the end of the day. After spending Thursday at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier for the governor’s election and Gov. Peter Shumlin’s inaugural address, I was a little shocked to discover that I had taken more than 1,500 photos. While many photos were

The Year in Photos: A Change of Perspective Leaves Lasting Impact

As a photojournalist, I’m constantly gathering lessons from the people I meet and situations I encounter. I chose this photo, as it was at the root of a lesson I relearn every few months. In June, I was spending the day photographing at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, Vt. It was a beautiful, golden-light kind of day. Everyone was friendly, and there were lots of exciting action, the type of situation that lends itself to beautiful photographs. It took me a couple of hours to

The Year in Photos: Witnessing Memories in the Making

I am not surprised that most of my favorite photos in 2014 were taken outdoors; much of my time in the Upper Valley was spent exploring a landscape that was entirely new to me. Among several other personal firsts, this past spring was the first time I watched the unfolding spectacle of vernal pools. Aside from my own newfound sense of wonder for croaking and crawling amphibians, it was rewarding to find people like Liz Masure, of Charlestown, and her family, including her 7-year-old daughter

The Year in Photos: More Than a Feeling; A Lasting Message

As newspaper photographers, we never know what our days are going to be like. Sometimes we have a day of exciting assignments; on others, we go into the community looking for photographs. Sometimes we get assignments that don’t seem visual. That’s what this assignment was. On paper, it was a walkthrough of the brand-new Unity Elementary School, which was finally opening after years of debate and delays. For an assignment like that, it’s usually difficult to find the human element. But right before the tour,

The Year in Photos: Capturing 'The Moment' Makes for Strong Image

Photographers look for moments. Yes, light and composition are important elements in what makes a strong image, but the moments are what makes for a memorable photograph. Even on an assignment, the best moments sometimes slip by, which can make for a long drive back to the newsroom as we castigate ourselves. But here’s one I liked, and didn’t miss. I had spent a beautiful July morning with the Gamble family in Lyme. Anne and Thomas Gamble were saying goodbye to their daughter Lucy, a

The Year in Photos: Capturing Everyday Events Results in Lasting Images

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

Keeping Up with a Hunting Family that Gave ‘the Gift of a Home Away From Home’ (4 Photos)

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.

Warming Up (3 Photos)

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

Working on a Long-Term Story (3 Photos)

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

Making Connections

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. ∎