Year in Photos: A Window Into Another’s World

  • Veteran Jessica Soule sits in her kitchen at her home in Grafton, N.H., on Jan. 25, 2017. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Valley News staff photographers and interns are sharing the stories behind their favorite photographs of the year. More of their favorites can be seen in Photo Galleries. Jennifer Hauck shares her pick below.

As part of my job, I often photograph people who are in vulnerable situations. Sometimes we seek them out; other times, they come to us.

Such was the case with Jessica Soule, a disabled Vietnam-era Navy veteran who was having a rough time last winter.

Numerous health issues restrict her to a wheelchair at her home in Grafton. Soule's furnace had been turned off because of safety-code concerns, and she was hoping the Veterans Administration would help her with home improvements, but hadn’t been making much progress.

In the meantime, she was relying on a woodstove that a neighbor was stocking.

It can be hard for people to let others know in such a public way that they need help. We can’t approach a subject and say "if you let me tell your story, others may step in to help you.”

Instead, people whose stories I want to tell simply have to trust us that we’ll portray their life honestly and accurately.

It’s a shared exploration for myself and the subject. The emotion on Soule’s face shows the humanity we try to portray in difficult situations that we think readers need to know about.

— Jennifer Hauck