On October 21, I will be starting a photography project in conjunction with the Vinalhaven Historical Society to create a visual document that will ultimately be housed by the Society. The end result will be a thorough and heartfelt record of Vinalhaven in 2017-2019 in the era of lobstering and tourism. Perhaps in 2069, people touring the Society can get a glimpse of life on VH the same way we view the island in the days of quarrying.
We (VHHS and RH) expect the project to run for two years. Initially it will be centered around portraiture, taken in various locations around the town and island. My plan is to come up every 4-6 weeks to work on the project. Its focus is the year round community. As we build the record, we will display the portraits in a public place. When the project is finished, we will have a community opening and exhibit. I also hope to produce a book with all proceeds beyond covering expenses designated to support community nonprofits. Each participant will receive a finished image and print.
I am a professional photographer based in Boston. I have been working for magazines and nonprofits for 45 years. I have a focused respect for people who do the hard work to produce what urbanites like me too often take for granted. Among the thousands of assignments I have completed, I especially value stories about offshore winter fishing on Georges Bank for Smithsonian Magazine and the struggles of the United Mine workers, published in The New York Times Magazine. I did the photography for three books about families in unusual settings. My favorite was the one about lobster man,Spencer Joyce and his family, documenting their lives on Swan's Island. Finally, a project in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom about people who made their living from the land - that stands out!
My family and I have been visiting Vinalhaven for 21 years, renting houses near town. We recognize that we are forever from 'away'. On the other hand, our visits over the years have given me deep respect for those of you who sustain the island. I intend to use my professional skills to produce a body of work that honors all of you.
October 14, 2017 RHH