PHOTO ESSAYS

A collection of photo essays from recent projects and adventures throughout the Northeast.  In place of a more traditional portfolio, this format highlights a continued dedication to storytelling.  

VIEWPORT On a sleepy stretch of Downeast shoreline along Lamoine’s Eastern Bay, Bobbie Ames’ gorgeous property enjoys stunning views of Mount Desert Island and Acadia.  Though Bobbie’s family has spread out across the country, their roots are here in Maine: her parents, Bob and Veda, grew up in Guilford and Dover-Foxcroft.  Bob would spend summers working on a farm in Lamoine and each season he fell a bit more in love with the town.  They bought a home in Lamoine in the 60s, though the property as it stands is a 1983 rebuild planned as a retirement home.  They called it Viewport and Veda incorporated elements from every place she’d called home along the way.  Bobbie began restoring the home in 2015 to honor her late parents; Veda’s decorative style has been lovingly woven into Viewport’s timeless coastal decor.

SUMMER IN OQUOSSOC Camping and canoeing on a 6,000 acre wilderness preserve, most of it only accessible via water. The last night of our stay we went for a golden hour paddle, built a campfire on the lakeshore, and watched the sun sink over Mooselookmeguntic Lake.  The Milky Way switched on and the lines between the constellations filled themselves in as last light glowed softly beyond the silhouette of Maine’s western mountains.  I took the rainfly off my tent, crawled in, and for a moment—a small, fleeting moment—I was back in grade school on a Cub Scout sleepover at the planetarium, awe struck at the dome of stars above. 

SMELT CAMP On the last high tide of the season, we rented a small shack over a perfectly-cut ice trench at Jim Worthing’s Smelt Camp in Randolph, Maine. We dropped lines and waited for schools of anadromous smelts to swim by as they ran down the river looking for an exit to the ocean. Sea run smelt camps have long been a winter tradition in Maine. The species once bred in rivers and streams as far south as Chesapeake Bay, though dams and other man-made changes to river systems have taken an extreme toll on their reach. We were here, more or less, to understand how such small fish could garner a large enough reputation to keep seven smelt camps on the Kennebec and its tributaries busy all winter. At times we were glued to our lines, hawkishly watching and earnestly waiting; just as often our attention wandered to the production of properly toasted hot dog buns on the wood stove or grabbing a new brew from a bucket at the door of our hut.  An excuse to sit in quiet company with a friend might be smelt camp’s most enduring tradition (but the tasty fried fish help, too).

GURNET VILLAGE Blake and Lili are restoring an historic lobstering village in Brunswick, Maine right where Buttermilk Cove meets the Gurnet Strait on the Harpswell town line.  With a storied history dating back more than a hundred years—and inextricably linked to one of the oldest lobstering families in the region—Blake and Lili are working to preserve the village’s history while adding their own multicultural flourishes.  A descendent of the original lobstering family still hauls traps from a small skiff docked on Blake and Lili’s float.  The centerpiece of the village is a decades old lobster pound, now converted into a galley and living room.  Despite their standalone home just steps away, the galley is where Blake and Lili spend most of their time. The last night of our stay while documenting Gurnet Village’s living history, Blake and Lili forwent the traditional lobster boil for something more representative of their travels and life together: Chinese style lobster with wok-fried noodles.