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Compelling images and insight from our staff photographers
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July 01,2022

THIS MONTH: PHOTOGRAPHER'S CHOICE

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Tiana Warriner helps her daughter Sophia, 9, get ready for a day of family activities.

ANDREE KEHN/SUN JOURNAL
I was working on the art for Emily Bader's series on the impact of the opioid crisis on Maine families. Despite the subject matter being emotionally charged, I was having a hard time getting compelling imagery to run with the four-part story.

Emily and I had met with Tiana at Recovery Connections of Maine, where she works. Tiana had previously struggled with addiction, ending up homeless and "camping" with the kids for the summer. While her story was gripping, images of her in her office were not.

I asked Tiana if I could visit her home while she and her kids were getting ready for their day and she agreed. I arrived as her kids were waking up. They were self-conscious at first, but I asked them to pretend I wasn't there.

Tiana let her defenses down and the kids followed her lead. I was able to photograph a typical morning for the three of them, after gaining this valuable and vulnerable emotional access.

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Oars drizzle droplets into Belfast Bay while propelling the Belle Fast.

BEN MCCANNA/PRESS HERALD
I was scared.

It was a cold afternoon in early February when I prepared to board a 32-foot-long wooden boat in Belfast Harbor for an article on winter rowing.

Not only was the water literally icy with tiny intermittent floes, but I was carrying thousands of dollars' worth of electronics into an open boat. Two DSLRs - one with a telephoto lens and one with an ultrawide lens - swung from my shoulder harness. In my hand was a GoPro attached to a monopod.

There's an adage that says don't bring anything on a boat that you aren't prepared to lose. If we tipped over, not only was survival questionable, but I would ruin a career's worth of equipment.

I was assured, however, that the boat had never capsized. Also, the other eight occupants made it look easy, so I took the precarious step from the floating dock into the Belle Fast and settled into my seat in the bow.

The next challenge was to photograph the boat, and its rowers, while nestled nervously inside it. It was especially difficult because the rowers were facing away from me.

That's when the GoPro came in handy. By extending the monopod to its full length and propping it skyward, I could get a bird's eye view of the boat and everyone in it. I was able to trigger the shutter remotely from my smartphone.

As an afterthought, I gripped the monopod tightly and stretched it out over the glassy water to mimic the oars. I could tell immediately from the cellphone screen that this would be the image of the day.

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RICH ABRAHAMSON/MORNING SENTINEL
Goats climb on volunteer Joshua Vashon before he and others lead a goat yoga class during the ShineOnCass Animal Baby Shower & PJ Party at Hart to Hart Farm & Education Center in Albion.
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BRIANNA SOUKUP/PRESS HERALD
Calypso, 5, takes a bite of her chocolate vanilla swirl with rainbow sprinkles after getting the treat with her mom, Nicole Jardis, on the first day of the season for South Portland staple Red’s Dairy Freeze. View the Slowly, slowly signs of Spring gallery.
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SHAWN PATRICK OUELLETTE/PRESS HERALD
Maddilynn Riesbeck, 9, prances in the ocean on a balmy February day. "She represented us all: embracing life and optimistic about returning to a sense of normalcy," Shawn wrote. View the gallery.
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ANDY MOLLOY/KENNEBEC JOURNAL
An Eastern Bluebird with a berry in his mouth in Richmond. The bird is recovering territory in Maine and is often a harbinger of spring. This image was captured in February when lots of winter weather was still ahead for Mainers. View the gallery and more from Andy Molloy.
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DARYN SLOVER/SUN JOURNAL
A young girl sits at the Auburn Mall as members of the Maine Army National Guard walk by. The image was taken on the final day of a COVID-19 clinic at the mall. View the gallery and more from Daryn Slover.
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RUSS DILLINGHAM/SUN JOURNAL
The mural on the stage curtain dominates the second floor hall of Androscoggin Grange No. 8 in Greene. Read the story about an effort to restore the grange and view more photos.
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GREGORY REC/PRESS HERALD
Ticvah Matumona, left, 5, and her brother Alexander, 4, with father Luc Samuel Kuanzambi, who supports a Portland proposal to extend the right to vote in municipal elections to noncitizens. Read the story and see more from Gregory Rec.
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