January 1, 2011
As a professional photographer working in central New Hampshire, the White Mountains have proven to be an outstanding backdrop for me to exercise both my passion for photography and my body. When I am not hiking I can often be found photographing some of the most spectacular homes in the Lakes Region. As the founder and owner of Bob and Ernie Photography LLC, I specialize in architectural and commercial photography. I am also owner of a print and webdesign company, bobdonpaul.com. Please visit www.bobdonpaul.com for examples of the work I do when not in the mountains.
In addition, I am currently engaged in making a documentary film of the Great Rotary Fishing Derby in Meredith, New Hampshire. Our film project is in its third year and we hope to complete it sometime in the next two years. You can learn more about our film at www.thegreatrotaryfishingderby.com.
To learn more about me and how I came to be where I am today, please read on…
I spent the majority of my youth growing up in Rhode Island. For much of those years we lived in a very rural community with my nearest neighbor being over a mile away. My brother Don, a year older, and I spent many hours wandering around exploring the acres of woods, fields and early foundations that surrounded our home. This was the beginning of my love of the New England woods, a love that has grown deeper with the years.
Upon graduating high school in 1982, after a brief stint at Southern Connecticut State University, I found myself heading west, California-bound. Short of my immediate goal of arriving in California in time to attend the ‘US’ concert (which I never made), I had no real idea of what I might find or do once there. It was the beginning of what would be a long journey of figuring out who I was and where I was going (I know this now, not so much then).
After a year of discovering California, meeting new people and generally having a good time, I got accepted to California Institute of the Arts as a fine arts major with an emphasis on photography. Over the next four years I divided my time between school, working full time for an organization providing support to adults with autism, and traveling the country. At school I learned how to think and to understand the creative process; at work I learned about people, compassion, and empathy; while traveling I learned all of that and more. My travels took me across the country and back four times by road, visiting nearly ever state. In addition, I traveled up and down the State of California, exploring many of its wonders, from the sea to the high desert and mountaintops. At one time I would have said these were some of the greatest years of my life, but today I know life only gets more interesting.
Upon graduating from Cal Arts in 1987, I began a truly life changing experience. I left my job, partnered with my cousin Dan, put together everything I learned at Cal Arts, all the money we could muster, and embarked on a journey that would span over 6 months, 20,000 miles, 36 states, and result in over 6,000 images. “BOB” Across America was its official title, and the creation of a book its official purpose. It was so much more, more than can be told here.
Upon concluding “BOB” Across America, in desperate need of funds, I returned to work with people with disabilities. I soon discovered that work was more than just a way to put myself through school, it was much more important than that and of a great deal more interesting to me now that I understood this. A job quickly became a career that saw me through the next 12 years of my life.
During that time, I met my wife Jerilyn and stepdaughter, Chelsie, the two most important people in my life. We moved to NH in 1993, where I became Director of Residential Services at Lakes Region Community Service Council and where I remained until 2000. In 2000 my life took another sharp turn with my departure from Lakes Region Community Service Council and 18 years in Human Services, to pursue my long time dream of opening an antique shop, Whirligig Antiques. During the course of the next five years my interest in photography returned. With the increased popularity of digital photography, my dream to run an antique shop quickly subsided; I was rediscovering my original love. In 2003, I partnered with a friend and began Bob and Ernie Photography, now my full time passion and work. I spend most of my time photographing architecture and landscapes, and the rest of the time documenting all my life’s adventures and the people who participate in them with me.
Since moving to New Hampshire I have taken more interest in my health and developed a new relationship with the great outdoors. I have re-kindled the love of the New England woods that so early captivated me as a child. I took up running with a passion and have since completed four marathons including the Boston Marathon in April 2006. Running has since lead to biking - road and mountain, swimming and eventually triathlons, which I have competed in over a dozen since taking it up in 2000. In addition, I have joined the Lake Winnipesaukee Rowing Club, and taken up competitive rowing. There is so much to see and do and so little time to do it all.
My most important discovery since arriving in New Hampshire has been the White Mountains. One winter day in 2000, while logging with my friend Gordon Dubois, he invited me to join him on one of his White Mountain Winter adventures. This began an adventure that has consumed much of my winters for the next five years and resulted in the completion of the White Mountain over 4000 footers in winter. But more than that, it has resulted in a lifelong friendship and partnership in the pursuit of adventure and discovery, and uncountable hours of ever enlightening conversation. The task of completing the list of 4000 footers, or any other list for that matter, is only a consequence of a much more important goal. To spend time in nature, discovering the ever-changing landscapes, sights, and sounds, and sharing it with the people you care about, that is the goal.
Gordon and I have since gone on to pursue other important lists, rather, to spend time in nature doing what we love. Maybe someday I will get to be on top of a White Mountain 4000 footer some other time other than winter (I think I did it backwards). I hope someday to chronicle my adventures in a book with the many images I have accumulated.
With every new discovery, adventure, and pursuit, it fuels an ever stronger desire to do so much more. If only time will allow.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Professional web site: www.bobdonpaul.com