Two Photographers: Creating During a Pandemic (Part 1)

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As the pandemic took hold of the world this spring, we paused many of the ways in which we tell stories this spring at New Hampton School. Among the several photographers on campus, we checked in with both a faculty and a staff member who are passionate artists and storytellers. This first part focuses on Amy Wilson, our Director of Visual and Performing Arts. In addition to teaching at New Hampton School for 24 years, Amy has been a practicing photographer for over 30 years. While privately her favorite subjects to capture are her family and friends, she features many nature-based images and wild landscapes on her Instagram. Please enjoy this inside look at a beloved faculty member’s artistic expression from earlier this spring.

Photo credit: Amy Wilson, 2020, Instagram: @awilsonator

Observing nature

“Since the snow melted, I  avoided trails on the weekends as, especially on the few actual warm days we’ve had, the trailhead parking lots were overflowing. These little-known trails are usually quiet even throughout the summer weekends, so their busyness now is definitely COVID-related.

During these months of social distancing, I purposefully spent time outside, walking and kayaking as much as possible, and always with my camera. The lens helps me experience the world in a very different way—first as observer of what is important, and then as a creator. I explore my world, play close attention to the light, the textures, the details, the rhythm of all the elements. In this time ‘at home,’ I was fortunate to witness daily changes: the ice and snow of winter slowly revealing thick carpets of green moss and partridge berry, the budding and opening stretch of the beech leaves as they form a spring-green lace, the bloom of the trillium and violets and hobblebush…Looking through the camera and taking the time to focus, compose, change my depth of field, or point of view in order to create an image that matches my vision is also a practice of mindfulness. It is centering, it is creative, it is positive energy.

It is a tradition in my family to go for a walk in the woods on Mother’s Day. We count the trillium and the newts and enjoy the time together. I have a photographic record of the same place, approximately the same time, every year. I most definitely find comfort in the continuity and predictability of nature. Next, the lady slippers will bloom and the loons will nest, regardless of the rest of the world.”

Photography by Amy Wilson during the COVID-19 pandemic
Photo Credit: Amy Wilson, 2020

About Amy Wilson

Amy Wilson is the Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department, Director of the Galletly Gallery, and teacher of IB Visual Art, Photography, Painting and Printmaking, 2D Design, and Animation with Disney. Amy and her family have been a part of the NHS community for 24 years. Amy completed her degrees at the University of Maine in Orono and has studied photography extensively under the instruction of masters such as Arno Minkkinen, Christopher James, Tillman Crane, Connie Imboden,  Elizabeth Opalenik, and John Paul Caponigro, among others. Her painting and printmaking mentors include Annette Mitchell and Kathi Smith.

Follow Amy on Instagram for more of her photography work.

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