Penny Sunset

Pennuy Sunset Instagram Photo

Penny at Sunset, Fort Ethan Allen


Hardscrabble Road Llama

I met this llama while photographing a medical student and local physician making a house call in Milton, Vt.



Today I was shooting still photographs during the taping of First with Kids segments – two-minute television spots by Dr. Lewis First about pediatric health issues. We were at a local hotel using the indoor pool to tape summer spots.



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Recent assignment: Tarrant Institute at Edmunds Middle School

I just completed an editorial assignment for Education Week magazine featuring the work of the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education with Edmunds Middle School in Burlington. The magazine wanted both still photos and video. Video? Sure, I can do that. Right?

First, some background. The Tarrant Institute, part of the University of Vermont’s College of Education and Social Services,  seeks to increase middle school student engagement and success by providing a technology-rich, engaging and relevant classroom experience.

From the story in Education Week, “Now the institute—which has given Edmunds a four-year, $250,000 grant—aims to provide technology-rich, personalized learning to a wider range of students, research the impact of the approach, and use those results to make teaching and learning adjustments. The six tenets of the approach—all linked to the developmental needs of young adolescents—are that learning be technology-rich, personalized, relevant, authentic, diverse, and active.”

In short, these students are assigned a laptop for the year that they use in class and can bring home with them. Their classrooms feature SMART boards and other technology, and they are assigned and submit work online. From my brief visits to these classrooms, I can say that the students are more focused and attentive than students I’ve seen in other middle schools. And having a laptop for each student levels the playing field as many of these students don’t have computers at home.

The cover photograph features students in Jim Monahan’s math class using SMART boards to work out algebra problems as part of a small-group exercise. The cavernous math class features four such interactive white boards.


As I mentioned above, part of the assignment was to capture video for the publications website. I’m still a bit new with producing video on assignment so I called a few area photographers who have been juggling still and video on assignment for years and got some fantastic advice on formats and audio. I learned that while I can hold a camera still for 1/10 of a second to capture a still image, in reality, I shake like a leaf. You can’t hide anything with video. Audio? What a headache. I chose to capture audio on a separate digital audio recorder with a small, camera-mounted shotgun microphone as the Nikon system’s audio isn’t very sophisticated. When I remembered to hit the record button on the unit, it worked beautifully. Thirty minutes of video and six sit-down interviews for about four minutes of final product. All in all, I think it worked. The client is happy, and thankfully, they did the final edit.

The students in the Navigator Team at Edmunds produced their own videos highlighting the program they are participating in. Take a look here.

Some photographs from the assignment.


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Wedding Albums by Rajan Chawla and Leather Craftsmen

I began offering Leather Craftsmen albums this year and I have to say they are simply beautiful! The quality is top-notch, their printing is superb and I feel that they really compliment my photographs. When you hire a photographer for your wedding, you are really creating a story book, an heirloom, a way for you to relive your special day and share it with others. Leather Craftsmen albums deliver.  I am proud to partner with them.

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Zumbathon raises $1650 for local playground!

Seventy-one people raised $1650 for the Summit Street School Community Natural Playground on Saturday during a two-hour Zumbathon! The school is working to replace it’s aging, traditional structure-based playground. An image of the initial plan is below.

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Rachel and Andrew at the White Rocks Inn

Rachel and Andrew had a wonderful, intimate wedding on a perfect October day at the White Rocks Inn in Wallingford, Vt. Their ceremony was up on a hill with a gazebo, rolling fields, autumn color and a flock of geese nearby. Rachel’s flowers were provided by Jennifer Redding at Perennial Studio with a fantastic pig roast by Mark & Margaret McChesney of The Barn Restaurant and Tavern in Pawlett.

The slideshow.

The happy couple!

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Moni Davidson - October 12, 2015 - 3:46 am

Beautiful video of your wedding Rachel! Gorgeous place!

Rebecca Deakins - November 18, 2010 - 10:04 am

Raj, looking through the pictures felt like being there with Rachel and Andrew. You captured candid photos of the hearfelt emotions of the day. With great skill, you wove together a beautiful tapestry of these two lives and the love they have found together, along with the shared delight of family, friends and loved ones, who witnessed this wonderful event. Thank you, for allowing me to “be there”.

Rachel Toler - November 16, 2010 - 8:45 pm

Raj, Fabulous work! You have such a good eye and are quite gifted at your chosen field. Thank you for being so easy to work with…and entertaining, to boot. You have given us memories to last a lifetime.