New England Charm in Durham, New Hampshire
Cheryl St. Onge is an artist, educator and visual storyteller. Her work focuses on the crossover of art and science and photography’s ability to distill our sense of time and curiosity. She makes pictures predominantly with an 8 x 10 view camera and considers her work a collaborative process. We also love her Instagram feed. Check out @cherylestonge for a unique peek into life in New Hampshire.
Place you live: Durham, NH.
Preoccupation: Aside from all things art… horses, running, reading, knitting.
Place your Instagrams were taken? Most of my Instagrams are taken in the surrounding seacoast area of New Hampshire and coastal Maine.
Can you sum up Durham? The seacoast region of New Hampshire is fabulous with its stunning ocean, rivers, fresh water ponds and close proximity to Boston and NYC. It is culturally sophisticated and has an amazing history with Portsmouth being an old seaport. There is a lively mix of academic and foreign students, college kids, runners, sailors, surfers and horse riders. Oh and the architecture – I am New England born and raised and there is nothing that stops my heart like shingle style old school houses or a rework of that classic. This area has lots of old and new to catch my fancy.
What is a perfect day in Durham? During the summer go for a run, hit the outdoor shower, stop and get red racer ice tea at Breaking New Grounds, and head out for a sail with family or friends, maybe make some pictures depending on the tide and current, jump in for a swim. In the winter go cross-country skiing or lace up the hockey skates, come home and make a fire in the wood stove, make some some tea, read the NYT, head to Portsmouth for a walk through Strawberry Banke and maybe head to Black Birch, Kittery ME for dinner.
If Durham was a person or character who would it be and why? Joan Didion. Durham is so well read and is the intellectual hub of the seacoast with the University of New Hampshire. It is also kind of a sleeper. The architecture is classic but understated, the scale smaller but with more character. You come for a visit maybe to scout the college for your cousin and stay for the ocean, the food, the bookstores and galleries. There is a creative vibe that is subtle but authentic. Yeah, Durham is pure Didion, first read and then she is in your head forever .
How long have you been using Instagram? My first post was March 1st 2011, I was an early lover of Instagram.
Do you shoot with your phone or other cameras or both? iPhone or Deardorf 8 x 10 view camera. Mostly with my iPhone, occasionally I share some of my work via scanned negatives made with my 8 x 10.
What is your editing process? I like clean lines and consistent feeds. Since I mostly work in black and white, I do love to see a mix of both color and black and white.
Has Instagram/phoneography affected how you shoot? Yes, I love a good collaborations and see much of my architectural work as a collaboration to bring my clients work into the lives of others. That said, I post what I am doing as much as the final images because it is sharing both the process and the art that gives me the most connections to my following on Instagram.
Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Share! Think of Instagram as a conversation! I think everyone wants to see and hear about new things. So, post a story. Edit well so it is beautiful, keep it simple and clean, be happy and kind, find and comment on the work others are making. It is that back and forth of Instagram that will make your heart sing.
Who are your three favorite Instagrammers? OMG three – how about my top 100?
Joni Sternbach: a dear friend and one of my fave artists!
Carly Glovinski: I am on a New Hampshire Charitable Art Fellowship this year so I love seeing what one of peers who is also sharing a grant this year.
Greg Miller: amazing artist, love his work!
Rania Matar: is dead on with her work and personality.
Want more Instagram tips and inspiration? Check out all of our Best of Instagram features and learn from the masters.
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