Ice fishermen - up in the negatives before dawn, carting out ice augers, woven baskets full of traps and sporting a uniform sponsored by Carhartt thankful for the ice shanty and its wood stove to keep them warm. But the shanty is more than a warm refuge, its a place for a few of the boys to get together, for families and friends to catch up, to teach the next generation about how dad spent his winters in Maine with his dad; to get away from the phone and the tv. Oh and the fish…its always better if you go home with some and a good story counts for more than a good fish, but that’s not the reason people are here. Ice fishing, it’s just a guise for people to spend time together.
Lottie Hedley, originally from New Zealand, is a documentary photographer currently based in mid-coast Maine. Hedley is due to complete the Professional Certificate course at Maine Media College in May 2011. Presently Hedley plans to focus her lens on agrarian issues, in particular, the fragile existence of the family farm and its future uncertainty. Current projects to date include focusing on a small organic family potato farm in Aroostook County and also family dairy farms in central Maine. These concerns have allowed Hedley to pull on the muddy boots of her childhood growing up on her family’s dairy farm in the South Wairarapa, New Zealand. While primarily interested in agrarian issues Hedley is equally interested in the ideas of community and culture, especially those different to what she encountered growing up. Her philosophy towards photography is that there are stories that we all overlook that exist on our doorstep. As a foreigner she likes to try to give people a chance to see something poetic in what is in their own backyards, whether that is the culture of the Maine ice fishing derby scene, the hazy summer days at the local quarry or the dripping oil and screeching rubber of the stockcar racing in Oxford Plains. Although Hedley has only been seriously photographing for a year, her previous career as a corporate lawyer working in New Zealand, England and Russia has given her a strong foundation in professionalism, dedication as well as problem solving.