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My Camera as a Conduit

March 16, 2021


Artist at work

Several years ago, I believe it was 2014, I was just starting out working with small businesses helping them set up social media platforms and shooting marketing images for them to use on websites, brochures, blogs, and social media.   I was fortunate to be referred to several clients in the Newburyport, MA area and therefore, I got to spend lots of time in that gorgeous part of New England, and had an opportunity to meet, and get to know, some wonderful people.

Artist at work


Rick Salmonson was one of these people.  I had spoken on the phone with him before the morning I met him at his sign shop, Bridge Road Sign Company.  I knew from talking with Rick that he thought he should be marketing on social media but he really had no experience with it at all, and truthfully not much interest.  He was “old school” in his sign business in the best possible ways.  I pulled into the driveway of the shop which was in his garage, and he lived above it.  He somewhat reluctantly invited me in.  I looked around and wondered how many other women had actually stepped foot in his shop.  He showed me around and pointed out one of the signs he was working on. I was blown away.  This man had been making handmade and hand painted signs for years and years.  He was an Artist!  This one looked huge on his work table, and he explained it was another one for The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, which has many branches and I believe now is called the Newburyport Bank.  He had been making almost all of their beautiful signs for many years.  I was amazed at his craftsmanship, his dedication to creating signs with his hands, and his attention to details.  Recently, he told me, he had purchased a computer to help with digital sign making but most signs he was still creating the way he always had, and they were gorgeous!!

As planned after a tour of his shop, we jumped in his truck and spent the next several hours together with him driving me around the greater Newburyport area, showing me all the signs he had made, and my taking pictures of them for his new Facebook page we would create together. He introduced me to many of the business owners, and we covered a lot of ground that day.  As we rode, he shared much about his business, his family, and his life.  We were out in the country a little after noon, and he asked if he could treat me to lunch.  We stopped at a country store with a small dining area in the back.  Rick new the owner and we really enjoyed our lunch and more conversation.  That day stays with me.. and reminds me of the places I have had the opportunity to explore, and even more so, the people I have met as a result of having a camera in my hands.  My camera in many ways feels like a conduit to a life I love. A life where I can meet new people, get to know their stories, and hopefully help them market their small business in a way that makes them proud, and ultimately brings in more business.

I don’t think Rick expected that day to make a friend.  I think he thought he would tick off the box and do the FB marketing that he had been told he should do, and then be done with it.  I think that day ended up being much more, as days sometimes do.

To all the people who I have had the pleasure to get to know, and to learn intimately about your businesses, thank you!  I love doing this work! And to those of you who might be thinking you could use a little extra help to get your creative work, your service, or your brick and mortar out into this world, maybe I am your gal to help.  And maybe, well, most likely, we’ll end up being friends, and enjoying time sharing about our lives and passions in the process of working together.  And that makes it all worthwhile…



2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ben permalink
    March 22, 2021 10:12 am

    This is such a sweet story, Nanette! I loved it!

    • March 22, 2021 1:50 pm

      Thank you so much, Ben! I so appreciate you following along! Hope you are well! Think of you often! x

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