Editor’s note: Don Toothaker of Haverhill is a photographer whose passion is shooting scenes of his city, especially at night. His photos will appear as a regular feature in the Gazette.
Haverhill, once a mighty manufacturing center, is evolving.
Through vision, hard work and sacrifice, the city is being transformed to once again stand proudly along the historic Merrimack River. Change is inevitable. Change is good.
Twelve years ago, my wife and I chose Haverhill to settle down and raise a family. In the time we have lived here, the city has undergone many changes. Slowly you can sense and see the city coming alive once again. The decline of the shoe manufacturing industry also meant the decline of Haverhill economically, for a period of time. Once proud, bustling factories and the city center are being renovated to give Haverhill a new identity. In photography and life, quite often all you need is a fresh perspective to move forward.
Last winter, I assigned myself the project of shooting more images in Haverhill to further connect with my chosen hometown. I chose to shoot at night to give myself a different view and perspective of the city. My images have been processed in black and white to strip away the distraction of color, but also capture some of the grit and strength of the city that remains the backbone of change.
Photography is a powerful form of communication. It is an art form, a method of documentation and, most importantly, a meaningful form of self expression. My goal as a photographer is to express how I see and feel the world around me. My life and my work remain an ongoing personal journey full of new perspectives and change.