Hatteras Island is known for its natural beauty, wildlife, tantalizing history and endless beaches. That’s why photographers find the Island as appealing as residents and visitors do. What is remarkable is how diverse our photographers are in their approach to the Island and its many aspects. Though my husband and I have been enjoying prime time on the Island with our Buxton residence as a base for almost 13 years, we realize that our enjoyment is enhanced by the work of local photographers. We see excellent posts on Facebook that keep us in touch with the effects of storms and the glory of sunrises and sunsets, and when we visit the photographers’ shops and galleries we are struck by the quality and variety of their subjects. Often our best gifts to ourselves and friends are portraits of sun, sea, marsh and sky and the creatures that inhabit them. So here’s a sampling of some of the talented folks who help us preserve our memories of Hatteras Island.
Perhaps it is fitting that one of our family’s first purchases was the aerial photography of Donnie Bowers, Island native and photographer for the renowned on-line newspaper. The Island Free Press (IFP) since its inception in 2007. A former award-winning wind surfer and a professional photographer since 1999, Donnie was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in photojournalism in 2012 for feature photography. Donnie’s diverse subjects include nature photography, the ocean’s many faces and shoreside recreation. Among our favorites are his aerial shots, such as the dramatic severing of NC Highway 12 during Irene’s relentless siege.
Michael Halminski has been photographing the beaches, waters and forests of our maritime environment since moving to Hatteras Island in 1973. Halminski’s photography reveals his knowledge of the people, animals and landscapes of our Island. Many of our favorite shots seem to portray the effect of our dramatic weather as it produces towering waves and designs etched in golden sand. Halminski’s work for the Mariners Weather Log, published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, stands alongside his work published in Newsweek, The Washington Post, Southern Living, Coastwatch and VSD Magazine Paris. His devotion to our Island led him to work from 1983 until 2000 with other Island lovers to save the historic Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station complex that dates back to 1874.
Daniel Pullen Photography, winner of the 2018 Dare County People’s Choice Artist’s Award, calls his group of three photographers “visual story tellers.” The team of Pullen, his wife Kate and the newest member, Iva Brooke, concentrates on creating authentic moments, particularly weddings, births and documentary records of the lives of ordinary people. The Pullen group offers a fine website with a Gallery that features OBX projects, First Friday events in the summer months, workshops that are available to aspiring photographers of all skill levels, wedding albums, freelance portfolios, family documents and OBX beach portraits. Pullen himself is a descendant of nine Cape Hatteras lighthouse keepers and was attracted to photography by his love of the ocean and surfing while in his early teens. In 2016, he completed Foundation Workshop, the world’s most intense wedding photojournalism workshop, as well as David Allen Harvey’s Storytelling Workshop in Puerto Rico.
Epic Shutter Photography’s website description highlights a Hatteras Island award-winning fine portrait artist, specializing in wedding photography, lifestyle photography, local photojournalism and ocean photography. Winner of Wedding Wire magazine’s Couples’ Choice Awards for several years, as well as Angie’s List Super Service Awards, Epic prides itself on turning a portrait into a timeless and flawless painting. Epic Photography offers extensive knowledge of local history and photo locations encompassing the entire Outer Banks, including Ocracoke Island. Our enjoyment of Epic Shutter Photography is due in part to its Facebook entries of weather, activities and special events on Hatteras Island. It is a wonderful way to keep in touch with life on Hatteras and Ocracoke while traveling off the Islands.