Photo courtesy of Mare Robinson
By Steve Sears
Mare Robinson may live, arguably, in the best Garden State location for taking photos. After all, many farms, quaint history, and nature abound in and around Hackettstown (where she lives), and in Morris and Warren counties.
“I’ve taken the best pictures I’ve ever taken in the Hackettstown area,” Robinson says. “If it grabs my heart, I’m drawn to it. And you don’t have to go to Hawaii to take a good picture.”
Robinson, 49, who works as a Special Education teacher’s aide in Chester, and has also worked in Long Valley, with her efforts is true to her word. She knows from experience that the before mentioned, northwest Jersey areas are fodders of beauty for her camera lens.
Robinson has been taking photos since childhood, an instant camera her equipment back then. The William Paterson University grad, who earned her masters degree in Creative Writing from the school, hasn’t much time these days for authoring essays, fiction, and poetry, so she’s turned to photography. “I pull over all the time because there’s so many beautiful things,” she says of where she lives. “You don’t really have to go far to take a good picture.” And Robinson feels that her current art is “poetic.” “It’s not just the image. I see different words and poetic things; different poets I like remind me of certain pictures. I’m just drawn to something. I feel like I have a good eye for seeing something.” The future just might see Robinson partnering words and photos on a page. “I definitely could put words with my pictures one day. I just haven’t gotten there yet,” she says with a chuckle. “I’ve even thought of children’s books, too, because I work with kids.”
Photography is her free time passion right now, she relying on just an old iPhone to capture icicles, an old farmhouse, and whatever else pops up in her path that spurs her curiosity and interest. “I can pretty much grab it,” she says of the iPhone, “and be spontaneous. I have a camera, but it’s too bulky to be spontaneous.”
Robinson recently joined Jersey Collective, an online site where photographers can display their work. “My niece goes to Rutgers,” she explains, “and she told me about the account on Instagram. She said, ‘You should definitely try to get a week (to post your work), because your stuff is great.” Robinson wrote to Jersey Collective, and was granted a week to display her photos. “I had a blast with it; it was a lot of fun.”
When asked to choose a favorite among her photos, she mentions a shot of Well-Sweep Herb Farm in Port Murray, the sun ascending behind the horizon during an early morning, a lone Christmas wreath hanging on a white fence. No doubt rhyme could accompany this gem.
Robinson and her husband, Dave, have been married for 20 years, and they have two sons, James and Brooks. Kramer, a dog the Robinsons rescued, rounds out the family.
Spontaneity in her photography being what it is, Robinson does have a bucket list photo that she’d love to get, and for that she reaches back to her college days. “I did my thesis, and I wrote fictional stories about bridges, because I’ve always loved bridges. And I want to go to the Brooklyn Bridge and take pictures. It’s on my list.” She adds, “I just keep looking for more stuff to take pictures of. I don’t think I can stop. I’m compulsive that way.”
To view Robinson’s work, visit her Instagram page at @dosydopics.