Photographer Nick Pfosi shares his most recent project titled The Notch, which explores life in Franconia, a town in northern New Hampshire.
The Notch project started as a feeling of homesickness while I was working at the Mail & Guardian last summer in Johannesburg. When I returned to the States I took the idea, which featured Franconia, New Hampshire, a small town in the White Mountains where I skied as a child, and started researching it. What I learned was despite Franconia’s small size it has a storied history of adventure, hospitality and, lately, decline, being the home of the first and oldest ski mountain in the United States, Cannon. Over the 20th century with the construction of the ski mountain Franconia was booming. However, as skiing expanded across New England its monopoly withered and the town with it. I grew up skiing in Franconia and have a fondness for Cannon, despite its harsh reputation and lack of funding compared to other mountains in the area.
I decided to complete a photographic essay about the town, attempting to visually pose questions and invite the viewer to explore Franconia for themselves, to connect something from their own memory to what is for so many a place of fondness. In order to complete the project I spent most of the winter living in Franconia and going out into the community to make pictures of both the landscape and the people. Franconia, which only has 1200 residents, is full of its own kind of energy. Energy comprised of people who call the Notch home all-year-round and those who use Cannon in the winter as a vacation destination or getaway. It is this duality that makes the Notch both quiet and boisterous; a place to relax but also a place where people party and let loose. The project was an exercise in making what I would call ‘quiet pictures’ and thinking deeply about how emotion influences our use of color and light in a series of images.