EASTON — Photographer Monica Hurley-Lawson has been photographing her hometown of Easton for years. Now, for the first time, locals can keep their own collection of Hurley-Lawson’s art photos of their town.
This month, 59-year-old Hurley-Lawson published her first photography book, entitled “Through the Lens: Easton, Massachusetts.” Her photos focus on Easton’s historic architecture an ample conservation land.
Hurley-Lawson first began taking photos during her time at Coyle and Cassidy High School in Taunton, which closed down last year. She said it was when she got her first Canon camera.
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After graduation, she took a photography course at Regis College before transferring to Stonehill College in Easton and, being a sports lover, photographing sporting events, as well as nature.
“I would take shots of butterflies and flowers, the typical beginner stuff,” she said.
During that time, Hurley-Lawson also did freelance photography for The Enterprise of Brockton from 1985 to 1990.
Years later, after Hurley-Lawson’s son began playing baseball at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, she started documenting all his baseball games through her photos. She also took photos of her daughter playing softball and her son playing baseball in college.
Eventually, Hurley-Lawson started taking photos around Easton. A few years ago, she started garnering a following of her photography through a Facebook group called Easton Stories. She said she would post the photos of the town and people would comment about how much they enjoyed them.
“That’s when I could get my art out there for people to see,” she said.
Hurley-Lawson worked as a playground aide and then a paraprofessional at Richardson Olmstead Elementary in Easton for 20 years, but retired this past June. She thought about making a photography book for years, but her retirement was the final push.
“That gave me the incentive of ‘All right, let’s do something about all these thousands and thousands of photographs that I have of Easton,'” she said.
So Hurley-Lawson organized all her photos and created a 50-page photography book. She said most of the photos are from the past five years.
But despite many of the photos being of historic places, she said, she didn’t want it to be the type of photography book that had blurbs about the history of each photographed location.
Instead, Hurley-Lawson collected quotes about Easton from residents and people who work in the town and put those under the pictures with the help of local historians Edward Hands and Frank Mennino.
“I would love for people to see it — those who used to live in town maybe grew up here and don’t anymore,” she said. “I would love them to be able to get it and see it because it’ll bring back lots of memories.”
On Hurley-Lawson’s Facebook page, she also offers custom prints, mugs, coasters, puzzles and more with her artwork, in case any photos particularly resonate with readers.
“All I really want is to have people just have some good memories and some good emotion when they look at my photographs. That makes me happy,” she said.
“Through the Lens: Easton, Massachusetts” is available at Paperback Junction, Simpson Spring, and Paint Rust and Pixie Dust in Easton for $55. You can also email Hurley-Lawson at [email protected] to purchase a copy.
Enterprise staff writer Susannah Sudborough can be reached by email at [email protected] You can follow her on Twitter at @k_sudborough. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.
This article originally appeared on The Enterprise: Easton photographer publishes photography book of her hometown