"Faces of Hawley"is an ongoing project where a professional photographer with a love for this town has been gradually documenting its people in image. Thoughtfully rendered with the artistry of a true camera professional, each picture helps record those who give life and meaning to the word "community." One example is the picture of Edward Drake, who has since passed away.
The photographer, J.J. Jackson, recently presented a large print to his son Daniel and wife Brenda Drake.
Jackson said he wanted 100 people for the project, selecting subjects he described as those make Hawley their home, and have made a difference and contribute to the community. "Ed Drake was one of my most memorable," he said.
Edward Drake died at the age of 91 on January 10th. He was a long-time owner of a hardware business in Hawley and had served on Hawley Council eight years. He was a charter member of VFW Post 5823, Hawley. Drake was a member of the Hawley Ambulance Corps, and was a past president of Hawley Fire Department.
He was a family man and loved life.
Larger than life, the picture is crisp and vivid, bringing out this Hawley community member's gentle smile and welcoming eyes.
"We thought it was very nice he presented it to me and my family," Daniel Drake said. "We are very grateful for it." Daniel is the Hawley's police chief.
Jackson is working closely with Juan Espino of Looking Glass Gallery & Art Studio on the project. The photographs were taken in Espino's studio. Jackson, who has traveled much in his commercial advertising career, lives both on Long Island and in Hawley, and has long roots here. He said he has seen similar photographic projects in other communities and had this in mind for Hawley for about three years.
They have been inviting different Hawley residents to have their picture taken, at no cost. He has done about 25 or 30 so far. Jackson is meticulous in taking the pictures, snapping many and selecting just the right one. Each image then takes him about three hours adjusting colors to bring out the quality he seeks.
Biographical information about the subject is also collected.
Eventually he envisions the images being made into a book. The details have not been worked out. They may find there is more to do, and will need a second edition to adequately document Hawley's vibrant citizenry.