Longtime photographer Denise Albright is recognized as Exeter’s Woman of the Year
By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
EXETER – When Exeter celebrated their centennial anniversary in 2011, there was a time capsule buried in downtown Exeter. Local photographer Denise Albright, who had been known for her skills at capturing local events, was given the opportunity to have some of her photos placed in the capsule.
Since then, Albright has continued to highlight and document the local history around the town by looking through her viewfinder. Earlier this month, Albright stepped out from behind the camera, approached the podium and accepted her plaque for 2017 Exeter Woman of the Year.
“This is a great honor and a total surprise,” Albright said. “I feel like there are a lot of other people who are more deserving of this award than I am.”
Albright’s mission to document local history comes from a pure sense of belonging, something she has never felt until recently. When Albright lived in Los Angles, there was plenty to do in the movie industry, especially with her husband, Patrick Silvera. The one drawback was that everyone had an individualistic outlook on life.
The couple ventured to the area looking for a place for Albright’s parents to live. In 2003, they relocated to Exeter. The wholesome feel and having enough space for their dogs, were the reasons they chose the community.
Almost immediately, opportunities to get involved in the community appeared.
“I cannot live somewhere and not be a part of the things which are going on,” Albright said. “I believe it is important for everyone to get out and see what is going on.”
In 2006, she began her own freelance photography business, Paws for the Camera. The first portraits of dogs, or dogs with their owners, were enough to get her known around town.
How to handle dogs and how to work a camera are two skills Albright has spent a lot of time acquiring. Over the years, she has also taught dogs how to compete in agility obstacle course competitions. While in training sessions, she would take out her camera and take pictures of her own dogs.
Albright’s photographs are notable for their clarity and detail. “I try and place them in the most natural setting possible,” Albright said.
Albright began spending a lot of time in the Slick Rock and Yokohl Valley areas, not only perfecting her craft for her business, but also expanding her portfolio for landscape photography. As she tells it, every morning she went to the valley where the rain water pools to create a temporary pond. While there she took pictures of the wild birds that gathered.
Albright’s photography has been on display three times at the Exeter Courthouse Art Gallery in downtown Exeter. She has also freelanced for the Sun-Gazette and other publications.
At the awards banquet, surrounded by some of her most popular photos, Albright began to think back to each one, and the stories they held. Then she saw the list of past honorees. “When I saw that list, and knowing my name will be on it forever, that is when it sunk in for me,” Albright said.