Bear Cieri

Bear Cieri // Vermont

I was born and raised in the Adirondacks before moving out West in pursuit of the ski bum lifestyle.  While traveling, the world opened up to me and for the first time in my life I realized I knew what I wanted.  I was surrounded by inspiring beauty and exposed to new adventures.  There was a deep and affecting impulse to capture my experiences in both a written and visual context.  My interest in photography was born after I participated in a couple photo shoots, so I decided to move back East and go to college.  Through a series of events (it is a long story), a roommate left town in a hurry with a load of unpaid debts.  In his haste he left most of his belongings – one of which was a photo bag containing a Contax SLR with 3 screw mount lenses.  That was my first camera at the age of 22.

I shot the first roll of film without a light meter and managed to make a few good exposures, one of which was even printable.  The photography bug bit me and I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me.  The first step was community college, then a journalism degree at university in Boston, and finally, a job at a community newspaper company in the suburbs of Boston.  I spent 5 years as a staff photographer and then 2 years as a freelancer chasing sirens, shooting politicians, sitting in a courtroom and photographing oldsters at the senior centers.  It was a great experience because I shot 5 days-a-week, in every situation possible, and became a member of several communities.  In September, my family and I moved back to our roots in Vermont (my wife grew up in Essex Junction).

After that first roll of film I’ve been tireless in my pursuit of the next image and see photography as a means for exploration.  I aim to capture culture of my subjects and create something truthful as well as beautiful.  I’m honored to pursue my craft in Vermont and am inspired by its people and natural elements on a daily basis.