Barrie Fisher's first photo was of horses and dogs. Inset newer goat photo.

Local photographer Barrie Fisher took her first photo at 10 years old, after her father gifted her a Kowa camera and some 35mm film. Fisher went outdoors, lined up her family’s dogs and horses, and took the first shot. “It was like all my senses became attuned,” she said, “and I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”





Today, Fisher works out of a large space at 182 Mad River Green in Waitsfield, open by appointment and otherwise limited hours. Her gallery is filled with portraits of families, kids, and pets – some of which she shot herself, while others were brought to her for extensive editing. Much of her work, once edited, has a dreamlike quality. This is especially true for her composite photography, where bits and pieces of original photographs – animals, leaves, and feathers, for example – are layered and combined into a single image. She said that the process of manipulating photos has “taken me to places that aren’t of this earth, and I just love the fantasy of it all.”

Fisher also teaches classes and workshops, photographs wedding and other events, and sells photograph-based souvenirs at the Waitsfield and Stowe farmers markets.


Fisher said that for much of her life, she got to merge the two things she loves – photography and skiing. Her parents founded a ski area called Catamount in Hillsdale, New York, where her family lived, in 1939. Later, they created another called Jiminy Peak in Hancock, Massachusetts. Fisher started skiing at 2 years old, then racing at 5. She got a scholarship to Berkshire School – a private boarding school in Sheffield, Massachusetts, and remembers acting as the school photographer. “The camera was part of me – an extension of me, and I never put it down,” she said.

After graduating high school, Fisher was on the road a lot, photographing World Cup ski races across different countries. She shot black and white slide film, with her photos printed in the publication Ski Racing International – based in Waitsfield at the time.   




She skied while photographing races, “backwards, forwards, whatever I had to do to get the shot,” she said. She would return home to the Berkshires to process her film, or build a darkroom wherever she was on the road. “I would find the chemicals and lock myself in a bathroom,” she recalled. 

She took college classes during that time, studying photography, printmaking, pottery, and other mediums across five different schools in the United States. She said she wasn’t concerned about earning a degree, but wanted to approach her education more playfully, learning about different perspectives on art practice that were coming out of each institution.  


In the late 1990s, Fisher transitioned to digital photography. Shortly after, she moved to Warren from Hood River, Oregon, buying a house on the Mad River. That marked her fourth stint of living in The Valley.

About a year and a half ago, Fisher sold her home in Warren, moved in with a friend, and bought her gallery and studio space in Waitsfield. She said that each time she enters the space, she thanks it, and everything in it. Each time she takes a photo, too, she thanks her camera. “It’s so much about that for me,” she said. “It’s the gratitude of getting to do something I really love.”