In the midst of the fear and anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, one local photographer is focusing her camera, and her mind, on love. Barrie Fisher’s “Awakening Love” project is a photo gallery dedicated to capturing the glimmers of joy, peace and togetherness that individuals and families are cultivating as they use their newfound downtime to enjoy nature’s spring awakening, with their precious pooches by their sides.

With a long lens camera, Fisher, Waitsfield, is able to keep a healthy distance while capturing shots of people and their pets. Then, after making edits at her home office, she sends the professional-grade photographs to pet owners, free of charge. “I don’t want any money for this. This does not have anything to do with money. It’s all about giving. It’s about capturing and sharing happiness and joy.”


The project idea came to Fisher after a few weeks of quarantine-inspired contemplation. “I was thinking, how can I help the community? How can I give back?” said Fisher. As a photographer, Fisher realized that with the timing of this project she would be capturing an unprecedented period in history. However, instead of focusing on the malevolent changes brought on by the pandemic, she chose to focus on the positive changes, for example, the increasing happiness of dogs as they experience an unparalleled amount of human companionship.

The photo project also captures the optimism of Mad River Valley residents as they, in otherwise dire circumstances, embrace the gift of immersion in nature. “Nature is coming alive, the birds are out and people are out. People are slowing down and waking up to love,” said Fisher.

Fisher hopes this will be a lifelong project. “This is not a project that will ever stop for me. It’s too deep in my heart now. I’ve looked for a project that speaks to me for years, and this is it.”