Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Nick LaVecchia. Youngest of seven. Sagittarius. Lover of whales. Photographer with a fascination for the sea and all its moods. I grew up skateboarding and snowboarding the ditches and back hills of New Jersey. Snowboarding led to the mountains of Vermont. Surfing took over and that led to the coast of Maine.
How did you first get into photography—specifically surf photography up in New England?
Traveling in my late-teens and early-20s got me hooked on documenting life and all those beautiful environments we see daily. An open-ocean sailing trip from New England to the Caribbean, and trips to Africa and Tierra Del Fuego solidified my passion for capturing moments and exploring new places. I used to drive from Vermont to the coast of Maine for day trips anytime the swell was 3 feet or more. I would always shoot a roll of film before and after my session. Develop, scan, edit, and submit away. That was around 1998.
What is your favorite part about the area you live in?
The seasons and the ever-changing environment.
What’s the best time of year up there?
For me, winter. For the rest, maybe summer and fall. Winter offers so much visually. The weather is usually a bit more extreme. The color palette can range from moody greens, grays and deep blues to the most pleasing gray scales you can imagine. A fresh blanket of snow adds a clean slate to that everyday ordinary scene.
What are your favorite parts of your home?
I am a sucker for fine lines. The vertical cedar reverse board and batten is a love of mine. Next would be the view we fall asleep to and wake to from our bedroom. Having spent two years researching the tech side and benefits of passive solar design, I can happily say the house is performing like we had dreamed. It’s extremely energy efficient. Living smaller and simpler is no doubt the most liberating thing you can do. Free up more time to live.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges that photographers face in the fast-paced digital and social age we live in today?
I used to think the overabundance of cameras and photographers in today’s world, but now I think it’s helping weed out the everyday snap shooters from the true working artists. One thing I’ve noticed among younger photographers is the need to "keep up" with everyone on social media. This is no doubt compromising the work of some. Social media is a tool and can be used to your advantage, but it shouldn’t completely dictate the work you are producing. I think it’s making it harder for new photographers to really fine-tune their craft.
Any words of wisdom or sage advice?
Make time for your passions. If you’re lucky you’ll be living off them before you know it. Step out past your comfort zone and give yourself an honest chance at whatever you do.
This article was originally published on Indoek as part of the Surf Shacks series, featuring the homes of creative surfers from coast to coast and overseas. See the full interview and photo gallery here.
Get the Dwell Newsletter
Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.