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Houlton photographer creates annual calendar based on County images

HOULTON, Maine — A self-taught local photographer whose images have captivated viewers both online and in print is once again publishing a calendar of his favorite pictures of the year.

Christopher Mills, a Houlton resident and the owner of Christopher A. Mills Photography, has once again followed weather reports to chase full moons and star patterns across the state, ventured to different parts of the state to snap scenic landscapes, and climbed onto the highest rooftops in town to capture the fireworks during the town’s Midnight Madness fete.

“I really worked hard to get a cross-section of shots so that there would be something to appeal to everyone,” he said Thursday afternoon. “I also wanted to get the calendar out a bit earlier this year. I thought I could capture a larger audience.”

Mills’ images have been printed in magazines in Maine and across the nation, as well as featured on websites. He got into photography right after the birth of his daughter eight years ago, when his love for taking her baby pictures pushed him to learn more about the craft. He started slowly, initially turning to Google instructions and YouTube videos and then started snapping pictures of sunrises and sunsets.

The cover for this year’s calendar, he said, was a relatively easy choice.

“I chose a photo I took of this tree in Bridgewater that I think that everyone knows about,” he said. “It is a big old maple tree that sits alone in a field all by itself. This year, they planted potatoes all around it, and I was able to get out there  and capture a beautiful sunset and sky behind it. It came out really nice.”

Surrounded by the green and white potato blossoms with the pink, purple and yellow streaked sky above, it appears as if the tree has suddenly been dropped into the snapshot.

Other pictures include the fireworks display at the town’s Midnight Madness celebration, several shots of area potato barns and a railroad scene from Oakfield.

His Facebook page, which he updates regularly with both photographs and details of where and under what circumstances the images were taken, has a massive following. 

“The Facebook page is just crazy,” he said. “It grows more each day, and I am really thrilled about all of the support that everyone has given me.”

At the end of August, he posted a photo of a field of sunflowers that had been planted on U.S. Route 1 in Monticello by Corey Farms. 

“It got a massive amount of attention in just a short amount of time,” he said. “Anything related to Houlton or the potato industry, especially old barns and things, does well. I think it reminds people of the places they used to hang out, a warm memory of the past. I love it.”

The 2020 calendar is now available at Country North Gifts and The County Co-Op and Farm Store both in Houlton, and online though his website.  

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