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Kerry Gauthier: Capturing the Great (Lake) Spirit

Photographer Kerry Gauthier says he feels a spiritual connection to Lake Superior and the surrounding environment. He recently began to include people interacting with nature to his photographs. He took this photo at Agate Bay in Two Harbors. 1 / 2
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There’s a new kid on the North Shore photography scene and his work has already begun to attract attention. Specializing in images of the Big Lake’s moods and the beauty that surrounds her, Kerry Gauthier recently established Silver Creek Photography and developed a website to display his work.

Gauthier, who lives in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood with a trio of canine companions, originally became interested in photography in the 80s. He bought a 35mm Minolta and started taking pictures.

“I have to say I wasn’t very good at it, but as time went on I got better,” he recalled. At the time, a co-worker was taking a photography class and began to share what she’d been learning. The two went on a couple of shoots together and “after that I just practiced a lot and I was fortunate enough that a few people actually asked to buy some of my work.” The hobby eventually fell by the way, however, and Gauthier said that his camera sat unused for two decades. His interest was rekindled just last year when another friend invited him to tag along with her on a photo shoot.

“I was hooked once again,” he said. “I spent about four months going out several times a week to photograph and learn how to use my new (digital) high tech camera. I would share my photographs on Facebook and as time went on people started to comment how much I improved.” Last December he used social media to invite people to see and purchase his work.

“I had a great turn out and made several sales,” he said.

Although many photographers are inspired by the region, Gauthier said that his reason for focusing on the North Shore has to do with a special connection he feels to Lake Superior and the natural environment.

“…It is home for me,” he said, “Lake Superior has always drawn me to her. For me, the Big Water is so spiritual and really speaks to me. There is a spiritual element that is only present in Lake Superior and the land around her.”

Gauthier spoke to the Lake County News-Chronicle Wednesday afternoon and said he planned to spend that evening by the Big Lake at sunset, but he has spent time photographing her at all hours of the day.

“The most amazing thing is that every day the lake and the land are different,” he said. “You begin to pick up on the subtle and not so subtle changes that occur daily.” In addition to sharing her beautiful moments through his images, Gauthier said that he wants to communicate an important message.

“I also hope my work lets people know how special this region is and that we need to protect it,” he said. “The one thing I wish to convey to people is that we are connected to Mother Earth and we must understand we need to honor her and protect her.” Citing the values and practices of the regions indigenous people and those who have come to recognize that humans and their environment are inextricably tied together Gauthier added, “I hope that when people see my work they will take a moment and understand, this is where I live, It is special, I am connected to it, It is worth fighting for and preserving.”

To see more of Gauthier’s North Shore photography, visit or ‘like’ his Facebook page, Silver Creek Photography. He is currently working on a photography project with colleague and friend, Amy Peterson, called “We’re Everywhere,” which will focus on inclusivity and acceptance in our communities. Read the Lake County News-Chronicle for more information about where and when the project will be exhibited.