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Photographer drawn to authentic fishing community in Galilee

February 13, 2014

n the winter of 2008 photographer Ann Little rented a cabin near Galilee. She shot a series of images using black and white film and compiled a recently released iBook entitled “Galilee” featuring 20 of those images, including this one of a trawler.

GALILEE – Professional photographer Ann Little recently published an iBook of photos taken during a winter stay in Galilee.

Little, who is based in Washington, D.C., works as a social documentary photographer from non-profits. She has been a photographer since high school, when she took photos for the yearbook.

“I’ve been shooting ever since it’s just where I found myself I’m just a photographer through and through,” she said.
Little has also long been fascinated with fishing communities, dating back to her childhood in Alabama.

“My family has always loved going to fishing communities and looking at shrimp boats and trawlers and that type of thing,” she said. “My first exposure to that sort of commercial fishing community was in Pensacola [Fla.] in the ‘70s I was just amazed then at the big drawbridges and magnificent shrimp boats and the aroma and the colors.”

Her interest hasn’t waned, and inspired her to look for a fishing community where she could spend time and take photos.

She ultimately chose the Galilee and Jerusalem area.

“I was really drawn to the area because I was really looking for sort of a place of authenticity with the elements that really speak to me, which is that so much of the area is so completely reflective of its community,” Little said. “The structures there are really built by the people as opposed to being something that’s built somewhere else and brought in. I think that’s what drew me, and plus the colors and textures of the area.”

Little rented a cottage on Gooseberry Road in East Matunuck in the winter of 2008 with the goal of improving as a photographer.

“I wanted a tiny place where I could go and really do a lot of artistic experimentation,” she said. “I wanted to breakthrough. I wanted to be a better photographer. I was looking for a little place where I wouldn’t have to spend all my time driving to and fro or taking a metro. I wanted to walk to the scene and go back to the cottage and develop [the film], see what was wrong, and go back and re-shoot it a different way, so I could breakthrough and get to be a better photographer.”

Little said her trip to Galilee did make her a better photographer.

“It helped me. I started to see things differently,” she said. “I sort of broke through the obvious design. It helped me to arrange elements in a different way, in a way I had not done before, moving around differently, shooting things from different angles I have never shot before.

It was very helpful; it will always be very helpful. My trip to Galilee was fundamental to my work.”

She said she enjoyed being in “a real fishing community.”

“I think it’s even more intense in Rhode Island [than Pensacola] and there’s such a difference between a commercial fishing community and some tourist places where you don’t see the fishing apparatus and the true structures that the fishermen use,” she said.

Little also appreciated the kindness of the local fishermen and community members.

“I just really appreciated that not many people are there during the winter and the few people that were out there were really kind to me,” she said. “I guess they’re accustomed to artists sort of hanging around. Some people can be sort of strange to have a stranger walk up and take pictures of their boat, but the people there were very accommodating and patient with me and I really appreciate that. The book wouldn’t have worked if they didn’t want me around. I couldn’t have done the book really.”

Little is working on a second iBook, which she is hoping to release in April. She plans to use the same series of 20 pictures in her first “Galilee” photo book and enlarge very small areas of the photographs, making them what she called “abstract.”

“I’ve never heard of anybody doing that so it will be a new thing,” she said. “When I started editing these pictures, I developed the film and scanned the negatives and maybe edited out dust spots. The main editing when I was in that process, it took months and I noticed when I enlarged the pictures and just looked at segments of them, they were really beautiful.”

Little’s second book will include between 20 and 25 images.

She’s glad the first book finally came together, and hopes to publish additional iBooks regularly; Little also hopes to return to Rhode Island in the near future.

“I plan to come back. Everything finally came together for it,” she said of publishing her first iBook. “I’m so glad because I didn’t want this series to be lost I do hope to come back to Rhode Island as soon as possible.”

Get the book
Ann Little’s iBook, “Galilee – Photographs of Galilee, Rhode Island” is available in the iTunes Store for $2.99 and is compatible with iBooks on iPad or Mac. Visit to download a copy. For more on Ann Little, visit


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