Manchester Native Enters Arts Commission Hall Of Fame

Lynn Damon, who has worked more than 30 years as a professional photographer, has another accomplishment to add to her collection of awards.

Damon, 53, was recently inducted into the Manchester Arts Commission Hall of Fame.

Damon, who lives in Glastonbury, where she also operates her business, was born and raised in Manchester. A graduate of Manchester High School, Damon became involved with photography at 16.

Her uncle, Malcolm Barlow, was then editor of the Manchester Herald. He would routinely give her assignments to take photographs at events and landmarks around town.

"I liked seeing my name in the paper," Damon said. "I was a quiet kid. It was fun, but I was nervous because I had to talk to people. But I enjoyed it."

Taken by the idea of photography, Damon decided to seek an education in the field. She took a summer class at Manchester Community College as a 16-year-old and later took classes at the Rhode Island School of Photography.

Damon said she loved being creative and developing her work and seeing the finished product.

"When I learned to do the processing of the film, I really enjoyed that technical part of it," Damon said. "When the print came up, I was pretty hooked, and I loved the whole process.

Damon got into business in 1982 when she was 22. Her first gig was a wedding, and business began to grow. She now mainly does portraits in her Glastonbury studio.

Hanging in the studio, which was constructed in a renovated garage on her property, are examples of Damon's work. She especially loves to photograph children.

"I like to capture the innocence of children by engaging the children in play," Damon said, describing her style as painterly. "I try to get people to have something unique and different."

Damon has dealt with some adversity in life. Her mother, Alyce, was a single mother of five and raised her family with little means. Her sister, Jane, has Down syndrome. Her daughter, Kate, survived a cancer diagnosis at age seven. Her granddaughter, Gianna, was diagnosed with autism last year. And her husband suffered a brain injury in a car crash when the two were living in Italy.

In honor of the people in her life who have had to overcome challenges, Damon often uses her professional skills for charity. She has taken part in fundraisers for organizations such as MARC. Inc., Connecticut Children's Medical Center and Autism Services and Resources of Connecticut.

She is currently fundraising for Protectors of Animals. A $50 donation to the organization gets a dog owner a portrait of their pet in her studio. For more information, visit her website, lynndamon.com.