By Dakota Antelman, Marlborough/Hudson Editor
Marlborough – Tami White regularly flies a dinner-plate-sized drone named Ralph over landmarks, sunsets and lakes, taking brilliant photos along the way.
What began as a hobby for White, a Marlborough resident, is now quickly turning into a successful business showing neighbors a new perspective of their hometown.
“It’s just amazing,” White said in a recent interview. “…People get excited about it. So, I enjoy sharing my photos.”
Getting a drone
Photography has always been a favorite pastime of White’s. Roughly four years ago, though, she took an extra step when her then teenage son convinced her to buy him a Mavic Pro drone. Whimsically, he named the machine “Ralph.”
For all the fun, White’s son quickly lost interest, giving White the controls. An avid traveler, White started bringing her drone on trips around the country and the world.
“Everywhere I go, it comes with me,” she said.
There were several trips to Cape Cod where White shot images of her family playing in the windswept sand. There was a trip to Greece where White photographed boats drifting through the Aegean Sea. In Iceland, White buzzed over a piercing blue frozen waterfall.
“I got some phenomenal footage there,” White said of that last trip. “That was just over the top amazing.”
Photographing familiar sights
Even with those special jet-setting shots, White views her local work as some of her best.
She’s flown over area golf courses and restaurants, taking pictures for marketing gigs.
She’s shot regional destinations like Downtown Marlborough, Hudson’s Wood Square Rotary and the Fort Meadow Reservoir, posting all her photos on social media.
Likewise, each year, White compiles some of her best images into a calendar she sells to
benefit the Hudson and Marlborough food pantries around the holiday season.
“It’s a time when families that are in need are really in need,” she said of that effort. “That’s when the last thing you want is to be hungry.”
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Sharing a new perspective
Local reactions to this work have been overwhelmingly positive, White says.
As she particularly appreciates sunsets, she’ll regularly see her phone blow up with messages from supportive neighbors alerting her to sights she misses.
“They want pictures of their houses,” White jokes.
Her Facebook page shows some of those houses, recently dusted with snow, peaking between sparse tree canopies.
Winter photos from past years show intricate, naturally occurring, geometric patterns frozen into the Fort Meadow Reservoir.
Other shots, taken when the ice thaws, reveal the rocky lakebed visible through shallow water.
Still more photos, shot in the summer, show water skiers darting, jumping and sometimes somersaulting over boat wakes. From time to time, those skiers wave to White, piloting Ralph a hundred feet overhead.
With that aforementioned calendar raking in $1,000 for charity, this year, and with some fresh business opportunities in hand, White says she’s excited to continue taking photos both close to home and far away.
“I really love doing it,” she said.