NSMW nominee: The Samsons

Aethne Hinchliffe
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When there’s a musical event, Pam and Alan Samson are often there, multiple cameras and lenses in tow.
Pam and Alan have been nominated for the Music Nova Scotia Award, Volunteer of the Year. 

Pam Samson and her husband Alan Samson work together as volunteer photographers. They’ve each been nominated Volunteer of the Year for a Nova Scotia Music Award.

“Because we take pictures and give them away,” says Pam about why she and her husband were nominated.

The Samsons have been taking photos at events for more than 10 years, says Pam.

Pam says she and Alan are pleased about the nomination but adds neither expects to win. They won a couple of years ago, and Pam accepted the award for her and Alan because it’s a team effort.

Before digital photography, Pam and Alan would take photos with their 35-millimeter cameras.

“When digital photography came on strong, we picked up one of the very nicest ones at that time that was within our price range,” she says.

One year, Troy Greencorn, a friend of the Samsons, asked them for some of the photos they took at the Stan Rogers Folk Festival. They formed a hotshots team with a number of other people.

“It just snowballed from there,” says Pam, and now she and Alan go to a lot of festivals and shows.

Throughout the year, the Samsons will go to about a dozen shows.

In addition to enjoying photography, the Samsons also love music and have hosted many house concerts.

“Alan’s not very good at singing or playing, but he can dance,” says Pam, chuckling.

Growing up, Pam and Alan were exposed to a lot of music. Pam grew up on Cape Sable Island and Alan on Isle Madame. When she was 40, Pam learned to play the fiddle and has encouraged her children to play music.

Part of what Pam loves about going to events to take photos is meeting people with skills beyond her imagination.

“I love meeting people who can use their brains,” says Pam. “I love meeting people who not necessarily want to talk about themselves all the time but are willing to share what they’re passionate about.”

Though Pam and Alan work as a team, their styles are pretty different. Pam says she likes to be in the “right place at the right time,” while Alan likes to be meticulous about the way he frames his shots.

Geographic location: Cape Sable Island, Isle Madame

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