Daryl Hawk '79 is capturing humanity through photographs
It started with a gift – a Polaroid camera – when Daryl Hawk ’79 was 12.
As he held the prints in his hand and watched the colors emerge, Hawk realized he could preserve time.
He was hooked.
Today his photography business in Wilton, Conn., pays the bills and supports his family. He gets rave reviews for his wedding work, and his business clients include General Electric Co., IBM, the Travel Channel and Apple.
But Hawk’s real passion is adventure. He travels to some of the world’s most remote places to document landscapes and ways of life that are quickly disappearing.
Hawk doesn’t just take photos. When he comes home, he is an ambassador. He thrives on sharing his images and talking with others about what he has seen and the people he has met.
“As a human race, we are all the same,” Hawk says. “You have to get out in the world to understand that.”
This spring, Hawk became one of the first Westerners to traverse Ladakh in the high passes of the Himalayas. During his 4,200-mile trek, Hawk photographed ancient cave paintings, spent a day with nomads on the Tibetan plateau, followed the trail of the snow leopard and visited several monasteries. Hawk is now putting together a presentation on his journey and working with a producer on a film about his travels.
Hawk says his adventurous spirit comes from his parents and grandparents, all world travelers. “I was born with an explorer’s gene. It’s in my DNA.”
His passion for photography also came from his grandfather, an avid shutterbug. Hawk said his style hasn’t changed much since his days at Connecticut College, when he took a photography course taught by Art Professor Ted Hendrickson. He was an English major, but wanted to follow his heart.
“I was not thinking about making a career in photography, but Ted made me realize how much I loved it,” he says. “I remember going to the Arboretum several times a week to take abstract nature photographs. He really challenged us to think outside of the box, look at life up close, and explore the nuances of light and color.”
He’s now planning his next adventure: an expedition to Yunnan, China, home to many ethnic tribes.