CAMERA looks into the crowd – Image (c) Rob Ackerman, 2019 all rights reserved – Click to view a larger image

By Julie McCay Turner

Jeff JHO Hoyland – Image (c) Michael Nosal, 2019 all rights reserved – Click to view a larger image

More than 200 parents, coaches, colleagues, and Bedford students streamed onto Sabourin Field on Saturday afternoon to celebrate National Camera Day and honor Bedford photographer Jeff JHO Hoyland. If you’ve ever read any of the sports stories in The Bedford Citizen, you’ve seen Jeff’s work, or perhaps you watch Bedford Snapshots on Facebook where everything is collected in albums by topic and by season.

The buzz began on Facebook Messenger a week ago when Raelene Houck tagged dozens of likely prospects early on Sunday morning, inviting everyone to celebrate Jeff JHO Hoyland with a surprise gathering on the occasion of National Camera Day, June 29. Mr. Hoyland, as he is known to thousands of Bedford’s student-athletes, thespians, musicians, and kids-at-large often refers to himself as “CAMERA” and has a polo shirt with the moniker on its back.

Dueling cameras – Jeff JHO Hoyland (l) and Bedford TV’s student volunteer Healy (r) – Image (c) JMcCT, 2019 all rights reserved

Ms. Houck and her informal committee secured permission to celebrate on Sabourin Field, then asked everyone to print their favorite CAMERA photo, and affix it to a poster to wave when Mr. Hoyland arrived. The secret was kept, and Richard Krusemark delivered him to the field in a classic red Pontiac GTO convertible.

When Mr. Hoyland arrived, the crowd lined the track, waving posters of their favorite Bedford Snapshots images. There were cheers and emotional tears as Jeff made his way along the track. Lauded by coaches, colleagues, moms, and the students he has immortalized, Mr. Hoyland was visibly moved, and later said on Facebook, “Life is an adventure or nothing at all.”

Daisy Girafalco summed up Mr. Hoyland’s contribution to the community on Facebook: “This selfless, inspirational and kind man in our town who lives with his family and his camera (not in that order). He devotes his time to our community, taking the most gorgeous pictures of our children at any event he can get to and nearly all community events. He has beaten cancer twice and tirelessly continues to give, and to spread joy. He is a local celebrity, and today many people came out to honor Jeff and his talented camera on National Camera Day.”

Jessica Boyes added, “Thank you. For the photos. For building character. For supporting our athletes on and off the ice/fields.”

And Laryssa Calhoun pointed out that she never knew who Jeff Hoyland was until last year. “We were at a town meeting on public transportation in Bedford when I realized that he was the Jeff Hoyland who had taken the magnificent photo of my son,” and she was impressed by the number of Bedord residents of all ages who showed up on a very humid, rainy day to thank him.  “There was no RSVP. This was a grass roots open invite and I’d guess that a couple of hundred people came. Not to mention all the people who wanted to be there but had left for their July 4th travel!

“On a separate note,” Calhoun added, “did you notice that not one person was ever on their phone texting? Had I known that Jeff was the way to get my kids off their cell phone, I would have been having him over my house every week!”

In addition to the images shared in this story, several of Bedford’s best paparazzi have graciously shared their albums from the day. Click each name to see their work.

Thank you, Mr. Hoyland, you have enriched our community!

Images in the gallery below are (c) Rob Ackerman and (c) Shannon Dillon, Creative Images Boston – Click each to see a larger photograph

Images in the gallery below are both (c) Rob Ackerman, 2019 all rights reserved – Double click each to see it at full size

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