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Coast 25: Scenes from a time

Our first contributing photographer remembers Halifax before the smartphone.


Pizza Corner take-out - HANNAH THOMSON
  • Hannah Thomson
  • Pizza Corner take-out

My first assignment for The Coast was in 1995. I had recently graduated from university and was feeling totally lost about what to do with my life career-wise—and it was after my first assignment for The Coast that the stars aligned and I realized I wanted to be a photographer.

Pizza Corner drive-thru - HANNAH THOMSON
  • Hannah Thomson
  • Pizza Corner drive-thru

From 1995, I was a Coast contributing photographer until 1999. Over those years I shot dozens of cover assignments: Activists, writers, musicians, actors, politicians, restaurants. I loved working for The Coast (and cherish these memories/experiences), and it is with a tender heart when I look back on all of the work that I shot for them—and how my life evolved as a result of that first assignment.

Breezy ferry night - HANNAH THOMSON
  • Hannah Thomson
  • Breezy ferry night

Back then I was shooting film, and when I look at this photograph that I took on the ferry (August 1998) on a warm breezy evening, it takes me back to a very special time in my life. It was busy on the ferry and everyone was heading downtown. Enjoying the moment in silence, the beautiful view, the breeze. (And it was pre-smartphone!) How times have changed. xo

Hannah Thomson left Halifax for New York City, where she continues to work as a photographer. See some of her more recent portraits at

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