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Michele has been the photo editor of the Portland Press Herald for five years. Previously she was a photographer for the Boston Globe, The Virginian-Pilot, and the Concord Monitor. She began her journalism career as a reporter/photographer for the Daily Eagle, in Claremont, NH. Michele’s first camera was a Kodak Brownie Starflash camera, which she got when she was 9. She used it to take unusual family photos, like one of her youngest sister Megan refusing to move from the neighbor’s driveway. (Megan McDonald is the author of the Judy Moody and Stink series, well-known books for children). Michele still has the camera. It has a roll of undeveloped film in it, which she’ll get around to developing someday. A college dropout (from Bensalem, an experimental college that no longer exists), Michele later won a mid-career Nieman fellowship to Harvard. She was a finalist for a feature photography Pulitzer Prize for her photos of a young woman choosing to die in hospice care. She was a juror for the Pulitzer prizes in photography in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

  • Published
    December 22, 2022

    In photos: Lovely, dark and deep

    As November and December days led to the solstice, the darkest evening of the year, Press Herald photographers borrowed from Robert Frost’s famous poem, ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,’ to find beauty in the dark and deep.

  • Published
    November 1, 2022

    In photos: Lovable characters prowl South Portland neighborhood on Halloween

    For the third year, pirates and princesses, dinosaurs and unicorns, witches and werewolves paraded through a few South Portland streets between Broadway and Highland, across from Mill Village. In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, Megan Honeycomb-McDonald and Elliott Pitts wanted kids in their neighborhood to have a Halloween. They chose an outdoor Halloween parade that would give everyone a chance to see each other, while keeping a safe distance. It was informal, and fun and continues in a world that has since opened up. Meet a few of the kids, big and small, from the neighborhood. They stopped by for a photo, in a pop-up studio in my driveway. Photos by Press Herald Photo Editor Michele McDonald

  • Published
    October 19, 2022

    Photos: Maine shows off in the fall

    Our state, looking glorious in the colors of autumn.

  • Published
    June 25, 2022

    In photos: Two families, one farm for three generations

    In Cape Elizabeth, the Maxwells have been farming the land for nine generations. The Rodriguezes have joined them for the last three.

  • Published
    June 15, 2022

    In photos: Row, row, row your (cardboard) boat

    In the final days of the school year, Casco Bay High School student teams were given the same amount of cardboard and duct tape to design and build their own boat. On Tuesday, the final day of school for ninth, 10th and 11th graders, the school held cardboard boat races at Willard Beach in South Portland. All photos by Staff Photographer Ben McCanna.

  • Published
    March 28, 2022

    In photos: Sweet spring sugaring, a celebration of Maine Maple Weekend

    Maine Maple Sunday is always the fourth Sunday of March, and this is the 39th year of the annual event, which features open sugarhouses throughout the state, farm tours, pancake breakfasts and sales of all kinds of maple products. This year was fully open, after a canceled year in 2020 because of the pandemic, and a modified event in 2021. Maine Maple Sunday is more than just a sales event, though. It’s a harbinger of sweet, sweet spring, after a long, cold winter.

  • Published
    February 7, 2022

    In photos: Scenes of a frozen Maine

    Portraits of winter in Maine by the Press Herald’s photographers

  • Published
    December 25, 2021

    2021 Photos of the Year: Photographers’ Choice

    2021 was a roller coaster ride. It started with mobs attacking the Capitol to try to overturn the presidential election and is ending with a new surge of the coronavirus. There was enough bad news – fires, floods, disasters of every natural and manmade kind – to make you want to bury your head under the covers and stay there. But there was also the miracle of vaccines – by the end of June, hardly any vaccinated people were dying of COVID-19. We gained a new appreciation of the simple but deep pleasures of meeting with family and friends, going to a country fair or a high school baseball game, looking for beauty in the flight of an owl or a solar eclipse at dawn. For our 2021 Photos of the Year collection, Portland Press Herald photographers voted on one another’s photos, then selected their own favorites from the top vote-getters. We hope you enjoy looking at them as much as we enjoyed taking them.

  • Published
    December 25, 2021

    2021 Photos Of the Year: A Pandemic Story

    The wide availability of vaccines was supposed to get COVID-19 under control in 2021. Instead, the pandemic has worsened. With high levels of transmission and the arrival of the omicron variant, the winter months look bleak. But Mainers are resilient and resourceful. Children are in school, live entertainment has returned, and restaurants and other businesses survived – and in some cases thrived. Wearing masks has become commonplace, as has caring for our neighbors. Take a look back at the pandemic in Maine in 2021 through the eyes of Portland Press Herald photographers.

  • Published
    December 20, 2021

    In photos: The hunt for the perfect Christmas tree

    The storybook vision of Christmas includes a crackling fire, snow falling outside and a brightly decorated Christmas tree. There’s a growing demand for real Christmas trees, according to market research firm Mordor Intelligence, which found that millennial households are looking for real trees as biodegradable and recyclable options. For those in the real tree camp, it’s not just about having a tree. It’s about the process of picking one that tradition and nostalgia demands. Press Herald photographers went looking for the real thing.