In each of our newsletters, we’ll be featuring short profiles of GNPA members from across the state. This month, it’s Bill and Deborah Hatherley (and their dog Butterscotch) from the Alpharetta Chapter, one of our Family Memberships.

When did you join GNPA?

October 2016.

What’s your occupation?  

Deborah and Bill are both retired after working 40 years. Deborah spent her career as a school psychologist and Bill worked in computer security.

How did you get into photography?

Bill started in photography 50 years ago with a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic. In 1984, his apartment burned down and he lost all of his photography equipment, prints and negatives. After this dramatic loss, he left the hobby for 25 years. In 2010, when Deborah and Bill began traveling on cruises, Bill’s interest in photography was rekindled and he purchased a full-frame camera with all the “necessary” lenses. He later moved from his Olympus system to Canon, and has recently adopted a full-frame Sony outfit. 

Deborah takes a few photos and videos with her iPhone but her real artistic passion is painting. She joins Bill on GNPA trips and while he takes photos, she paints. One of her most intriguing accomplishments was decorating a walking stick with painted scenes from all the sites she saw while on a GNPA trip in Florida, led by Tom Simpson.

What are your favorite photography subjects? 

Bill shoots mainly landscapes and birding scenes, but his favorite subject is his service dog Butterscotch.  

butterscotch pic

What are your favorite places to shoot? 

Bill and Deb both love attending GNPA trips. The more memorable ventures involved traveling with Tom Simpson to Florida and Larry Winslett to Tennessee and North Georgia, as well as a learning session conducted by Eric Bowles at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.

What would be your photographic “dream trip”?

“We would love to travel with Larry to Bosque Del Apache or with others to the Triple D Ranch and the Tetons, especially in winter,” according to Bill. 

Bill’s photo “Dad Supporting Junior On First Flight” was recently selected to be displayed for a year at the Emory University Hospital Downtown, as part of an Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) exhibition.


Which camera and lenses do you use most often?

“For birding and wildlife, I tend to use the Sony 100-400 or the 200-600. They are great lenses. For landscapes, I lean on the 16-35. It is so sharp and awesome.”

“Bigger Than Life Shadow” is another image by Bill that is on display at the Emory University Hospital Downtown exhibition.


What are your go-to websites for photography information? 

“At this point, we are so limited by the Covid-19 virus situation, I’ve got to give a big shoutout to all the GNPA chapters. They are continuing to foster interest in photography by providing Zoom classes with excellent instructors. Both of us attend sessions from all over the state. We recently enjoyed an excellent presentation on the Montana Photo Triangle from the Hamilton Chapter. By the way, these Zoom sessions are posted in the Members section of the GNPA website. A big thank-you goes to Lee Friedman of my chapter, who has been instrumental in facilitating these sessions and posting them online for all GNPA members.”

Have any photographers inspired you?

“David Akoubian, Tom Simpson, Tom Wilson, Eric Bowles and Larry Winslett of GNPA are winners and inspirational. They have shown a strong commitment to facilitate learning and support the GNPA endeavor. We should also add that local photographers Kevin Gaskin, Jeff Milsteen, David Wolf and Amanda Gardner (of ASOP) have also been instrumental in our learning. On a national level, we follow Tony and Chelsea Northrup, Mark Smith, Scott Kelby, Mark Galer, Nick Page, Terry White and Laura Shoe, not so much for their photography but for their commitment and excellence in education.”

What’s your favorite part of belonging to GNPA?

“By far, it’s the sharing and learning. I am constantly searching for ways to improve my photography.  GNPA is so welcoming and inspirational. Before Covid-19, I regularly attended local meetings at Alpharetta and Roswell but have also traveled to Gwinnett and Smyrna and always been welcome. It’s a great organization.”

Something about you most people don’t know:

 “Deb and I help teach (not train – talk to me about the difference) service dogs for Canine Assistants. We love helping canines grow and develop and get placed with people who need service dogs to help them function in this world. Dogs we work with change the lives of people with disabilities, and it’s so heartwarming to be a part of this important service.” One other piece of trivia: Bill has set foot in all 50 states, an experience he now treasures.



Butterscotch. Photo by David Akoubian.


Where are you from?

Deborah is a native Atlantan. Bill was born in Florida but only lived there six months. After that, he traveled with his family to many military bases before finally settling in Atlanta.