Photo Portfolio: Michael Mondville

Cape Cod Life  /  May 2021 /

Writer: Christina Galt / Photographer: Michael Mondville 

Back when film was still all the rage, a young Michael Mondville picked up his very first camera and immediately felt as if it was an extension of his body. “Back then I basically shot all black and white film. I took photographs for a long time, just for the joy of it,” Michael remembers. 

As Michael’s life evolved, so did technology, “After my wife and I met and got married, I got away from photography for quite a bit because everything started to turn digital. Everything was so expensive, only to produce a lousy quality photo,” he explains. 

In 2009, Michael’s life took an unexpected turn when his wife was diagnosed with cancer. “It was a tough time, I was her sole caregiver while also working full time,” he shares. “For eight years she went into Boston for chemotherapy treatments non-stop. Through it all, it just ruined her body, and I was so overwhelmed. I needed to find a release.” 

Full moon over Nobska Lighthouse
“Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” ~ Paul Brandt

Michael soon caved to the technological advancements of photography and bought himself a cheap digital camera, instantly finding himself flooded with nostalgia and the feeling of love he once held for the art of photography in his early years. With his camera in tow, Michael began venturing down to the Cape Cod Canal to take photographs, quickly running back home to share them with his wife, “It made me so happy to come home and show her my pictures. Right away she would ask ‘What’d you get? Did you get anything good?’” he lovingly remembers. “It was exactly what I needed and because of that cheap camera I was hooked again.” 

Sadly in 2018, Joanne Mondville lost her nine-year battle with cancer. Michael says, “If I didn’t have my photography, if I didn’t have that camera, I wouldn’t have made it through. Photography has given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing people, through Instagram and just being out shooting.” He shares, “When she first passed away, a couple of my friends on Instagram told me about some Bald Eagles that were close by so I decided I would go check them out. Through that experience, I met so many great photographers from the Cape and some of them had even gone through similar experiences. I ended up going up there every day and we would just talk; it was the most therapeutic thing for me.”

“Photography has opened up so much for me again,” says Michael who now shares his love of photography with his nephew Jamison. “I honestly can’t think of anything in life that I would rather do more.” 

In the next year, Michael plans to travel across the country to continuously improve his craft, capturing the overwhelming beauty of the world around him. 

To see more of Michael Mondville’s work visit his Instagram: @mondvi60

Christina Galt

Christina Galt is the Digital Editor at Cape Cod Life Publications. Born and raised on the Cape, Christina has always had a love for the ocean and everything "Cape Cod." She found herself the perfect home away from home at the University of Rhode Island and double majored in Sociology and Gender & Women’s Studies. After graduating, Christina came back to the Cape and started her journey at Cape Cod Life. She spends most of her free time with her family, especially her chocolate lab Sadie, and enjoys spending summers on her family’s boat.