Sally Poynter has served the community for 30-plus years as a medical secretary, and now her hobby is lighting up the walls of often-sober Butler County Coroner’s Office.
Poynter, a Badin grad and Hamilton native, became interested in photography 34 years ago with the help of the county’s first coroner’s investigator, Tom Marsh.
“He was an awesome death photographer, but he also took lots of other pictures that he framed and sold. He really inspired me,” she said.
Poynter said Marsh was her teacher back when cameras had film, and she learned to hone her hobby.
Over the years, vacations, pets, family, friends and nature have been the subject of her camera lens, but recently Poynter has been pointing her newer digital camera at scenes around Hamilton.
Those have included the High-Main bridge from interesting angles, the county Historic Courthouse, the Alexander Hamilton sculpture, Veterans Park and even a shot of the post office showing its ornate columns.
The office staff presented large versions of Poynter’s photos to County Coroner Dr. Lisa Mannix as a Christmas gift, and they hang on an office wall on the sixth floor of the Government Services Center.
The coroner’s office got a revamp, including new paint, flooring and some furnishings, last year. So the question was what to put on the walls.
After a setback when the office was flooded in October, final touches were recently added.
“Dr. Mannix had some prints of Cincinnati from her private office, but she thought the office needed to be about (Butler County). She asked me if we could hang my photographs throughout the office where others could see them,” Poynter said. “I was so honored by that.”
The colorful photographs are now sprinkled through the office from the entryway to the lobby.
“A lot of people really comment on Alexander Hamilton,” Poynter said.
She added she was likely not too popular the day it was taken because she repeatedly pressed the crosswalk button on High Street to get just the right shot.
Poynter said she learned early to wait for just the right shot and to take plenty of frames. She says she rarely uses her phone as a camera, noting she likes to be able to see every little detail in her works.
A large photo of her beloved late cat hangs in her office.
“I want to be able to see every hair,” she said with a smile pointing to the cat’s nose.