Shorey was an observer, of his own life and especially of the lives and landscape around him. Many of his earliest images are of himself, his friends, his family, and his immediate surroundings. His earliest experiments in photography were simple attempts to use photography – a technology new in its personal and commercial possibilities – to put into two dimensions the people, places, and events that filled the Androscoggin Valley.
Quite happily, the individuals, the happenings, the scenes which Shorey enjoyed, in some cases more than a century ago, can be sampled by us today. As with many pictures from the past, documentation of the images is spotty at best. Regrettably there are so many faces we cannot associate with a name, or events we cannot place in their historical contexts. Fortunately, the landscape has not changed so much that we can not recognize a hillside or a mountain view, and we can compare the prospects which impressed Shorey with similar views which we enjoy today.