MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) — A photographer is working on a special project to recognize the men who work and live in Monticello.

Nick Nichols said it will be a photo book called “Vision & Exploration, Volume II.”

In 2018, Nichols interviewed more than 50 veterans that lived in Monticello, took their formal portraits, wrote a story about them and published a book.

“This time, I decided to do something a little different,” said Nichols.

According to him, the book will include stories and portraits of “Men of Monticello”. The portraits will show the men in a place that reflects their interests such as their garage, barn, office or home. Objects that reflect the men’s characteristics and hobbies will also be included in the portraits. They can be musical instruments, automobiles, woodworking, artwork, crafts, sports or special collections.

“I love taking photographs and I usually do landscape photos, so I want to get more into portraits,” said Nichols. “And this is also a way to connect with my local neighbors.”

He finds it interesting to learn more about other people living in town, their life and what makes them happy.

So far, Nichols has done 15 portraits. He has 25 portraits that are scheduled to be taken in the next couple of weeks. 

All portraits in Nichols’ book will be shown in a black and white fine art style. Individuals who participate in this project will receive a copy of their portrait. There will be no charge for participating. However, there will be a $20 suggested “tip jar” to cover fuel, paper and ink expenses.

“I would like to have at least 50 or 75 portraits, if not more.”

When the project is done, it will be published in a softcover book and sold to the public.

Nichols stated, “If the project turns out to be successful, I would like to do a project on the women of Monticello next.”

“There are a lot of interests from the women of the community. They think they should be showcased as well and I totally agree with that. I am looking forward to working on that in my next project,” he added.

The project will go on for about four or five months.

Anyone interested in participating can email Nick Nichols at or text him at 252-320-6138.