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In our alumni spotlight series, learn about our graduates and how GNB Voc-Tech impacted their professional and personal lives.  What did our alumni do directly after high school, what are they currently doing, and what skills did they gain here that shaped who they are today?
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GNB Voc-Tech Artisan Spotlight ...

Colton Simmons

alumni colton simmons portrait picture

Information Technology:

Programming & Web Development

class of 2007

alumni colton simmons wedding photography work of a young couple dancing their first dance and the husband dipping the wife

Colton Simmons


Colton Simmons Photography


I am an artisan, as everything I do in my business is about creating high-quality images for couples to remember their wedding days for generations. As I started my interest with photography at Voc-Tech, the seeds were planted then and have blossomed into my career.

alumni colton simmons wedding photography work of a married couple walking with their wedding party

Colton's Story

Q: Why did you choose Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech as your high school?

A: I wanted to go to GNB Voc-Tech to gain a skill while in high school that could help me gain employment straight out of high school. Growing up in a lower-income home, I was very cognizant at an early age that I wanted to change that cycle in my family and knew I needed skills to do so.

Q: Describe your overall GNB Voc-Tech Experience.  (Did you participate in any extracurricular activities or go on a placement/​co-op while in school?)

A: I remember seeing the possibilities of my abilities due to the opportunities that a vocational school offers. SkillsUSA was a huge part of my time at GNB Voc-Tech during my junior and senior years. In my junior year, I placed 2nd in states and that achievement really pushed me to dig into my education going into my senior year. This resulted in doing well with my SATs and getting great scholarships going into college.

I was involved with SkillsUSA and the National Honor society during the second half of my time at GNB Voc-Tech. My senior year I was the President of the National Honor Society and Vice-President of SkillsUSA.

Q: How did GNB Voc-Tech have impact on your life?

A: GNB Voc-Tech was an amazing school to attend as a teenager. I lost my father at 16, and that dark time in my life almost derailed me from my goals of gaining skills for employment after high school. The staff and classmates really came alongside me and helped me through those moments, pushed me to graduate in the top of my class, and having accomplished all that I did while attending.

Colton's Advice

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To Future Bears

Take in all that you can from your experience at GNB Voc-Tech. There are so many talented teachers in both your academics and vocation, so lean into what you can learn from them.

To Current Students

Life may or may not look like what you had expected it before attending. Maybe you haven’t been placed in the shop you were hoping for. Regardless of where you are, use the experience you have and will face during your time at GNB Voc-Tech to help equip you in your life after.

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To Graduates

The possibilities of what you can do for a living are so expansive, and are continuing to expand by the day. Figure out what you want to make of your life and use the building blocks you attained at GNB Voc-Tech, and mold them into exactly what you hope to do.

alumni colton simmons wedding photography work of a young couple in love husband kissing the wife portait picture

Follow / Connect


I am currently in the process of adding a photo booth as an offering to my photography business, as well as a videography team.

alumni colton simmons wedding photography work with bride showing off her ring
Q: What did you first do after graduation?

A: After graduation, I went to school at UMass Dartmouth to study in their Computer Science program. After only a year and a half in the program, I realized I didn’t want to pursue IT anymore and decided to take a few years off from college to figure out what I really wanted to do.

Q: What has your career path been like?

A: My career path has been an interesting one. I worked in the IT field for a bit in my 20’s while I went back to school for graphic and web design. Upon graduating, I had a few jobs designing while pursuing my true passion, photography. I ended up gaining a role doing product photography for Franklin Sports and that was the final position I had for a company before leaving to pursue my wedding photography business full-time.

Q: Tell us about your current job position and list some of the skills you need in your trade.

A: My current position is the head photographer of Colton Simmons Photography, where I photograph weddings across the country and the world. On a day to day I am working on marketing strategies, having sales calls with potential clients, as well as working with current clients in preparing for their weddings. During peak wedding season I spend my weekends photographing weddings, and the other days editing the galleries for the clients. My experience in the IT shop has helped me manage my own websites and gave me foundational experience using the Adobe Suite. I also got experience with photography, working on capturing photos for the school website.