When Yann Meersseman told his friends in Boston that he was delivering newspapers on Martha’s Vineyard, a few of them thought maybe he had lost his mind. He had enjoyed a successful career in the computer software business for many years and his colleagues just couldn’t grasp Yann’s decision. So he invited them to the Island to visit.

“I had been vice president of a company and now I am delivering newspapers and taking pictures,” Mr. Meersseman said, as if he still didn’t quite believe his life’s journey himself.

Exhibit at West Tisbury library features a photo for every day of the year. — Alison L. Mead

Delivering newspapers to Island stores, gas stations and hotels means the couple must wake up at 3:45 a.m. every day, on Sunday they have to get up by 2:30 a.m. The job is seven days a week, unless a storm cancels the Patriot’s arrival in Oak Bluffs, and once a year they get away for a week or so when they visit Yann’s mother in southern France.

They have been at the job for four years now, and all the early mornings have given the couple new insight.

“I realize I didn’t look before. Now I really pay attention to so many things I didn’t see before,” Yann explained.

Taking photographs began innocently enough when Yann’s corporate friends came to visit. As Yann and his wife Moira, an architect, took their friends around to show them the sights, they found themselves saying again and again, “Oh, you should see the sunrise here.”

Their friends suggested they take pictures and email them so that they could see the Island at morning’s first light too. Initially, they sent out an email with a Vineyard photograph they had taken that day to eight or nine friends. Those eight or nine friends shared them with others and now, four years later, the couple sends daily emails of Vineyard photos to approximately 1,200 inboxes. And not only do they send photos of exquisite sunrises, they also capture the essence of the Island’s seasons through photos of birds, sand and surf, sailboats and fishing boats, icy window panes and fence rails. You won’t find many people in their photos, Yann said, there aren’t many out and about at 4 a.m.

Snapping pictures became part of their morning routine and before long, Yann was using his background in computer technology to develop the couple’s website, vineyardcolors.com. They also have a Facebook page where they regularly post their photos. What began as two amateur photographers taking pictures every morning on their paper routes has grown to something larger than either of them could have imagined.

"The light you want is a half hour before sunrise," said Yann Meersseman. — Alison L. Mead

“We never really had a plan,” Moira said. “We never really thought we were that good.” She admits, though, that the first photos they took in mid September in 2010 are not as stellar as those they take now. “Yes, those were pretty horrible,” Moira laughs. She had a point-and-shoot camera and her husband had a pocket camera. Now they both have the same cameras, much better quality than the early days.

Yann delivers to Vineyard Haven and up-Island and Moira covers Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. To see the couples’ photographs, you would think the same person was taking every picture.

“We have the same eye for the most part,” Moira said.

Last week they each took a photo of a spectacular sunrise on the same day, eight minutes apart. Moira’s was from the Little Bridge, and Yann’s was at Seth’s Pond. The day’s pictures depend much on timing and the schedule of that morning.

They meet back up at home for breakfast at around 8 a.m., Moira said. Then Yann gets to work downloading the day’s photos. Together they choose a few of the best shots to send and to post that day.

Those daily emails of Vineyard photos have led to opportunities and new friendships, and so has the newspaper deliveries. It was one of the store owners on the paper route who suggested they make note cards to sell. Now, many of the stores on their route carry them. Two years ago someone suggested they make a calendar. Their 2015 calendar will be ready in mid October.

Beyond a website and Facebook page, Vineyard Colors is branching out to note cards and a calendar. — Alison L. Mead

The couple hasn’t owned a television in a decade and they regularly listen to the radio. They heard Vineyard poet Dan Waters on NPR and contacted him about writing the captions to go with their photos in the Vineyard Colors calendar. He suggested an exhibit of their photos, one for every day of the year. The tricky part was finding a venue that could accommodate so many photographs. The photos are now on display through the end of September at the West Tisbury library.

“We didn’t want to make them any smaller than ten and a half by seven,” Yann said. “There really are 365 of them — you need a pretty big venue.”

Besides their current exhibit, they are going to give a presentation about their work on the Cape in November, and Moira is busy framing prints for sale on their website, and for display at Island Images gallery in Oak Bluffs. Vineyard Colors is a sponsor of this year’s Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, donating a metal print of one of their photographs and providing the cover art for this year’s booklet.

One of best outcomes from Vineyard Colors, Yann explained, is that the website and emails allow visitors and summer residents to see the Island all year round, in all its beauty captured at a time of day when it is quiet and still.

“The light you want is a half hour before sunrise,” Yann says. “That little slice of time is the most beautiful part of the day.”