This past fall I was invited to lead a photography workshop by PCC Farmland Trust. I was thrilled to be asked - partly because part of my mission is to encourage and equip others to share the stories of where our food starts. After some discussion about content for the workshop, we decided on "Photography on the Farm" as the title. We worked to encourage farmers, farming advocates and food writers alike to register for the workshop. But there was another reason I was excited -- we decided to host the workshop at Helsing Junction Farm - a farm owned by two women farmers, Sue and Annie. Helsing Junction sits on 100 acres somewhere at the mid-point between Seattle and Portland and has an astonishing 1,200 CSA Members in addition to their farmstand, restaurant and school district sales.
Because the audience would be farmers and farm lovers alike - I really wanted the workshop to be less a photography 101 and more about storytelling. I wanted to share the tips and tricks I have learned from photographing farms and farmers around the world. But more importantly why it is important to share the stories from the farm. Storytelling from the farm as a narrative can be used as a means of entertainment, education and cultural preservation. There are so many important messages that farmers need to share with the consumer, and using photography is a great medium for the many social media outlets to get the word out.
After working through mission and artistic statements and their role in storytelling, we tackled how to use photography as a storytelling medium. I shared lots of examples of my own work, gave a brief primer to some popular social media outlets like Facebook, twitter, and Instagram. And then the fun began - we did some hands on photography on the farm itself. Sue and Annie graciously agreed to serve as models - they harvested late season beets and showed off their amazing colors to the photographers.
The following photos are of the students as I walked the farm with them - they did some really great work and I was proud to see their photos that resulted. Take a peek!