What is Farm Photography? Why farm photography? What is the point?
These are questions I’m asked and that run through my head quite often. Today, I hope to do my best to answer.
I grew up on a small dairy farm in north central Wisconsin. My family still produces milk with our small herd of Holsteins, Brown Swiss and a few Guernsey mixes. I know everything about caring for cattle, how to start up a John Deere 3150 and what speed to go when I’m chopping hay.
I know that colostrum is essential for new baby calves to drink so they become healthy and strong. I know how to clip the hair on a heifer to make her look her best.
I have been taking photos since I was a small child. I took photos to show at the Lincoln County Fair each summer along with my cows. I bought my first digital camera when I was a sophomore in college. It was blue and I had it with me all the time.
Today, I am not taking over the family farm. (This is a whole separate blog post.) I work in the world of marketing. I’m a writer first and foremost, but I’m also a photographer.
Just a year ago, I bought my Nikon D610 DSLR camera and decided I wanted to take photos for more than fun. But for connection and education. It seemed so simple, especially because I knew what I wanted to photograph. Farms. Cows. Hay. Farmers. Equipment. All things country.
Now, I took the last year to learn learn learn. I know my camera, I have new lenses, I watched countless videos and tutorials about photography. I have big goals and it all has to do with telling farm stories.
Now, back to why farm photography?
Well, agriculture is what I know best in the world. Agriculture is also one of the most misunderstood industries. My generation is far removed from their farming roots, so they don’t know or understand or take the time to learn about it.
Misconceptions, lies, propaganda and the like spread like wildfire about agriculture because farmers now have to add “Tell my farm story” to their never-ending list of things to do.
I’m here to tell stories, with words and photos. I know this industry, and I know I can best capture what farmers are doing and why.
This is my mission, and the life I want to live. One that sees dirt caked on boots because the cow yard got wet and the fence needed repairing. One that knows a hot summer day with a breeze is best for making hay. One that understands a newly fresh cow needs some time with her calf. One that sees strong hands and realizes it’s not from lifting weights but lifting thousands of bales of hay.
Take a look at some of my farm photography and tell me what you think!