I have been photographing life on farms for four years. My time goes beyond capturing daily activities as I focus on what it really means to have a deep commitment to the land, to the community, and to social good. I have learned that farming is serious hard work and that you cannot be afraid to embrace it.
Breaking into this world was not easy; I felt I was intruding and that for sure I didn’t know anything about the job. Learning and getting down on my knees became essential; getting my hands dirty and drawing inspiration from the work and not from looking through the lens was the only way to go. Breaking away from all creative preconceptions and approaching this project in a different way, in a more emotional and connective way was necessary, hence the need to become part of the community and the solution.
With this in mind, I started cleaning the barn, grooming the cows, feeding the calves, and shoveling manure for hours on hot and humid summer days; I felt humbled and proud at the same time. After a while, the images slowly came to me, as I became part of the farm and the family; I had new friends at Doublejay Farm and Root Radical CSA.
After two years I started to work with Lemoine Point Farm; Jesse became my farm buddy. With him, I stopped being afraid of getting close, interacting, of asking questions. I gave him my friendship and a hand around the farm. Earning his respect was a life gift. With new confidence, I started to work with Ironwood Organic Farm and Secret Lavender Field of Bonniespring.
Every day spent on these farms expanded my knowledge and perspective on the role of farmers in our society. It has given me a sense of responsibility for what I took for granted. Modern life can overwhelm our senses; we forget the simple pleasures that come from just being out on the mother earth. I have learned to observe, to notice the small miracles that burst out of the ground, miracles that feed us and keep us alive. And so, I chose to photograph these mundane moments in a different light: I decided to have an affair with farm life and to show my audience a story of hope and these farmers’ commitment to the land.