Our last photo shoot was the first shoot that Paige and I had discussed on our second meeting about the project. Our mutual friend, Amanda, seemed only appropriate in hindsight, considering that Paige and I didn't really know each other very well when we first started discussing the project. But the subsequent reasons really stack-up. Amanda is a mother-earth sort of woman. She has a calmness about her that can sooth even the most restless one among us, a perspective that brings her wisdom, a little family that nurtures her as much as she nurtures them, and beauty that resonates beyond face-value. She is a beautiful friend and I still have much to learn about her.
In terms of the catalog, and considering the previous 3 shoots we'd already completed, I suppose I was also thinking that she/the farm represents the part of me/us that yearns to feel connected to the land, to the basics of "organic" food, to the slower pace of life in a rural setting.....whether literally or figuratively: it might also represent the need to feel more connected to the simple things in life. with the economic downturn, I think a lot of us are yearning for that?
Amanda is a farmer. She probably wouldn't call herself one, because she knows farmers, married the son of a real Minnesota farmer and she knows the details of such things much more than I do (despite the fact that my father grew-up on a dairy farm.) But in my eyes she is. She works on a "small" CSA (community supported agriculture) farm just outside Northfield, MN - is part of the planting and growing and harvesting routines. She is like a little red hen, working through every step of making food from seeds. She cooks and cans and freezes just like our grandmothers used to. Before we increased the size of our garden this year, I used to be amazed that she did all of this. Now that I know first hand how much work it is (especially at a larger scale) I am in awe.
So given all this, Paige and I had envisioned photographing her at the farm. The evening we went for the shoot, was the first time I'd been there. I didn't feel overwhelmed like at the Walker shoot, but I definitely was visually-stimulated. It had been overcast and even rainy the entire day which gives the photos an entirely different feel than if it had been full-sun -- almost like you can feel the weight of the air in some of them.
NOT a horse-lover, Amanda was a trooper for feeding the horses! Her son was a sweet pea the entire time and I am so glad that he is in a few shots. I love the connections between the BUNCH necklace with the apple tree, the TABS necklace with the sauna, the DRAPE with the horse, the HIVE with the sunflower. Some of these were intentional, some were discovered after the fact - not sure if we were lucky or maybe just intuitive? Either way, I am happy it happened.
I've said that with each shoot there has been something that is really meaningful, or has personal connections, or pays tribute to something in one of our lives. Well, in these shots (which are perhaps my favorite from the shoot) Amanda is wearing the jean-short of her father-in-law .. the farmer I mentioned earlier - who passed away just a few years ago. she said he would be proud - i hope so.
Thank you, Amanda!
all photos by: Paige DeWees
digital catalog can be downloaded here
printed catalog can be ordered here