This weekend, an extra long weekend starting Thursday afternoon, I attended my third food photography class with Clare Barboza a documentary food photographer. This class theme was Farm to Table Photography and though it included styling and shooting food shots like the other two classes I had attended, this class introduced us to the documentary style Clare is known for. The class quickly filled with 11 women, some professional photographers, a few like me who were fairly new at using a camera and another who picked up her first camera the week prior. It was a wonderful mix as we gathered summer camp style at the Willow Pond Lake House on Whidbey Island, Washington. After Clare gave us her presentation on documentary photography we started our Friday Morning at Willowood Farm on Eby’s Prairie. This family owned farm grows natural produce for local farmer’s markets, grocery stores and restaurants. Including the triptych above, here are some of my favorite photos from Willowood Farm. There were so many shots I loved so it was hard to pick just a few.
Our next stop was at The Little Brown Farm. I will just say it right up front here. . . if you are not looking to have your heart melt then stay away from goats, especially baby goats. It was evident the moment we got out of the car how much Vicky and Tom Brown treasure every one of their 40 plus goats as they know each in detail by their personality and name. We first went to play with the mama and yearling goats in the adjoining field, the procession to the field lead by the resident llama. We then made out way to the barn and after bottle feeding the four youngest goats, we all took a group of babies on a walk outside the barn. The babies literally bounced down the path. I am smitten. So much personality, so much cuteness. At the end of our farm tour, Vicki shared the story of their cheeses and other tasty epicurean delights the create at their farm. What a wonderful morning.
The afternoon was a time for shooting produce. The farm grown artichokes, rutabagas, varieties of lettuce and garlic seemed to have more meaning and personality themselves after our morning outing. The rainy afternoon gave us some wonderful difused natural light as we photographed in the outbuildings at our summer camp headquarters.Saturday morning after another food photography teaching by Clare, we were up and out heading to the Bayview Farmer’s Market. There we saw both farms from the previous day selling their fresh produce and cheeses. I was especially drawn to the picturesque stand of SkyRoot Farm, where I overheard co-owner Joanne mention that she played her fiddle for the plants as they grow. How adorable is that? I just want to eat their produce everyday! Of course the morel mushroom stand caught my eye and I am currently searching for some recipes to try out with them. Do you have one that you love?
After returning from the market we got down and dirty (and stinky. . . in a really good stinky cheese way) and photographed a variety of artisan cheeses. Clare brought a great selection of dishes, linen and props for us to work. This is my favorite style of photography, maybe because I spent part of my earlier career styling for photographers. I love being able to both style every detail, find the right light and shoot.
We then spent the early afternoon editing and selecting our favorite eight shots for our 4pm slideshow when we all gathered to view everyone’s pics. What a delight to see the weekend through the other students eyes. . . and camera lenses. So many beautiful views and so many great shots! It was very inspiring. Thank you Clare and every one of you there this weekend for an amazing class. I am scheduling my next farm shoot outing for this next weekend as I am going to keep practicing and keep shooting. Have a great Memorial Day everyone! ~ Lia
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