On a crisp November morning I arrive to spend some time with Sarah. I am greeted first by Sparky, a tiny yet mighty rat terrier, donning a sweater with a lightening bolt emblazoned on his back. Seconds later, Sarah slowly comes to the door and welcomes me into her home with open arms and a slight smile. These days she spends most of her time in a makeshift bedroom that appears to have once been the dining room. The space is connected to the kitchen and still holds a china cabinet, though it's now filled with shoeboxes of medication and supplements rather than plates and glasses
The mission of the Female Farmer Project is to document the rise of women in agriculture. I share the images and the stories of women who farm. Some of these women are first generation farmers who come from the corporate world; lawyers, anthropologists, executives, scientists who are bringing a unique skill set to the farm. Some are third or fourth generation farmers but bring a new vision and fresh ideas and are responding to the needs of today's economy by diversifying the farm income.
The word 'essay' derives from the French infinitive 'essayer'; 'to attempt', 'to try.' I love that not only does the word leave room for experimentation and 'failure,' it ascribes an inherent value in the effort toward something rather than the destination. I have returned to the Brooklyn Bridge several times over the years to capture it. Here is my attempt, my try, my essay.
Perhaps the most successful documentary photographer in American history was Lewis Hine, who was born 140 years ago this week. He may be less well-known than other muckraking journalists of his generation, but his work was a key part of the Progressive Era reform movement that made America a more humane society.
A lot of what gets praised as great street photography these days has to do with juxtaposition, forced perspective or some bizarre subject matter. For sure, those images deserve their due. However, I tend to favor photos that have great light and composition, and where the subject is a little more sublime.