I know it’s only November and not really that close to the end of the year but I can pretty safely say that one of my favorites jobs this year – and maybe of the last five years really – was the opportunity to work with PCC Natural Markets to photograph some of their many vendors and products.
I drove almost 5000 miles – from the Oregon-California border over to the eastern most corners of Washington State – over the course of almost five months to photograph over 60 of PCC’s vendors. One blown tire, many re-arranged schedules to avoid wildfires in southern Oregon and all over Washington, wearing a bio-suit in 90-degree weather to photograph chickens because of the bird flu scare, emergency calls saying that if I wanted to photograph the tomatoes I better come right away because they’d be all gone when we were originally going to shoot (thanks crazy hot Pacific Northwest summer – the new normal?) – all of it to meet some amazing farmers and producers out there who are incredibly passionate about the food and products they create. I met a lot of people during the course of this project and every single one of them was so excited to tell me their stories, to show me their favorite variety of grape, to show me their process (though cheese making still remains a mystery to me after shooting three creameries – I’m going to chalk that up to magic!) – frankly, it was so inspiring that it made me think maybe I’m in the wrong line of work!
I shot literally thousands of frames and there’s so much material – what I’m showing is just such a small fraction of what we created. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such great folks – both at PCC and the vendors themselves!
The photo below, showing some of the calendula harvest in southern Oregon, is perhaps one of my favorite images from the shoot – the scents of that day, the buzzing of thousands of bees, and watching endless fields of yellow blend into the hills – it was kind of a magical day that makes you remember why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place.