Kevin Twomey spends his weekends riding his bicycle and hiking in some of the most beautiful places in Northern California. Since my weekends are often very different (think being a mom, 3 kids and sporting events) I am always in awe of the photographs he shares at the end of a weekend of the latest remote place he discovered. On a recent weekend trip to Point Reyes, he visited a place that compelled him to write a blog post.
Here is what he had to say.
“When the choice between paper or plastic at the grocery store was first offered to me (which today will cost you 10 cents per bag in San Francisco), I stood there in front of the cashier with a confused look while taking too much time weighing the positive and negatives of both.
This week, my indecision involves the agonizing question regarding extending the lease of Drakes Oyster Company’s operation in Point Reyes. I am glad I am not the “Decider”.
I visited the Oyster Farm on March 2nd to experience what might be my last tasting of DOC’s delicious raw oysters before they close in a couple of months due to a 40 year lease that expired last year.
I had a nice talk with the son of the owner of Drake’s Oyster Co., Sean Lunny, as he worked on the line that sorts the oysters. He hopes that the federal government will at least allow them to finish harvesting what is still in the waters. The Oyster Farm plants and harvests 8 million oysters a year (producing about 460,000 pounds of shucked oysters). They still have about 2 years of unharvested oysters in 1,000 acres of submerged land. Their operation accounts for about 40% of the commercial oyster production in the state. These numbers are quite impressive for a small company that strives to produce a product through sustainable agricultural practices with ecological responsibility.
After my conversation I walked around the farm and took a few snapshots of their farm & production.
As one who appreciates our natural wonders, I applaud the Park Service’s efforts to keep supporting our marine life. But I cannot help but feel there is some way a company that provides sustainable, local-grown organic food can co-exist. Because closing this company will affect the consumer market for oysters I wonder who will step up to replace what they provided and at what cost? A company on some other less-defended shoreline waters 6000 miles away? One that isn’t practicing sustainable agricultural practices?
Over the years, the word I hear most when people are describing Andy Anderson’s photography is SOULFUL. That is because he has a powerful connection to the people and places he photographs. He doesn’t just take pictures, he makes friends. Life long friends.
On a recent trip to Northern Minnesota to shoot personal work of the ice fishing sub culture, Andy met some new friends. Link to Andy’s blog to read what he shares about his trip and why he thinks the ice trolls invented drinking.
Last year, we decided that it was a good time to create an AGENCY PORTFOLIO. We had a fantastic group of photographers and many opportunities to show it off. We didn’t want it to be a typical group book that had a section for each photographer. While we like those and they are always very strong, we wanted ours to be a little different so that it would stand out more at events such as Le Book’s Connections.
What we came up with was a portfolio divided by SPECIALTY instead of by PHOTOGRAPHER. We liked this idea because it allowed us to showcase the type of work our group can offer while allowing the viewer to file our group away by different specialities. Of course it is always our main goal for a creative to learn who our photographers are and what they shoot individually. This will never change. But, by offering an alternate way for them to view the work in our group, we are opening up another opportunity for them to remember the work.
More often than not the Agency Portfolio is shown in conjunction with the individual portfolios so if a viewer is interested in seeing more, they can choose to do so right then and there. This is particularly helpful in a setting like Le Book Connections because there are so many books to view and it can get overwhelming for some. We have found that our agency book provides a breath of fresh air in a crowded market.
Take a look for yourself and see. It is no mistake that we chose the song, Breathe by Sia as the background music. Enjoy!
Click here to see the video of our Agency Portfolio
Recently I was visiting a shoot of David Martinez’s and he was sharing a beautiful story about his daughter Ava and her passion for photography and commitment to service. She had just started her college career and was growing into a wonderful young woman. David’s story was so wonderful that I asked him to share it with us on the blog. Here is what he had to say.
“Like an image appearing on a photograph in silver halide salts- there is anticipation, excitement, and wonder at having a child return home from college. My daughter, Ava, went away to Occidental College last year and I wondered what she would be like after a year away from her mother and I. Would she be who she was when she left? Would she have new hobbies, new interests, new friends?
Sending a child out into the world is a lot like having your heart walk around on the outside of your body. You hope the world is kind to them, that you’ve taught them the skills to deal with a sometimes unkind world, but that they also have faith that the world can be a generous and loving place.
Ava decided that she wanted to go to Ghana, Africa during her summer break to volunteer at a children’s orphanage. She found the program herself, unsolicited by her teachers, her parents, her friends – it was something that only Ava wanted to do. In a word, I was worried.
She went away for two weeks + we heard very little from her – when we went to pick her up from the airport – I knew that something in Ava had changed.She has always been bright, beautiful and driven – but Ava had new focus. Over the next few weeks, Ava became more and more involved in the orphanage. She decided she wanted to raise enough money to give the orphanage electricity. We sat down together to look through her photographs to make some images for her to show her friends and family and use to talk about her experience. As the images appeared in our photo editing program (forget the silver halide salts!!), I watched in amazement as I took a look at the world through Ava’s eyes – at the children she played games with, the little cot she slept on, at the shaky orphanage structure.
It was the first time Ava had used a digital SLR, we talked about the magic of shooting in a RAW format – how to make color images into beautiful, rich black and white photos. We explored how cropping can affect the entire composition of an image, how just one image can tell a story, and how to take a picture that shows a real moment. It turns out Ava had a really great eye for photography – she edited her pictures and printed a book that beautifully represented her experience in Ghana. As a father and a photographer, I couldn’t have been more proud.