At the end of August I spent a week at the Maine Media Workshops and College taking a class with David H. Wells, called “The Humanistic Photo Essay.” On day two David assigned the task of going to the Windsor Fair and telling a story through our photographs. As the week continued we were given the tools to understand what makes a good photograph and story, and taught how to edit our photographs with a critical eye. Although my brain is still trying to process what I learned over the course of the week (there was much food for thought), I’ve figured out that I do not have an interest in narratives; instead I prefer images that hint at a story – at memory and emotion. I am not there yet. Not at all. But it will come.
My father took photographs of still-lifes, landscapes, and architecture. He composed his photographs carefully and waited for the right moment to shoot. I, on the other hand, know I am usually too quick on the draw (despite having slowed down to look and see) and that I often do not always take the time needed to wait for the right moment. As I look at photographs of others I realise that there is something to the idea of waiting – waiting for the right light, the right person to walk by, the right angle, etc. But there is also something to be said for place, chance, and surprise. A common thread between my father and myself, however, is that photography has made each of us curious and outgoing. Thus, my day at the Windsor Fair led me to the Miller Family — three generations of farmers who live not far from that Ag Fair. They very kindly let me, a complete stranger, into their lives for a few hours over three days. I cannot thank them enough for the following: