Everyday moments in Maine documents by those who live in and love our state
For over 40 years I shot fashion, celebrities, homes, gardens, and lifestyle stories as an editorial photographer. But it was not until I began photographing fine art for myself eight years ago that I discovered what I was most passionate about and why I was drawn to this medium in the first place. Coming from New York City to live on a Maine farm in 1983 brought me closer to nature and allowed me to experiment more with food photography. It gave me the space to explore what truly excited and moved me. Finding subjects for my still lifes offers me the opportunity to meet local farmers, support the farmers’ markets, and scout out unusual finds at antique shops, yard sales, salvage yards, and fabric shops.
Still life painters of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have influenced my work, with their lighting and placement of objects. My first inspiration was a book of photographs taken by Charles Jones, who in the late 1800s documented simply and honestly the beauty of vegetables, fruit, and flowers. He didn’t show them to anyone; these photos were taken for his own pleasure, and in 1981 his prints were found in a London street market. Karl Blossfeldt, an amateur photographer from the early 1900s, also interested me with the architectural and graphic quality of his images of plants. These days, I get my inspiration from some of the exquisite food photography and styling that appears on Instagram and various food-related blogs and magazines.
I took this photograph, Hot Summer Still Life, at my home studio last year. I collected these vegetables over a period of several days, arranged, and photographed them. But because I wasn’t happy with what I got, they sat… and sat. Returning to them a few days later, I noticed some wilting, cracking, and discoloration taking place and realized there is beauty even in the aging process. The ancient belief that “imperfection is perfect” is true for vegetables, as well as for humans. Tastes mature and ripen with age. To complete my study I added the fresh peas for contrast and captured it.