thecowlocale is excited to introduce a new series: “Featured Farm Photo” in which we will share a monthly photo from a dairy farm in the Mountain West.
Photographer Notes: It was below 0 on the mid-January morning this shot was taken in central Utah, and the steam from the cows’ breath filled the alley between the mangers. Brrrrr
Holly Bown, of TheEnchantedPhoto and wife of 5th generation dairy farmer, Trent Bown, is the first contributor to our monthly “Featured Farm Photo” series. We recently caught up with Holly and asked her a few questions – about photography, about her interests, and about life on the farm. Meet Holly:
How did you get into photography?
In one way or another I have always been into photography. When I was in grade school I had an old 110mm film camera (anyone remember those?) When I got into high school I took a photography class, and then spent 6 months in Spain where I documented everything through film. After high school I went to a small junior college where I worked for the PR department and was on the yearbook staff. I spent many late nights in the dark room during those years. I worked at a few photography studios before I married, but didn’t really get back into photography seriously until 2008 when I started my own business.
What types of photos do you enjoy taking most?
For photography clients, I love editorial style shoots – where they are highly stylized and thematic. I feel like I can be so much more creative with those. After that I love high school senior photography. There is just something about that age that pulls me in. I also love weddings – they are very similar to the editorial style, in that they are heavily accessorized. For myself I love to photograph landscapes. I think that has come as a function of living on the farm where I have hundreds of acres to explore.
I have also recently begun to explore filming, as in movies, and am really enjoying the process. I have created a few mini films for my husband and his blog (UsFarmGuys), as well as a few for photography clients. I would really like to see this side of my business grow in the next few years.
What’s it like living and raising a family on a dairy farm? Did you grow up on a farm?
I didn’t grow up anywhere close to a farm. In fact I lived in New Jersey until I was in 7th grade, and then moved back to my mom’s hometown in the San Fransisco Bay Area. I guess where I lived in NJ was fairly rural (as rural as you can get 45 minutes from New York City!) We were surrounded by farms, but I never lived ON one before I met my husband. Now I live in the middle of no where Utah, right in the middle of the muck, and I honestly wouldn’t change it! OK, I might trade the muck for some asphalt, but I think I must have always been a country girl at heart.
What are some of the things you do on the farm?
I would like to do more on the farm, in fact I have asked my husband to teach me to drive a tractor, but that has yet to happen! I do work with our vet, Dr. Harding, every Thursday for herd health day, and I do enjoy that. Other than that, I guess there isn’t much on the farm for me to do!
What prompted you and Trent to start the blog UsFarmGuys? What role do you play in the blog?
Trent has become very involved with social media in the last few years, and had a smaller blog before UsFarmGuys.com. He decided he wanted to upgrade it and do something bigger with it, and that is about the time I started doing mini films. His was the first one I did in a series highlighting some of the other farmers we knew. I don’t play a huge roll in the blog. I help him with what ever design work he needs done, and occasionally I will produce a film for him, but he has even kind of taken that over by just doing little Farm Report videos with his phone. I guess he can’t afford my rate any more.
Any tips you want to share on taking good photos?
One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to learn how to take your camera off “auto”. It is really amazing the things you can create when you learn to shoot in a more manual mode.
There are also basic design rules that apply to photography and can make a huge difference. A basic one is the rule of thirds. Divide your screen into 3rds vertically and horizontally, and where these intersect is where you should place your subject to create the most interest in an image. A lot of cameras will actually add this grid for you until you get used to seeing it on your own.
Try it yourself and see what the results are!
Holly and Trent Bown live, farm, take pictures, and raise their family in Fayette, UT.