In 1999 I visited the farm where my adopted dog had been living. That was my first experience with farm animals and the start of this project. I was immediately struck by their strong and varied personalities and realized that, in making these environmental portraits, I was dealing with many of the same issues and complexity of feelingsI had when I photographed people. The subjects of these photographs are powerful and gentle, playful and serious, curious and shy, and never predictable.
There is also the ever-present dichotomy of power and dependency. These are not domesticated animals, yet they have needs that are provided by farm life. The environment of the small farm is critical to these photographs. Many of these breeds of animals are in danger of vanishing. The modern food industry prefers to maintain only a few breeds, highly specialized, and selected for maximum output in a controlled environment. The small farm, itself endangered, provides an environment most suitable for all livestock to thrive and grow, thus ensuring this wonderful diversity will not be lost.
I am interested in basic photographic considerations of framing and moment of impact, composition and light, but above all how living beings navigate their environment and relationships to each other, and how they present themselves to the world.