Growing up in a farming community, Todd Joyce was able to witness the hardwork and dedication that goes in to maintaining a farm and he’s grown to respect the people who rise early to do it day in and day out. His latest project pays homage to those humble farmers who tirelessly dedicate their lives to their harvest. In this self-assigned project, Todd chose to depict these hardworking American famers in heroic poses and utilized dramatic lighting. But just like a farmer deals with unpredictable weather, Todd had to be prepared for all sorts of mishaps when bringing his lighting equipment onto the fields.
This project was a bit more challenging, due to the severe wind conditions of being in open fields, the lighting challenges in bright sun and the harvest schedules that these farmers were keeping. Fast shots, windy and harsh lighting conditions, were all factors. Overpowering the sun took high power strobes and a high output generator. The wind was a challenge as well as keeping light treatments safe from falling. I needed plenty of sand bags, ropes, stakes and help, to hold down the equipment. Have you ever seen the dust cloud that follows a combine in the dry, fall harvest? It’s a dust storm that invades every cavity of your equipment and it can’t be avoided, unless you are up wind… and you don’t pick your angle of view, based on the wind.
In addition to challenging weather, farmers tend to be a little reserved and when Todd first started out to find subjects he found himself being turned down more often than not. So, he changed tactics enlisting the help of a production person with farming experience who helped make the introductions and the initial requests going to the farmer when they were harvesting. Knowing where to find the farmers made a big difference and they quickly gained approval.
In spite of the challenges and diffculty securing subjects, Todd created a great set of images. So great in fact that within a few days of posting them to his website he was contacted by a large agricultural agency looking for him to photograph farmers in the exact same style.
To see more of Todd’s work visit joycephotography.com