Photos and Article By Derek Spanfelner
When it comes to farming, it turns out that love is as essential as water. A few months back, I was asked by Tere Marie to drop by Wyllie Fox Farm in Cato to capture some promotional images for their website. Being that I typically do portraiture, I embraced it as an opportunity to go beyond the stock photos of plant life that you’d find on any farm to the human beings that make it all come together. These are the people who offer you a smile and a joke along with your radicchio when you see them at the market. They are what you buy into when you earmark Wyllie Fox Farms as a “must-stop” on your fresh produce journey. And more than anything, that’s what I was looking to capture when I packed my Sony A7iii into my bag and set out for the farm.
Jamie and Tere showed me around the premises. The rows upon rows of seasonal produce, the greenhouses, the flower garden, the scurrying hens, all the while arm in arm, sharing warm glances. There was one thing that was immediately obvious—Jamie and Tere live to farm, it’s their dream—but they also live for each other. In shooting portraits, there’s often the need to elicit a natural sense of affection between couples or within families, but it became clear very quickly that this is a family that really does walk hand in hand through the rows, hug with frequency, and laugh together loudly whether there’s a guy with a camera there to capture it or not. If these photos are any indication, I’d go as far as to say it’s their recipe for success no matter how dry the season.
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Derek Spanfelner is a Syracuse-based photographer and a manager at The Fish Friar eatery. His photos center on storytelling and portraying empathy. His work includes brand, business, event, and food photography. You can connect with him on Facebook and on Instagram @DerekSpanPhoto in addition to through his website, www.derekspanphoto.com.