I have very distinct memories going to a family farm in Concordia, Missouri with my grandmother. It was a short 45 minute drive from our home in Kansas City, Missouri but it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere to my sister and I. I loved those days as a kid. We would fish, run in the fields, and get stuck up to our knees in the mud of the pond. The biggest memory I have is when my sister and I got so muddy our grandmother didn’t want to put us in the car to take us back to the house. Her solution was to make us ride in the trunk of the car. On our way back the cows started following us. I so wish I had a picture of my sister and I pulling the trunk lid closed as much as possible to hide from those cows following us with such determination. There is no such thing as a killer cow but we were convinced we were dead meat that day. Those memories are all I have left as there are not photos of that time. When Sarah contacted me and asked me if I would document a Normal Day Session for her family as they spent a day at her grandmother’s farm I knew exactly why she wanted photos of something like this. Her grandmother is in her 80’s and has lived on this farm by herself for the past 24 or so years. Sarah knew the clock was ticking on how long her grandmother would be able to live in the house and was unsure if the house would even stay in the family. Her dad grew up there and she had been bringing her 5 boys from North Dakota for years to visit grandma for some old fashioned farm living and she wanted to make sure it was documented before it was to late.
The great thing was that as I drove my past my grandmother’s grave site and the exact farm I used to go to on my way to this shoot I knew what I needed to do. It did not take me long to be welcomed and get into the groove of farm life again. It was just what I needed. To get away from the bustle of city life and be in such a peaceful place where time seemed to move along at a snails pace and life seems simpler. Where kids can learn how to use an old school pogo stick and no video games in sight. Where the only cars coming down the gravel road are relatives stopping in for a burger or hotdog and where kids can shoot off fireworks and climb trees, and let their imagination run wild.
Our motto here at Wirken Photography is- “what do you want to remember?” Every documentary family photography session we do either in Kansas City, or on a farm is approached with that motto in mind. We put ourselves in our subjects shoes and try and capture what they would want to remember and more importantly what it feels like. That time as a kid on a farm not to far from this one made it easy for me to connect to this session and feel what pictures needed to be made. I loved every minute and I hope you love the photos.
Here are a few of my favorites from my day at the farm.