For a pro photographer, personal field trips rock.
These days I take them whenever I can fit one in. Although it’s been less and less the last few years due to a growing architectural photography business, which is equally cool with me. Typically I venture out alone to somewhere I’ve never been before. Being in a new place or space that I’ve always wanted to visit with my camera in hand is like a meditation. These trips are how I started my love of this creative medium, and they continue to feed my soul and my skill set.
My mentor, a seasoned commercial industrial photographer of more than 40 years, has always said to me, practice makes permanent”. There’s truth in it. Results come from what you practice…over and over. Then over again. It applies to photography and honing the finer aspects of your craft.
Last spring I decided to hit the road and head to Grace Farms in New Canaan, CT. There was a gardening group offering a private tour of the farm and I HAD to join them. I also invited a budding photographer friend to accompany me so we could do some shooting and wax photographic together.
If you’ve never been to this welcoming place it’s a harmonious mix of nature, arts, community, architecture and overall a wonderful spot to unplug, connect with mother nature and simply “be”. It’s open to the public and was created as a gift of enlightenment to the public to be shared and visited. You can find out all the juicy details about the place in their FAQs. They’re open 6 days a week, rain or shine. Everything they do is visitor-centric, and focused on the experience. I encourage you to experience it for yourself.
So often I meet creatives across the AEC industry who pursue other artistic passions — from photography to illustration, to music, and more. I expect my professional circle of friends and clients alike will find this open community space sparks a sense of contentment and inspiration as it did for me.
Walking the grounds there is not only photography to be captured of the architecture itself, but it’s place, surrounded by nature. The main structure called the “River Building” is a marvel. In total the Farm sits on 80 acres of land acquired by the Grace Farms Foundation between 2007-2015.
To get a feel for the energy of this place watch a week at Grace Farms. They offer space grants to non-profits, weekly architectural tours, a sports court facility (basket ball pick-up games, pickle ball, etc.), a library, and daily tea (a not-to-miss ritual!).
Whether strolling the grounds or enjoying the surrounding views from inside the tea room, the auditorium (where religious and spiritual services are held weekly), or having a bite to eat in the cafe, where glass walls flanking you on either side, you’re sure to find your own little slice of sanctuary on the property.
As a photographer and ever-curious student of nature, I’d expect each visit, and the time of year you choose, brings this special place to a deeper space in your heart. I know I can’t wait to return with a few empty storage cards in my camera bag. It’s crazy to think it was nearly a year ago that I visited for the first time. Rarely do I feel true alignment between my spirit and a space that feels sacred. But this is one of them.
I urge you to go visit this year and drop me some comment love when you do, I want to know what it felt like for you to experience it.
See more of the images from my Grace Farms trip.