In the past year, Art Streiber has been exploring portraiture via various subjects that are of personal interest, from high school prom-goers to dogs and their owners. His latest shoot, which he discusses below, focused on Los Angeles farmer’s markets.
“In our foodie/farm-to-table culture, shopping at big-city farmer’s markets has practically become a religious experience. Devout attendees make a weekly pilgrimage to their neighborhood market in order to buy the freshest, most organic fruits, vegetables, dairy and poultry (and honey and nuts and flowers) available.
And the farmers themselves are just as devoted…not only tilling the soil but then bringing their products to market, often hours and hours away from their farms.
It was this devotion that drew me to photographing a series of these farmer/vendors at a few markets in West Los Angeles.
My intention with this series was to capture the farmer/vendors as naturally as possible with their wares—essentially an elevated snapshot. No frills. Yes, I did light my subjects in order to balance the light under their pop-up tents, but they are lit in a way that doesn’t make them look like there is any lighting involved.
Unlike my commissioned work, this series, and my other personal series, allowed me to work unfettered by any requirements other than my own, enabled me to explore a simplified technical approach to my portraiture and reinforced what I already knew to be true: that making someone’s portrait is about connecting with them, hearing their story and being empathetic and interested.”