Farmer Portraits: Jacques Laboile (Bon Femme)

Jacques Laboile, originally from France, keeps bees all over Columbia (these were just in his backyard).  He prides himself on subtle flavors other than clover honey.  Besides making honey, he also is the Executive Chef of Boone County National Bank, and all around awesome guy.  Strike up a conversation with him next time you see him at the farmers market.


2 Replies to “Farmer Portraits: Jacques Laboile (Bon Femme)”

  1. Michael,

    The portraits are great and I understand what a white background will do for you in a shot, but don’t you sort of lose the farm background by propping that sheet up? Or is this some sort of unifying prop? Just curious…

  2. Jeff-
    The backdrop allows me to separate the farmer from a distracting background, such a tree line, great big clouds, or buffalo. By framing around them, you notice the farmer, but because there’s more to the picture than that, your eye should lead you around the frame, to look closer at what else is there. Take a look at the Legacy Beef shot. One cow is looking at us, the others are eating, and still more are in the way background, acres away, dotted on the hill.

    I realize that separating the farmer from the land also has connotations, but I do not believe any shots so far look so disconnected.

    As you guessed it also serves as unifying prop. It adds more consistency among the different people.

    Chief inspiration for such a project? Look at work by James Balog and certainly Richard Avdedon’s “In the American West”.

    Hope that helped. I’ve been recording audio along the way. I’ll print them out 11×17 to turn in for class, but I hope to one day show these prints at a gallery with museum style audio and as you walk past an image you hear the subjects voice for a minute or so. Thats my dream. The internet works for now.

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