When the harvest was just about ending in September, I invited my good friend Naomi to be a model for an idea I had that was inspired by farm living. The idea for the shoot came to me during the summer ~ I wanted to do a pretty bohemian-chic style of session that was simple and had a green message behind it. And I had Naomi in mind for it from the beginning since I like to pair people and their environments well to make the whole session look and feel as natural as possible. Naomi has an interest in organic foods, especially eating locally, and spent the summer season working at the North Arm Farm in Pemberton. I had initially planned to do the session on her home turf, but a number of things had changed in the process. So enter the new shooting venue.
I chose to do the session at A Rocha, which is an international Christian conservation organization with a base located in South Surrey (although they have recently moved to a new property in the same area). I used to be really involved with the Surrey base before we moved to Smithers ~ I loved the mandate that A Rocha had, how involved in the community they were and helping out doing practical things in the community like stream rehabilitation. It fed my desire for doing practical work in the environment and finding a community of like-minded individuals that shared the same belief system I did. I had even dreamed about going to the base in Kenya and planned for it on numerous occasions, but it was something that just never happened for whatever reasons.
The property was lovely and always made me feel refreshed to be there. In recent years, they started a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project that has since expanded as well as store that sells native plants. There are free-range chickens, ducks, hairy cows (yes, you heard correctly!), a fruit orchard, grape vines and a pond with a nature trail around it. There is a heritage barn there as well, that I fell in love with the first time I saw it and I wanted my wedding reception in, but ended up being a little too small for our event. The grounds were a magical oasis once I left the city. I always really enjoyed my time there and working with the full-time staff.
Aside from doing a beautiful session with my friend, I wanted to showcase a few pointed details of A Rocha’s farm lifestyle. It would have been easy to spend an entire day there and so many more spots I would have loved to shoot. But the sun was going down and it was getting chilly.
A big thank-you once again to Scarlett Ballantyne for coming out to A Rocha to do the hair and makeup. Also a big thank-you to the staff at A Rocha for letting us traipse around the property.
Thanks again for tuning in and don’t forget to see the slideshow at the end!