It’s worked, y’all! I’ve been able to rest for several days in a row. That’s pretty great for me. Even if nothing external is pushing me to work, I have a strong internal drive to do so, which makes actually resting tedious and difficult for me. But I’ve been doing it!
It’s helped that I’ve been very slowly and meticulously been working on and off on a HUGE, HUGE image. I mean, it’s seriously 6-7 times as large as a regular photo I’d edit. It’s SO big, in fact, that although I shot the (many) images which make up this composite, I had to wait until I upgraded my laptop earlier this year before I could really work on it. It would crash not just Photoshop, but my entire computer after about 15 minutes worth of work before… usually as I was trying to save it. So it’s a big ol’ project that’s going to take a long time, but it’s been strangely soothing to just dib and dab at it as the mood struck over the last few days. Doesn’t matter how much I get done or not because I’m on vacation! 🙂
Well. The main part of this post is SERIOUSLY overdue. Last June, I finally found (after months of searching) a farm with sheep on it, and a farmer who would allow me to come photograph his lambs. Enter Terry of Task Farms, near Palmdale! He was an exceptionally kind man and agreed to let me come hang out with his animals and take pictures of them. He had one lamb left from the lambing season, a black and white little girl named Too Cute (and she was). We hurried to schedule the shoot before she grew any more!
Since it was going to be a bit of a drive and it had been so hard for me to find, I figured it might have been difficult for other people, so I emailed my friend Brooke Shaden and asked if she needed photos of sheep. She happily joined the party, along with Katie Johnson to model for us both and Meredith Lynn, who bravely volunteered to meet us in Palmdale, take behind-the-scenes photos for us before driving back to Los Angeles and work a full day’s work at her job. Have I mentioned that we were planning to be at the farm by dawn? Everyone who came was a real trooper for getting up so early and not complaining, but my goodness, I didn’t envy poor Meredith that day!
It was decided that Katie would drive Brooke and myself since Brooke and I both have fibro and/or ME and Katie has… whatever the opposite of that is. She’s pretty much always full of energy.
The BTS shots she got were so wonderful though and I’ve been eagerly waiting for me to finally get through editing all the images I shot at the farm so I could post her photos here! I ended up shooting a bit more than I’d planned on shooting, which made the turn-around of all the images being done take much longer, especially as other things kept popping up which required more immediate attention. But my images are finally all done! Most of them you’ve seen already, but the most recent one will be new to you.
Terry emailed me a few days before we were going to be at the farm with a photo of a 30-minute-old baby goat and suggested we might want to include him in our shots. YES. YES WE DO, TERRY! It was such an adorable, sweet, floppy little thing, we all had to take turns holding him. He was still a little sleepy and he made the most precious little mewling noises that just melted your heart. I had to remind myself very hard that I did NOT need to take him home and raise him like my own. (But how CUTE would it be if he slept in the bed with Geoff and me?? Geoff would probably not think it was cute, but I would!!)
The initial spark of inspiration that led to the whole search for a lamb was a DreamWorld image I wanted to take with my grandmother in it. At the farm, Katie posed with Too Cute in a similar costume and pose that I would later photograph my grandmother in (I was not going to make her drive to Palmdale before dawn) and it was a pretty easy job to merge the two images together in Photoshop later.
That was the main image I’d needed to get out of the day, so after that, we played around on the farm with the animals for a while. Especially the baby goat. I may need to drive back out to Terry’s farm again soon just to hold another baby goat. It is impossible to put into words how wonderful it felt to hold the baby goat and hear the little grunty noises he made.
I owe a great big THANK YOU to Meredith for coming along and getting such great BTS photos for us! Despite how long it’s taken me to post them, I am so glad I have them! What a beautiful way to remember a fun, adventurous morning 🙂 I’ll share a few of the BTS shots I grabbed between photos and then you can see the entire set of edited Task Farm Photos!
Before we left, Terry let us watch a demonstration of how his border collie can herd the sheep, which is always an amazing sight to behold. Single-word commands, whistles and other simple noises convey a whole range of communications to a well-trained dog (which Terry’s is). Even though it took me a while to recover physically from the adventure, I hope I can go back some day and see more of this! And hold more babies, of course 🙂
And finally, the very last image which I took forever to get to and which held up this post the most… a new addition to my Dustbowl series, featuring Katie Johnson, Brooke Shaden and the baby goat!
Thanks for reading! If you are in the LA area and have any need for sheep, livestock which won’t end up on anyone’s plate, a farm, a very kind farmer, or a place to train your dog in the art of sheep herding, I can’t recommend Task Farms enough! Thanks again to Terry, Katie, Brooke and Meredith for all helping to make the day possible and very fun!!