I joined Taylor at her picturesque family farm in New Windsor to create senior portraits that capture this fleeting time in her life. When we arrived she showed me the farm and said, 'this is our family farm, everywhere you see. My grandparents live up there and I live there.' There was a definite sense of 'this is where I come from and this place means the world to me' in her explanation. Farms have a way of doing that to people...anchoring them in fertile mixture of loyalty and devotion to the land they pour themselves into. So how fitting that Taylor's portrait session would be created here, where her sweetest memories have been made.
Taylor is a Grand Champion Steer raiser and has won top accolades the last 3 years at the 4-H. She competes locally at the County level but also at the Maryland State Fair. She and her grandad journey out to the mid west to choose her steer she'll raise every year for competition.
I learned there's far more that goes into raising champion long haired steer than feeding them well. To be long haired steer the steer have to stay in air conditioned barns through the day and then can only come out to pasture after dark, at the coolest part of the day. If they are in regular Maryland summer days they will shed their prized long hair. Taylor washes and blow drys her champion steer daily. Her regimen of care for her champions involves a 2-3 hours a day commitment. She also has sheep she shows and they walk the treadmills 2 hours a day to get them toned and show ready. (one of my favorite pieces of offering personalized portrait services is I get to learn about so many passions my clients have that I never even know existed and this intrigues me.)
Taylor is a beautiful farm princess who without a doubt will make this her permanent home watching the sun set on her farm taking in the sounds of the cicadas, bullfrogs and cattle lowing in the fields that surround her. As I walked the farm I was reminded of Rodney Atkins song,
And it makes me wanna take a back road
Makes me wanna take the long way home
Put a little gravel in my travel
Unwind, unravel all night long
Makes me wanna grab my honey
Tear down some two-lane country
Get lost and get right with my soul
Makes me wanna take
Makes me wanna take a back road.
Taylor may your senior year ahead be filled with sweet memories that you will draw upon for many, many years to come!