Finding uncommon beauty in the common place of farm life comes pretty naturally to many who cherish their farming roots. There are rhythms to the farm life that settle into the soul of some, often inexplicably, making them crave the farm when they are away from it. They miss the smell of fresh cut hay and freshly tilled pastures, the sounds of cattle lowing and roosters announcing wake up calls and the sounds of crickets heralding the end to the work day. Farming parents hope and pray their children will share their passion for the sun up/sun down lifestyle, but know ultimately each child chooses what captures their heart.
JDP senior Trinity has been raised around farm life for as long as she can remember. I can just envision her as a little girl climbing hay bales and wrangling calves. I told her I have plans one day to write a children’s story for little farm girls everywhere, featuring her and her beloved cow Diego. The storybook feel of her and Diego’s portraits just begs one to be written!
Trin began showing her bred and owned red & white and black & white Holsteins when she was 8. However, farm life wrapped itself around the core of who she is in her early teens, about the time her parents transitioned onto their own farm. At this point Trin could walk out the door to care for her animals, as opposed to having to drive to her grandparents farm. One of Trin’s responsibilities is feeding the calves milk and the portrait below was her idea–love the energy and boy did we have a blast creating this!
I’m presenting this portrait collection in a bit of reverse order of how our day progressed, but just knew I wanted to start with the end of the night storybook feel for Trin and Diego! As we wrapped up our shoot day, I was caught up by the serenity of the evening after having just seen a new calf moments after it was born. Trin’s grandad was talking with her uncle by the light of the moon, leaning on a tractor. The whole farm was bathed in beautiful moonlight and wanted to record Trin in this setting in a way that will always make her smile. Tanya, Trin’s mom, mentioned this piece below reminded her of a Bonnie Mohr painting.
Trin was radiant with her dairy cows framing her in the distance and Diego was prepping for her starring role at this point in the shoot! Trin’s Aunt Crystal bred Diego for Trin to show and it didn’t take long for Diego to capture Trin’s heart. Trin has had a front row seat to watching her mom (one of the hardest working women I’ve ever met) care for their dairy cattle long before the sun rose and long after the sun set. She’s seen the great affection her whole family has for these sweet dopey animals who love attention and are as different as the day is long.
Crystal had high hopes for Diego and Diego did not disappoint. She put Trin on the map in the dairy showing world. Trin has had champions on the county, state and national level, but the two awards that stand out most to her both involve her beloved Diego. She won reserve junior champion red and white at the world dairy exp when Diego was a calf in 2012. Then she went on to win intermediate showman at the all-American junior national show in 2015.
One of the coolest things about Diego is that she is a descendant of one of Tanya’s 4-H projects from her childhood! Diego continues to win at shows, bear calves and produce well and she is turning 8 years old this September. She is headstrong but sweet and used to push Trin around the first few years she started working with her. Today they have a sweet affection for one another and an understanding that Trin is in charge. During the shoot I watched in amazement as Trin and Tanya directed 1600 lb. Diego to my requests for portrait settings.
Trinity has been involved with 4-H for years and when she started doing well with showing, it fed her love for 4-H more. She loves watching all the hard work for caring and training a cow pay off in the show ring. Trin is a member of Future Farmers of America and how cool is it that so was her mom and she still has her mom’s jacket! Trin was also crowned Dairy Princess at the Fair this year which comes complete with a sash and crown. Her job is to serve as goodwill ambassadors for the dairy industry through appearances that help explain dairy farmers’ passion for taking care of their animals and land while providing nutritious food for people locally and throughout the world. Truly could not imagine a better ambassador for the dairy world! Trin has a heart full of grace for others and her smile lights up every room she enters! She’s humble, kind and hilarious all in one awesome package!
If Trin every decides to pursue a career in country music, I think we have her first album cover here!
As we worked our way around the farm to create for Trinity, I saw her natural love and affection for all the animals we met along the way, from her dogs Trudy, Stewie and Sue, to their puppies (which are for sale), her kitty PM (Project Manager) and the cattle. The feelings are mutual! You can tell a lot about a person based on how animals respond to them and they were all pretty big fans of Trin! We were fortunate enough to see a cow giving birth and watch the first minutes of a calf’s life. Trin loves sharing these moments with her nieces and nephews and sisters. She manages to split her time between school, working on the farm, babysitting and is currently an intern at CJ Miller.
We actually started in studio for a small segment of fine art portraits for Trin.
Funny thing is Tanya thanked me for going the extra mile to create in such memorable ways for Trinity; however, Tanya was right along side us every step of the way working her tail off. She offered her beautician skills to help Trin with her hair, wrangled 1600 lb. Diego, helped to ensure the newly born calf was doing well, cared for the momma cow who’d just given birth mixing up a bucket of electrolytes, weighed in on a calf who wouldn’t take a bottle, a child who wasn’t feeling well and stayed down at the barn after we were headed out to ensure momma and baby were doing ok…because the love of cows runs deep in this family…almost as deep as the love between a mother and daughter.