A Morning at the Market: Background
On Sunday, April 24th, I made a trip to the Farmers’ Market in Dupont. I left early in the morning, around 8:30 a.m. (which is early for most college students), to head to the market. I wanted to arrive early, not only because the market closed at one o’clock, but also because I wanted the bright and natural sunlight to be a part of my photographs. Luckily, it did not rain that day like the weather had predicted. Upon arriving at the market, my plan was to capture the beauty and freshness of the produce being sold. As I slowly walked through the market, I took in all the scenery; there seemed to be an endless amount of produce. There were wooden boxes filled with apples, tables piled high with bundles of asparagus and various greens, buckets full of ice to keep milk and yogurt cool, stands of bread, croissants, and other French-sounding pastries, fresh flowers sitting in the sunlight, and so much more. And not only did the fresh produce, such as the asparagus and apples, catch my eye, but all the farmers and the people visiting the market caught my attention as well. It was fun to watch the customers interact with the farmers while they bought their produce.
I continued walking around the market, taking numerous photographs of the fresh produce. In the end, I believe I took over three hundred images. It was extremely hard to choose just seven of those images for my photo essay, but I believe the photographs I ended up choosing are extremely strong and cohesive. First, I wanted to include an establishing shot for my essay, which is why I decided to photograph the main sign of the farmers’ market. Then, after walking around for a while, I knew I definitely wanted to include photographs of the apples and asparagus in my essay, not only because they looked fresh, but also because they were in season. I also took photographs of the tomatoes and herbs; I included pictures of these in my essay because of their bright colors.
Since I took so many photographs of produce, I made sure to use various angles so that there would not be any repetition in my essay. I also decided to incorporate a couple of images in my essay that included people. The people, however, are not the main subjects in these photographs. I wanted to show the produce in the foreground, and then have the customers in the background; this allows the viewer of my essay to see a better view of the market because even though the produce is extremely important in the market, the customers are an integral part of it as well.
To take my photographs at the farmers’ market I used my Sony Cyber-shot. And my total time spent at the market was somewhere near three hours. Of course, I was not photographing every minute of this time; I actually did buy some of the produce at the market. The produce of the market looked too good to resist, much better than anything found at the Terrace Dining Room. So on a break from my photography, I bought some apples (the ones shown in my essay actually), a croissant, and a loaf of bread. It was extremely pleasing to meet the people who were supplying me with my food. I talked with the farmer at the apple stand for a while, and asked her if it would be all right if I took photographs of her produce.
Overall, my photo essay went extremely well. Not only did I experience the beauty and liveliness of the farmers’ market in Dupont, but I was able to capture it and form it into a photo essay as well. I hope that my essay shows that food does not have to be this abstract entity that we obtain from a cafeteria or out of a box, but rather that we really can be more involved with our food. By going to farmers’ markets and buying food, we see not only the freshness and seasonality of food, but we also see where, and whom, that food is coming from. For me, it is very powerful to know where my food comes from. And I have found that the best place to find out the sources of my food is the farmers’ market.