This summer I was commissioned by two different families to photograph their plantation homes and farms in Alabama's Black Belt. The first one I began shooting in Faunsdale in June where the family plantation, dating back to the 1840s, had been restored by and remains in the family. There is so much history there... so many memories... so many stories... so much love. I not only photographed the plantation home and its gardens, but was able to creatively document the beautiful land that surrounds it and has supported it. We drove a little... walked a little... as I was given a "propa" tour of both Faunsdale and Union Town. I photographed the downtown main streets, other family homes, the churches they grew up in, married in and still worship in, as well as a graveyard and the family cemetery... just down the road. (Everything is... just down the road.)
Spending time with this family was so much fun... "When yur down thaye"... everything seems to slow down, including your step, your pace and your drawl. They love ending their days by spendin' time on the porch... with "sand-pile friends," watching a colorful sunset over a field of wildflowers... peppered with great story-telling, good southern digs, and the usual cocktail or two. And most importantly... What happens on the porch, stays on the porch!!!
The second book I've been commissioned to photograph won't start until October and will conclude next spring. It's just down the road from Faunsdale.... and the infamous, Faunsdale Cafe. I am so thrilled and honored to be the creative director in telling their story through the lens of my camera -- of their home and farm which is steeped in rich, family history with a long-time connection to and love of the land.
I'll be posting photos to share with you.... Let me tell your story... where ever it may be -- at home, the lake, the beach or just down the road....(LOL).
Well as the summer draws to a close, it proves to be a bittersweet time... For me, I'm thankful for the time spent with my daughter, a working vacation in Beaufort, play dates with her friends and mine, swim team practice and meets (and lots of ribbons & medals)... oh, the carefree days of summer. Yet at the same time, I have to admit, I'm excited about getting back into a routine... it's time for structure, schedules and school.
Wishing you all a blessed remainder of summer as you prepare for the school year.
Catherine Pittman Smith