Two years ago when we last had our booth at the fair, I met Nicole Ghidinelli, as she was one of the Dairy Princesses working at the Humboldt Creamery booth next to ours. Having our booth next to the Humboldt Creamery of course meant free ice cream was just a short walk away, and during one ice cream excursion I spoke to Nicole about photographing some cows for some stock photos.
I was pleasantly surprised when she called me up a few weeks ago and inquired about having a large family portrait made on their dairy. I met with Nicole at the studio and went over some basic ideas but I wanted to see the ranch first so we scheduled a pre-shoot visit, during which I met Nicole’s grandfather, Albert. On meeting Albert I instantly thought that with his full beard and 80+ years of character, that he would be an interesting subject to photograph.
Nicole and I walked around their ranch and we selected an area that would provide a nice view of the hills behind the cows in the field.
Two weeks later I returned for the portrait and was surprised to find a clean shaven Albert! Seems his family didn’t like his beard as much as I did. Oh well, it’ll grow back and then I can take another portrait of him.
We first started out in the field with a group shot of Albert, his three children, Tom, Marjorie and Mike and all the spouses and grandkids. That was followed with different subgroup portraits. While photographing the different groups, I loved listening to the banter going back and forth. The cows also provided a lot of entertainment, and it appears that even cow communities have divas.
After we finished with those portraits I wanted to get some photos of Albert over by the barn. There are things you can do photographing a man in his eighties that you can’t do with a woman of any age, such as accentuating every wrinkle. Albert was a fun subject and even with the serious expression I asked for there was still that twinkle in his eyes that revealed his pleasant nature. I’m not sure if living on Pleasant Point makes you pleasant, or if it got that name because pleasant people live there, but I can say I had a pleasant morning at the Ghidinelli dairy.