In March 2015 I attended the 1 day seminar `The Business of Nonprofit photography` held by Jamie Rose at the Leica Store in San Francisco.
It was a great inspiring day, very informative, and with the added bonus of 2 fabulous guests: Pulitzer prize-winning photographer Preston Gannaway and Sacramento Bee multimedia editor Sue Morrow.
Quill, Larry and Quince Markegard gather around a new born calf, in their ranch in San Gregorio, CA. @Federica Armstrong
Tell us about your journey as an image-maker and how you got to where you are today. I fell in love with photography in my teen years, when I began traveling and my father gave me his camera a Nikon EM. Later I began working with b&w, developing and printing images in my own darkroom. In my thirties I lived for 6 years in Asia, there I discovered my passion for documentary work.
For the last 7 years I have been living in the San Francisco Bay Area and here I have began to work with non-profit organizations creating images and multimedia pieces for their marketing needs as well as working on personal documentary projects. It`s been a great journey, both outwards and inwards. The creative process has a lot of ups and down, I feel that sometimes it`s too results driven – I remind myself that it`s about the process, and as long as I keep trying and push myself out of the comfort zone… it will work out.
Erik Markegard gathers cows at Toto Ranch in San Gregorio, CA. @Federica Armstrong
What stories or issues are you most passionate about covering?
I am interested in social and environmental stories. Agriculture is a subject that I am very drawn to because it`s at the intersection of both social and environmental issues, especially here in California.
Doniga checks their herd of Belted Galloway cows. @Federica Armstrong
Where do you look for inspiration for your work: books, movies, authors, photographers, art, certain people?
For daily inspiration I check out NYTimes Lens blog, and Lenscratch daily e-mail. Great photographers I admire: Sebastiao Salgado, James Nachtwey, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Eugene Smith, Andre’ Kertesz and so many more. Contemporary projects I love: The Geography of Poverty by Matt Black, Family Love by Darcy Padilla, Drowning World by Gideon Mendel. Memorable book: Witness in our time by Ken Light. FotoRoom is the ‘go to’ resource for competitions, awards, grants. For create wisdom: Brain Pickings and Nitch. On Instagram I love The Photo Society, Viewfind, Open Society Foundation, Lensculture, VII Agency, Noor Images, many more, and of course Momenta Workshops!
Doniga Markegard teaches her son Larry how to use bow & arrows. @Federica Armstrong
What social media or news feeds do you follow regularly?
I am a big NPR listener, next is NYTimes, The New Yorker, The Atlantic. Favorite social media platform by far: Instagram.
What is one passion you have outside of photography that might come as a surprise to our readers?
I love baking! I enjoy cooking in general but baking is my favorite, it reminds me of photography for that mix of technical skills and creativity. On my bucket list I have this dream of living in a little village somewhere in France for a year, learning to bake all kinds of delicious desserts in one of those old pastry shops with windows full of mouth-watering cakes — and document the whole process with my camera!
The Markegard family in their ranch in San Gregorio, CA. @Federica Armstrong
What can we expect to see this week from your guestagramming on our Momenta Instagram account?
Next week I will post images from “Grass-Fed”, the story of the Markegard Family Ranch. This is a project I started in 2014, declared by the UN as the year of Family Farming. The Markegard are an amazing family, they have 4 kids and grow grass fed cows on the California coast in San Gregorio, just south of San Francisco.