We found ourselves in at the most incredible farm in Western NY for this assignment. Super Lawyers Magazine had tasked us with creating a cover story about Ginger Schröder – a founding partner at the Buffalo based firm of Schröder, Joseph, And Associates. During our production calls the client informed me that Ginger makes a long commute several times a week from her rural property to her office in the city, so we would be heading to Farmersville NY that evening to photograph Ginger on her home turf.
As my assistant Lindsay and I left Buffalo and headed towards Cattaraugus county and ultimately Farmersville we began to see the gradation of change that takes place when leaving Buffalo in certain directions. Sterile highways quickly morph into rural thoroughfares and eventually become small country roads that wind blindly up into the hills. Dense old growth trees and brush suddenly open up to views of lush working fields and valleys below. Cars become less frequent and you begin to see the occasional buggy as you realize you are skirting the edge of one of WNY’s Amish communities. It’s stunning – both for its raw beauty and for the fact that we’ve barely traveled an hour from home and yet I feel like I’m somewhere wholly removed from there. It’s a reality that I quickly learned wasn’t lost on Ginger when I met her. This place, and the farm she’s built here, are her respite from city life.
When we finally arrived at the farm, Waverley Pond, we learned that there were more residents present than Ginger and her family. We were enthusiastically greeted by the Family’s dogs, and more cautiously approached by some of the chickens and ducks that roam the property (Apparently a fox had been terrorizing the flock in recent weeks) There were horses off in one of the more distant pastures, some of whom we later learned were rescues, saved by Ginger at the last-minute from poor treatment and dire situations prior to her family’s care bringing them back to health. I can only imagine that the effort and responsibility of tending the to the land and animals at Waverley Pond as well as running an immensely successful law firm must be herculean, but it seems like work Ginger gladly embraces.
Ginger gave us a tour of the farm as the sun started to get low in the sky. We quickly scouted for locations, but finding them proved simple, as it seemed that around every corner we found something new we wanted to include in a portrait: a private pond, beautiful barns and stables, and expansive fields with horses grazing in the background (Though they didn’t stay in the background for long – I never cease to be amazed by how curious horses always seem to be about my gear. Thankfully Lindsay, did a great job of managing our equine extras when they weren’t in our shots). The early evening light and heavy incoming clouds created a perfect atmosphere, with cool blue mixing with warm amber and purple in the fading light as we finished setting up our gear and started shooting the first of several portraits we would make that evening for this cover story.