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Vegetables

Why is the word “produce” pronounced differently when it’s used as a noun than when it’s used as a verb? I have no idea!

But I can offer some ideas on WHERE to produce images of produce. Probably my favorite is Farmers Markets. Often the growers are the ones selling the produce, and they’re usually very proud of their product and more than willing to let you photograph it as long as you don’t get in the way of paying customers. I like to go when the stalls are being set up. There are no crowds, and the displays are at their prime. You can often glean cooking tips from the vendors as well. They know no one will buy their produce who doesn’t know how to prepare it, so they’re usually happy to advise you. Some even hand out recipe cards!

Farm stands are another good place to find produce displays. Something I like about Farmers Markets and farm stands is that I can usually shoot using only natural light, which is my preference. Keep in mind that vendors and customers may not take kindly to being repetitively blasted with a flash.

But don’t overlook your local grocery store. I’ve taken images inside chain grocery stores that have I have shown and sold in juried shows and in galleries.

Food festivals are another possibility, as there are often displays of whatever fruits or vegetables are featured, as well as various versions of those fruits and vegetables prepared a myriad of different ways. There are also usually heirloom or heritage varieties of fruits and vegetables that you might not otherwise see. Have you ever been to a tomato festival, or an apple festival? That’s when you realize how little variety the chain grocery stores typically carry. They select their produce based on varieties that ship well and have a long shelf life, and those are often NOT the tastiest OR the prettiest!

Do you have any other ideas on where to produce images of produce? If so, I’d love to hear them, and I’ll bet that other readers would too. Please share!

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve been loving your series of produce shots and welcome the tips on where to go to get good photos. I had a great time at a local produce stand last fall and your images may prompt me to visit them again soon. (I also got one of my favorite butterfly shots in the outdoors plant section at my local Home Depot).

  2. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying these images, Mike.

    Love your story of the butterfly shot taken in the nursery section of the hardware store!

    I always say “Photo ops are where you find them.”

    Good luck producing some great produce images…and I hope yours are graced with some beautiful insects as well!

    RPRT Photo


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