Clay County Fair + Red River Valley Fair

A few weeks back fellow photographer Britta Trygstad and I decided to partake in a shared photo adventure. We went to the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo, N.D., and a few days later took in the Clay County Fair in Barnesville, Minn. The premise was to go to the same event for the same amount of time and compare images afterward. There may be a larger effort evolving from these outings so I’m only including one image from each location. We’re meeting tomorrow so we’ll see what comes next.

When I worked for the local newspaper my primary task at an event like a county fair was almost always established ahead of time. Typically, the editors wanted a single image for the Metro front or a small selection of images for a feature page or photographs showing this or that. You get the idea. My purpose was clear – and often written down for me in the form of a photo assignment.

These days, my purpose is often so broad and undefined that I find myself overwhelmed, especially in visually-rich environments like county fairs. Assuming we do this again – and I’m sure we will because it is good for us – I hope to establish a goal or at least the makings of a goal in advance of any image making.

P.S. The photo on the left is from the Clay County Fair and the photo on the right is from the Red River Valley Fair.

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