Bonnie's Hometown Grocery

Much of Minnesota’s Big Stone County – like many parts of the state – has been deemed a “rural food desert” by the United States Department of Agriculture. In fact, huge swaths of middle America and the people who live there have low access to healthy foods and the variety of food found at large grocery stores. Honestly, I’ve never given much thought to food distribution or availability in this part of the world. We’re surrounded by farms and fields.

For a recent assignment with Minnesota Public Radio News I spent the better part of an afternoon in Big Stone County. One of my tasks was to photograph at Bonnie’s Hometown Grocery. The small store, owned by Bonnie Carlson, is located in Clinton, Minn. The grocery is something of an oasis and provides more than just the basics. Mrs. Carlson, who doesn’t like to be photographed, was a gracious host and more than tolerated my presence. I also had the opportunity to briefly visit a small family farm outside Clinton [see bottom two photographs].

You can see more photographs and read [or listen] to the article here. It’s an interesting issue and one we might all want to consider. Thanks for looking. – Ann

Bonnie's Hometown Grocery

Bonnie's Hometown Grocery

Bonnie's Hometown Grocery

Bonnie's Hometown Grocery

Rural Big Stone County

Getting A Drink

Washing Up

Yesterday was a super Super Tuesday here in Fargo, North Dakota. Before I get ahead of myself, I should note that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won the most votes in North Dakota’s statewide Republican caucuses. I’ve had the opportunity to photograph Mr. Santorum and Mitt Romney in recent weeks. I was thrilled when I learned that presidential hopeful Ron Paul planned a stop in Fargo during an area-caucus event. I photographed Mr. Paul at least once years ago for the local newspaper during a visit to North Dakota State University.

Politicians interest me. People interest me. How people respond and react to elected leaders, especially those on the national level, really interests me. I respect any process that brings people together to discuss similar and dissimilar views.

A couple of notes on my approach to photographing Super Tuesday. I brought one camera body, two lenses [24mm and 85mm] and one strobe. I wanted to be mobile and keep things simple. I also went into the event with an intention of being more relaxed about image making. My purpose was to convey an overall sense of the gathering. I wandered around far more than I normally would and spent time chatting with lots of people. The outing was satisfying and even entertaining.

Enjoy the photos and thanks for stopping by. – Ann

P.S. If Newt Gingrich visits Fargo, I would happily photograph his event as well.

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Two short weeks ago GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum held a campaign rally here in Fargo. Not long after, Mr. Mitt Romney announced that he too would visit North Dakota. [In all fairness, I should mention Ron Paul has also visited our state recently.] Anyway, Mr. Romney and his crew planned a public event at Wrigley Mechanical this morning. I planned to go early [to get a decent place to park and a good vantage point]. However, I was on deadline to submit photographs for an editorial assignment and generally playing catch up after yesterday’s forecast blizzard, which was more of a minor snow storm.

With my images submitted, I hurried to make the Romney event, which was running behind schedule according to facebook posts by attendees. By the time I reached Wrigley Mechanical people were leaving. Not good. I found a parking spot easily and hurried in. The event was clearly over, but the candidate was still working the crowd. I moved quickly and photographed for about 20 minutes [that’s roughly the same amount of time as Romney’s speech]. I’m counting this outing as No. 2 of my goal to shoot at least six self-assignments in 2012. Ideally, I would have been able to photograph the event from start to finish. However, I’m giving myself credit for hustling, following through on this self-assignment while not compromising a deadline for another assignment. Best, Ann

Mitt Romney's campaign stop in Fargo, North Dakota

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop In Photos

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop in Photos

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop in Photos

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop in Photos

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop in Photos

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop in Photos

 

 

I love pretty much any kind of editorial assignment. That said, any assignment involving politics, politicians and voters ranks high among my favorites. Last week I photographed the Republican caucus in Moorhead, Minn., for Minnesota Public Radio News. A few days later I heard GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum planned a campaign stop in Fargo. It seemed to make sense to stop by to photograph the event. Apparently, hundreds of other people had the same idea. Local media reports pegged attendance at last night’s rally at 1,000 or more. Enjoy the photographs and thanks for stopping by. – Ann

P.S. Earlier this year I shared my 12 Creative Goals for 2012, which included a mandate to shoot at least six self-assignments [so those I assigned myself]. I’m counting my photographic efforts at Mr. Santorum’s rally as self-assignment No. 1.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

 

Mother Nature recently treated much of North Dakota and portions of northwestern Minnesota to several days of hoar frost. I poked around my backyard [literally] with my cell phone camera one morning. And, ventured around the block [literally] with my 5D another day. Oh, then I made a few photographs in downtown Fargo before a visit to the Plains Art Museum. Enjoy! – Ann

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota