Job Description: Photograph as many farmers markets in Chicago as you possibly can before September 6th.
How much better could a summer internship sound? You are required to spend a few days per week in the sunshine photographing fresh produce, meeting interesting people, and wandering through one of the greatest cities in the United States.
I was fortunate to land an internship working as a photographer for one of the many Edible publications around North America. I was given the task of exploring all of the farmers markets that take place in the city where I was born and raised. Even though I grew up in Chicago, I still feel like a tourist most of the time. There are so many neighborhoods that I have yet to discover, in addition to the many changes that I encounter each time I come home. This summer has given me the opportunity to find numerous new spots to dine, drink, and shop. The best part of Chicago is that there is always something new happening around the next corner. I feel very lucky for the opportunity to photograph such an important part of this city's culture. I was given the freedom of subject matter and shooting style, which only made the job description more appealing.
As an intern, I am given $100 a month for travel and parking expenses. Every Thursday and Sunday I decide on one to two markets to focus on and drive from the Northern suburbs into the city. I really enjoy not knowing what the market is going to be like until I arrive. The size of any given farmers market can range from one vendor (Austin Farmers Market) to over 4 dozen (Evanston Farmers Market). Although it may seem like it would be incredibly difficult to photograph a market with only one farm stand, it allows you to get to know that farmer/vendor on a different level. Weekend markets can get unbelievably busy because it is when most people have free time to spend, which makes it slightly harder to speak with the vendors you’re photographing. It is easier to connect with those who have the time to talk. No matter how big or small a market may be, it always has something to offer, especially to its community.
Not only has this summer internship been amazing in itself, the woman who I get to call my boss, the Editor and Chief of Edible Chicago, Ann Flood, has been such a blessing to collaborate with. I feel as though it is difficult to find people that you connect with creatively, intellectually and personally. We met for the first time after the Summer 2017 issue was released in August and we ended up talking over a beautiful, fresh meal for over two hours. It is so special when you can find someone who shares similar interests and passions as you.
To date I have visited 14 farmers markets in the Chicagoland area:
- Northfield Farmers Market
- Wagner Farm Market
- Low-Line Farmers Market
- Argyle Night Market
- Lincoln Square Farmers Market
- Evanston Farmers Market
- Logan Square Farmers Market
- Wicker Park Farmers Market
- Highland Park Farmers Market
- Green City Market Chef BBQ
- SOAR Farmers Market
- Federal Plaza Farmers Market
- Austin Market
- Portage Park Farmers Market
and the list is only going to grow…
Towards the beginning of the summer, I was slightly nervous to photograph the farmers markets in Chicago because I had been shooting very similar subject matter during the previous summer interning for Edible Michiana. But as more time passed, I came to realize that no two farmers markets are alike and that there is always something to document. Every market comes with its own unique ambiance, wonderful vendors, happy locals, and beautiful food.
If any Chicagoans are interested in finding their local farmers market or following Edible Chicago's Instagram Page, click on the appropriate link below (directly above the market photos)!
My upcoming blog post will touch on my favorite parts about the markets and why they are so important to me. Stay Tuned!