New gallery up on the website: Josephine’s Greens

 (Kathryn Wagner)
I was lucky enough to spend a day with Josephine Roller, St. John’s premier provider of organic produce and local foods. The shoot began bright and early to accommodate her busy schedule and the morning sun. I was excited to get a taste of local farming here on the island. In contrast to my hometown of Charlottesville, local food is not as common in the island’s supermarket and just beginning to gain traction within the community.

Josephine is a shining example of how local fresh produce can positively impact your health and well being. She is one of the only farmers on the island of St. John, using organic methods in all of her produce – and it shows. Anyone who has come to visit an island location only accessible by boat understands how important a business like Josephine’s is to St. John. Other produce imported here is already a week old when it hits supermarket shelves. St. John resorts and restaurants have also taken note, and her Coral Bay garden center supplies produce to all of them.

This series is a beginning to a larger project I am working on highlighting the possibility of sourcing the majority of your food locally, within the challenging environment of an island where land is scarce and small farming not as prevalent as in the States. I want to explore the connection Virgin Islanders have with their food sources and who is providing that connection….Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks!

BEHIND THE SHOT: Destination – Oxford Mississippi

Bronze statue of author William Falkner, on the square in Oxford Mississippi. (Kathryn Wagner Photography)
 (Kathryn Wagner)A cup of coffee called the 'Bowl of Soul' served in the Bottletree Bakery, Oxford Mississippi. (Kathryn Wagner Photography)

Oxford Mississippi is a lovely college town located in Lafayette County Mississippi. Founded in 1835 it is the home to the University of Mississippi and a thriving culture of bakeries, cafe’s and bookstores. The town is in a lovely setting and has maintained a beautiful historic downtown centered around what locals call “The Square.” I had a fantastic time shooting there, and highly recommend a browse in the Square Books shop and a coffee at Bottletree Bakery. Home of many well known writers such as William Falkner and John Grisham, I look forward to the next time I get to peruse the town of Oxford.

BEHIND THE SHOT: Meet Nash, he is a Metropolitan….

 (Kathryn Wagner)

I had a great time this week photographing a rare sight, Nash Metropolitan. The car is the only one in the Virgin Islands and dates from 1962, one of the last years Nash manufactured the Metropolitan model. Many celebrities have also owned a similar vehicle, including Jimmy Buffet, who had a 1958 Nash which he drove around Key West Florida. This car was really beautiful and spoke to me of a genteel era on St. John, when a car was a less common sight than a sailboat. Deanna, the car’s owner, imported it from the U.S. where it has been a member of her extended family for years. She drives it daily and says it ‘runs like a top.’

BEHIND THE SHOT: Lil Old Opry: Matthews County Virginia

"Since 1975 Donk's theater in Matthews County Virginia has been featuring the 'Lil Old Opry' a live country music show featuring local acts and classic country music." (Kathryn Wagner)
Last May I visited with a good friend to take a few portraits on the Virginia’s beautiful Chesapeake Bay. En route to Gwynn’s Island, we passed Donk’s which was a major landmark in the colorful directions we were given to reach our destination. The place really stood out to me, as it seemed unchanged since it’s inception as a live country music show in June of 1975. Since then, Donk’s has had a live show every other Saturday evening keeping the tradition of stage performance alive in Eastern Virginia. Though we did not have a chance to catch a show on the last visit, I will definitely check out this Virginia landmark next time I am passing through.

New post, New Year!

Already 2010 has been good to me. I have recently received an invitation to Kickstarter.com from the awesome Mike Shipman and I plan on creating a project centered on the unique history of St. John.

What is Kickstarter? It is a wonderful online community, a ‘new way to fund ideas and endeavors’ specifically geared to the creative within all of us. I have really enjoyed the site and the great ideas being funded there. From a trip around the world to a comic book guide to frugal living it is exciting to see such great ideas come to light.

Stay tuned for more on the upcoming project, and a Happy New Year to all!