This is the last of my posts about Charleston, and just looking at these photos again makes me want to hop on a plane and go back right now! On Saturday morning, the second morning of our workshop, we woke up pretty early, rolled out of bed, and hightailed it to the Charleston Farmers Market. We arrived right at opening time to beat the crowds of people, dogs, and strollers that would soon arrive. Similar to our goal at Lana, the objective was to take photos that told a story of the market.
This was simultaneously the most fun and most challenging shoot (in my opinion) of the entire workshop. For starters, I was a bit awestruck to finally be at this market in real life. I’ve heard Helene mention this market practically every Saturday for the past two years and I was just dying to experience it myself. I was on overload trying to take it all in while still take anything resembling a decent photo.
Of course, there were more than enough subjects to make it interesting. I was amazed at both the sheer number of vendor stands and the variety of their offerings. There was of course a huge abundance of farm fresh produce, flowers, etc. but there was so much more than that. Fresh pasta, jams and preserves, salsas, fancy popsicles, gourmet sodas, artists galore. I was in heaven. We only had one hour to shoot so unfortunately I only covered about half of the market in that time. When I saw other participants’ photos later, I realized there were many really cool booths I didn’t get around to. Just more reason to go back, I guess.
As far as the photography, this shoot was challenging for many reasons. First of all, the morning light was briiiiight and direct. Since I like to shoot on manual, I was constantly readjusting my settings with every few steps and with every new subject. Second, I had similar issues as when we shot at Lana, worried that I would make people in my general frame self-conscious or that I would be in their way. This became more difficult as more and more people arrived, but I did my best. And finally, I was just so overwhelmed by being in this place I had wanted to see for so long and it being even more awesome than I had imagined, it was hard to focus my attention enough to take photos.
One thing that definitely struck me as we browsed around was the care with which the vendors presented their goods. We have some very nice markets here in Indiana, but there was all kinds of creative presentation here with obvious attention to detail. For someone as detail-oriented as I am, it was a feast for the eyes. (Are you kidding me with the squash blossoms in mason jars?!)
These beets were so beautiful. Who knew?!
In addition to scoping out all the lovely produce and other goods, I also greatly enjoyed watching the vendors interact with their customers. Their pride in their work and joy in meeting the market goers was so evident. It was a neat thing to witness. This vendor in particular, Café Tippeneaux, was just so fun and pleasant. He had all kinds of New Orleans-style fare such as beignets, muffalettas, po’ boys, and more. I alternated between watching him serve the customers and drool over all the delicious things they were buying.
Just before Josie and I left, we decided to grab an iced coffee from his stand. I snapped a quick photo of this muffaletta while I was waiting for my drink. Um, why didn’t I order this again? I really have no idea. I am still thinking about it. Yep, definitely going back soon.
I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into my Charleston trip. Though it was brief, it was an amazing experience packed with memorable moments. Thanks for letting me share it with you!