Kelsey and Phelan are co-owners of Pigasus Meats in South Hero, Vermont. South Hero is an island on Lake Champlain and they are blessed to be running a sustainable meat and egg production on arguably one of the most beautiful farms in Vermont. With stunning sunset views, sprawling grassy fields, and lots of (incredibly) friendly creatures, it would be truly difficult to take a bad photograph there.
Though, there were some unexpected challenges when I visited the farm for their hybrid engagement/business photo session. Upon entering the chicken field, I asked Phelan, “about how many birds do you have here?” His response was, “934.” I was surprised at his precise tally. When we hopped the electric fence, it was birds everywhere. Pecking our legs, boots, and when I knelt down to get some different angles they had no qualms about pecking my arms, camera bag, and camera. It didn’t hurt, but it certainly made me laugh and caught me off guard. I felt like the chicken whisperer. It was impossible to take 2 steps without tripping over chickens. Then there were Hank and Molly. Two beautiful, long haired sheepdogs that live with the chickens and protect them from predators. My, did they melt my heart! It took everything in me to stay focused and not turn the shoot into a dog portrait session. And finally, when we made it to the pigs I quickly learned how fast they are! Every time I knelt down to photograph a pig it would come excitedly charging over, so fast that I couldn’t snap a photo before it ran out of frame. So I would run ahead, camera bag bobbling at my side… turn around, and shoot photos rapid fire until the pigs quickly caught up and rubbed their muddy snouts on my pants.
We had such a joyful, fun shoot. I’ll take muddy snouts and abundant chickens over finding city parking and dealing with traffic any day. Kelsey and Phelan are such hard workers who care about the quality of life of their animals. I highly recommend Pigasus Meats for anyone looking for ethically-raised, delicious products. You can find them at the Burlington farmers market on Saturday mornings.
In just a couple of weeks I’ll be photographing Kelsey & Phelan’s wedding on the farm. I can’t wait!
Photography by Angela Stevens of Juniper Studios – Chittenden, Vermont based wedding photographer.
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