As Caro Telfer, Photographer I have been photographing farming families for many years, as part of my family portrait business.
I realised that I wanted to document more than just the people on the farm when I was photographing producer stories for Meat and Livestock Australia. I enjoyed photographing farmers working with their livestock in the yards or paddocks.
When my friend’s family made the tough decision to sell their farm I went and photographed the farm to make a farm album for the family before they left. Then I decided our own family should have one!
I wished that I had something similar to show my kids so they could see what I did on the farm with their grandfather before I was married. We have a bit of old video footage somewhere, but not an album of photos that tells the whole story.
I grew up with my three sisters on a farm in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. After dropping out of university when I turned 21 I went home to the family farm and farmed with my father for six years. I learnt a lot about machinery and enjoyed driving the tractor and the harvester. I remember we had one very dry year when I spent a lot of time in the old International truck carting water for livestock. I had my own sheep dog, and we spent hours droving sheep and working in the sheep yards. At shearing time I would roustabout until I got my owner-classer certificate and then I could class the wool.
Eventually the farm was sold and I moved to a tourist town where I worked at an art gallery for a short time before I met my husband and moved to his farm near Darkan, on the edge of the Wheatbelt. It was strange becoming a farmer’s wife instead of a farmer. I still help out on the farm but my main focus for the last twenty years has been my children, and now my photography business.