Sorcha Tijmons, farming photography, the Netherlands
Sorcha Tijmons did not grow up among fields or animals. But love brought her to the farmyard, and there she developed her passion: photographing everyday farm life. Her goal? Reducing the gap between farmers and citizens through beautiful photography.
Sorcha Tijmons grew up in the city, but was always attracted to the countryside. Through her boyfriend, who is a dairy farmer himself, she came into contact with the agricultural sector. At school she chose to study dairy farming, followed by higher education at the HAS Hogere Landbouwschool in Dronten. During her training, she did internships in Canada and Belgium.
Today, Sorcha is working as a climate project expert for ZLTO (Zuidelijke Land- en Tuinbouworganisatie – professional association for farmers and horticulturalists in the south of the Netherlands, ed.) and she helps out at her parents-in-law’s dairy farm. “I help feed the calves and with the milking, but I also like to lend a hand during silage or other work on the farm,” she says. “In the future, my partner hopes to take over his parents’ farm,” she says.
Sorcha had already been active as a hobby photographer for some time, but her passion for agricultural photography started when she took her camera to the dairy farm to photograph the newborn calves. “When a calf was born, I would sit patiently in the calving pen and make pictures. They were always beautiful,” says Sorcha. “I can also spend hours in the stables or between the cows, waiting for that perfect shot.” Sorcha took several photography courses and trainings, so she has a solid photographic knowledge. By working on the farm Sorcha also knows how to handle the crops, animals and machines. And from her job, Sorcha also knows the social issues. An ideal mix to capture the sector and its sensibilities. “Through my photography, I want to show people how farmers work day and night for his or her farm and animals and I hope that that can make a difference in how consumers view the food supply.”
A photographer must also have people skills. The agricultural sector is often a closed sector, dificult to access for outsiders. As a photographer, Sorcha takes the time to get to know the farms she visits. “Some time ago, for example, I was with a livestock farmer to take pictures for a book,” she says. “And she tolf me she hated having her picture taken. We walked around the yard together and ended up in the stables. There, she started to tell us about her cattle, and suddenly her passion and entrepreneurship were all over the place. That’s when I grab my camera. When she finally saw the pictures, she told me I managed to capture her beautifully. It’s moments like that that make it all worthwile!”
Sorcha would like to turn her hobby into her profession. “Taking photographs full time and contributing to telling the farmers’ story in that way would be wonderful. To drive through the Netherlands and Belgium and capture the agricultural sector is my dream.”
Sorcha Tijmons (28) grew up in the city, but love brought her to the countryside. She frequently helps out at the her parents-in-law’s dairy farm and works as a project expert on climate at ZLTO (trade association for farmers and horticulturalists in the south of the Netherlands). In her spare time, she can be found on the farm, in the stables or in the fields with her camera.
She combines her passion for photography with her love for the agricultural sector. The result? Great photos of everything related to our industry.
This article appeared in Women in Ag Mag #2. Click here to read the magazine.
Text: Kim Schoukens
Pictures: Sorcha Tijmons