My Trip to a Photographer's Mecca

Quick! Think about Vermont!

Do you have an image in your mind? Is it of rolling hills and a red barn? Chances are the image in your mind is of the Jenne Farm in Reading, Vermont.

The Jenne Farm is considered one of the most photographed spots in all of Vermont and perhaps the most photographed farm in the world.

Think of it as a rural "Kodak Picture Spot" except without the Kodak-sponsored sign. Instead the Jenne Farm has a home made donation box.

It is said that at dawn during the fall foliage season, photography buffs line up tripod to tripod to catch the magical light that falls on the hills and pastures surrounding the farm.

How did this spot become so famous? The story goes that it was discovered by a photography school in South Woodstock about 50 years ago. Soon images from the farm started popping up everywhere in calendars, on cards and in magazines including Life magazine photo contests, pictures on the cover of Yankee magazine and Vermont Life. Corporate America even got into the act with full color spreads on the front pages of their annual reports. Eventually, Jenne hit the big time, appearing in a Budweiser commercial, and in two movies; Forrest Gump and Funny Farm.

I took a trip over to Vermont to see if I could find this spot off of Rt 106 and low and behold there was the sign for Jenne Farm Road and a dirt road leading up the hill. Just a little way on the road I found the pull out next to the donation box.

After reading about all of the hype I half expected to see a dozen cars there and a bunch of photographers all elbowing their way into position like a bunch of paparazzi.

But no I was the only one there, I had the place all to myself. I took a deep breath and started to look around for the best vantage points. Some of them I knew from memories of having seen the images in print. Then I got to work.

I missed the peak foliage by about a week and the recent storms had whipped a lot of the leaves away. Plus it was about 9:30 far from the mystical dawn hours but the skies were unsettled, the cows were in the fields, and I had my new polarizing filters on my lenses so I think I managed to get some good shots.

I couldn't see any marks on the ground from previous tripods but I did manage to step in a few cow pies. On my way out I put a few bucks in the donation box - its such a Vermont kind of thing to share such a view with complete strangers.

I'll be back this winter to get some shots of the farm covered with snow!

P.S. I've started a barn collection at: RF Barn Photo Collection

Photographer's Personal Website


Some other Dreamstime photos of Jenne Farm:

Photo credits: Gerard1723, Jason Yoder, Peanutroaster.

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October 24, 2011


I suppose that's wise Wisconsinart - since the buyers can print up to 500,000 copies, surely that would cover most photo books.

October 24, 2011


Wisconsin might just be the, this is just a --- ;-)

I've been staying out of this thread on purpose. I have images that I DON'T upload as they will hopefully be published in a book someday. Not gonna give those away for 42 cents a shot. :-)

Keep up the good work, Peanutroaster.

October 24, 2011


Wisconsin might just be "the", this is just "a" --- ;-)

October 24, 2011


I thought Wisconsin was the Photographers Mecca ???

October 23, 2011


I very much liked the second your work.

October 21, 2011


Lovely images and fun blog. Look forward to seeing your views of the farm covered in snow this winter!

October 21, 2011


I read your blog with great pleasure. Thanks! You show so well the photographers' spirit and the desire to get the best photos. Looking forward to more! Ewapix

October 21, 2011


Great photos!

October 21, 2011


Beautiful photos !!!^_^

October 21, 2011


Gmargittai - I guess I haven't figured it out myself. It's kind of like fishing with a guide who tells you exactly where to cast your line.

I fished with my father in law once who is this amazing fly fisherman. All day long I caught nothing while he was catching fish. When it was time to hike back home I protested saying "but I didn't catch anything yet". He came over, told me to cast it next to a certain rock and I caught a fish immediately.

So I was happy to catch a fish, but I would have rather caught one on my own.

October 21, 2011


Beautiful images, great job!!!

October 20, 2011


Great photos !

October 20, 2011


Liked your article, very well written. I could not figure out if you indeed consider the spot a special place deserving all the attention it got through the years or you are making fun of all the "photographers elbowing their way". It is probably a bit of both.

Good stuff.

October 20, 2011


Great blog, beautiful images, thanks for sharing.

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