Photojournalist and documentary photographer Jason Houston has spent over 20 years photographing community, culture, and how we live on the planet for editorial and NGO clients. His engaged, long-term approach to complex issues captures...
On-going Personal Project with Exhibitions, Books, Stock and Assignments
I started photographing farms in western Massachusetts where I lived for a decade because I believed that food and where it comes from and how it is made is one the most urgent, universally important issues our world faces today. And the more time I’ve spent on this work, the more I came to understand that we really are also in serious trouble: Issues of personal health and world hunger; the instability and injustice of an oil-dependent economy; terrorism, increasing agricultural trade surpluses, and structural violence of a global food system; the lack of knowledge around genetic engineering, the loss of traditional knowledge and regional varieties in our crops; the ethical treatment of animals and the impact on our environment… all are part of the dynamic we participate in each and every day, every time we eat.
Proponents of industrial agriculture will insist we are too far-gone and must buy into technological solutions. But a growing number of communities around the world are challenging this assumption, and farmers on small, independently owned, and community focused farms are helping local economies grow and sustainable agriculture take hold in legitimate and effective ways. Such farmers represent real alternatives and I photograph them to provoke the critical conversations we need to be having about where our food comes from and the sustainability and vitality of that system.
My images of food and agriculture have been used in over a dozen books and more than 400 articles on the issue of food and agriculture in titles including The New York Times Magazine, Time, Orion, Cornell Univ's Small Farm Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal, Modern Farmer, Gastronomica, and Mother Earth News. My work on small farms has been exhibited at Harvard, Yale, Stone Barns, Spike Gallery (NYC), Mountainfilm and other fine art and public venues.