In 1849, Talbot Farm outside of Waterford, Virginia was the first property insured by Loudoun Mutual Insurance Company. To this day the farm remains covered by Loudoun Mutual, and has been continuously for the past 166 years. “Policy Number One” as we call it around the office. There can only be a handful of other properties across this country that can claim as long of a streak of continuous insurance with one company as Talbot Farm.
About a year ago, it was determined that we should acknowledge the legacy of Talbot by capturing four seasons’ of images from the farm and placing that artwork in our boardroom. Being the de facto company photographer, the assignment came to me – a task I embraced with enthusiasm, though knowingly aware of the historic and challenging degree of the request.
Talbot’s current owner has become a friend of our company. When I asked last summer, she graciously afforded the green light to stop by anytime I want. Today’s visit represented the third of four seasons… and it also represented the coldest day of the young year, not getting above 20 degrees during the two hours I spent creating 103 images. The cold made for brutal work, but also it was quite invigorating. I haven’t been adrenalized by the outdoors or any creative endeavor in a few months. It felt good to be alive in the outdoors again. The adrenaline was especially flowing when I was halfway across a snow covered field as the sun crested the horizon. For just a minute, it flared through a barn window creating the perfect opportunity to fire shots uncharacteristically in quick succession before the earth rotated the sun’s rays out of the window. (My normal photographic pace is turtle-like. But when the sun flares, I’m a hare.)
After returning to normal pace and as I snapped my final shot - a boxwood covered in snow – I sensed for the first time that I was going to miss this place when the assignment was completed in spring. I’ve greatly enjoyed focusing on the colors, seasons, and changes at Talbot Farm over the past year.