This summer for my project I spent approximately:

2 months on

85 photoshoots…..focusing on about

60 different main characters…….and took about

100 rolls of 120 film with 15 images per roll=

1500 photographs……$3.45 per roll = $400 (plus shipping and tax)

plus tripod, plus processing and developing and scanning = $1,000, so I probably spent about $1,500-$2,000 on this project….not including my hours and hours of interviewing, editing, driving, sitting in church services, drag races, town hall meetings, teacher meetings, football games, hot dog restaurants…….

And what does it amount to?

13 images selected by my tutor plus 2 that he will not argue if I include……

15 images.


These 15 are art worthy, gallery quality photos? art book?…….functional? Who is this project for? What am I doing it for? The community will not be excited about these 15 images…..a magazine won’t be excited about these 15 images…….and 15 is not quite enough for a book…..and we have learned books are a big waste of money, in today’s publishing world…..So it is just hard to wrap my brain around right now……the purpose, the meaning, the expenses, was it worth it?……

We shall see.


About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

All posts by paige green →


  1. I think that’s a bargain for the experience in cultivating subjects, learning a new camera, learning new methods of shooting, negotiating entrance to different venues, dealing with rejection and completing a project start to finish which some people never ever do. You can’t put a price on all of that. And just think of how valuable all that will be for your next project that might become a book or an art show or someone’s wedding album? Again. Sounds like a bargain. Can’t wait to see the pics in person. XO


  2. After many discussions, with other classmates and another tutor….I have decided the 15 photos, while they are beautiful and definitely demonstrate the best of the best, minimalism is not my style. It is not what I am going for.

    I do not want my photos to be for an exclusive art scene where the photos serve no purpose other than to be beautiful and obscure. I want my photos to communicate, to tell the stories of the lives of this community. I wish every photo was equally as good….but there are some that are not as strong as others, but they help communicate and what is the point if it is not to communicate….so I am going to graciously combine all the varying remarks and responses I have gotten from all the different tutors and friends and I am going to create the edit that i want to create….

    And yes the whole experience was worth every second and penny/sterling that I have spent….because of the lessons I have learned, the people I have met, and the time I got to spend with my favorite mom and favorite dogs….


  3. Does that mean you will choose others to include based on the subject even if they aren’t as beautiful? I like it. You know what you are going for. Can’t wait to see what you pick.

    It is always a strange exercise to attach a price tag to an experience. we all do it. I would ignore that if I were you….what is a couple g for an incredible, life-path-altering experience. It ain’t a thang.


  4. I’ve just spent a bit of time catching up on Paige. I missed a lot by not checking in since early summer.
    Paige, very impressive. I envy what you have thrown yourself into. The Blog is great for many reasons, well done.
    As far as “15” goes, I’ve asked myself often this year what the hell I’m doing. Every time I’ve used a camera, I’ve been conflicted. It’s either been for work and I hated it or for fun and I felt foolish for wasting the time and money. But now I can honestly say every moment has been worth it. No questions. I’ve found the value of these things are not always obvious.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: