Wondering and Wonderment

Last night, when I was at the San Francisco Botanical Society Library waiting for the teachers to arrive for their workshop about soil, I began to wonder how I got there, not physically got there, but how I got so lucky in life to be able to be a photographer and to experience such wonderful events.


The wonderful event, where my ‘wondering’ began, was the soil class which is a part of the Professional Development workshop series for teachers in the San Fransisco Unified School District. The series is run by the The San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance in order to help teachers feel more comfortable using their outdoor classrooms.


The event was so much fun to photograph because the teachers were so involved in their own wonderment over the wonders of soil that they completely ignored my presence. The room was full of laughter and delight as the teachers became students and got their hands in the dirt.


And on my drive home, after my good friend Rachel who had invited me to photograph the event had thanked me again and again for coming, I wondered if I would always feel like I should be the one doing the thanking for the opportunity to photograph their world.


Not only did I get to have fun taking photographs, but I also got to see a cool new part of San Francisco, I got to meet people who are excited about soil and I learned how to make my compost pile better and why gophers aren’t so bad.

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.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Paige,

    All I can say is “WOW!” – those pictures are absolutely great!!! Makes me wish I had been there – wait, I was there! You really have a tremendous ability to pack a lot of meaning into a single shot, and the expressions you catch on the teachers’ faces are absolutely priceless. We are so incredibly fortunate that you were able to do this for us.

    I plan to use some of these pictures in the Leaflet, the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society’s member newsletter. How would you like to be credited?

    Thanks again, I’m going to be looking at those pictures over and over again.


    Annette Huddle
    Associate Director, Youth Education
    San Francisco Botanical Garden Society


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