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Featured farm photographer with Leeza Norby

Published on 25 November 2020
Leeza Norby

How did you get started in photography?

NORBY: I first started photographing all of the animals around our little hobby farm when I was young with disposable cameras; when I would fill one up, it was my favorite thing to head to town with my mom and get it developed. The local 4-H chapter in the area really brought together my two passions of animals and photography as projects to bring to the fair. When I was finally old enough to show livestock at our county fair, I sold my very first pig and used the money to pay off all of my expenses, and with the extra I purchased my first “big girl” camera.

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Photo of grazing cow

I continued to photograph anything and everything I could, all the while every couple years I would upgrade my camera bodies and lenses as I could. In 2013, I began photographing more than just animals as my subjects. I began with family and friends’ pictures, which eventually helped my business turn the corner and go public in 2018.

What is your favorite type of photo to shoot?

NORBY: I now primarily do livestock, weddings and couples’ photography. While I thrive on weddings and all they have to offer, Western and livestock photography is what sets my soul on fire. When I am photographing anything animal-related, I 100% forget that I am doing this as a job. I feel as though the animals are some of my own and will do whatever it takes to get that perfect photo.

Describe your most memorable photo shoot.

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Grazing cow

NORBY: One of my most memorable sessions was in the summer of 2018 at Bert-Mar Farms. Erica [Lundberg] reached out asking me to come and photograph some of their youngstock, as well as a girl that worked with them. I have followed along with their farm for a long time and knew the caliber of cattle they had, so being around them was icing on the cake. Any time that I can love up on some animals at a session for me is a win, so dairy cows that don’t run away from you like other cattle was even better. I went into the session not knowing what to expect, so when Erica and Graham [Giese] pulled out all the tips and tricks, things became effortless. We had a fog machine, threw paint in the air on the cattle and an amazing sunset. At the end of the session, I happened to glance at the time and realized that I had spent half the day there doing what I loved, and it came so effortlessly.

Why do you enjoy farm-related photography?

NORBY: I have always had a large heart when it comes to the agricultural and farming industry. Being a part of the local 4-H chapter in our area helped grow my love of animals, I think always having them around made for the perfect subjects. I now live on a farm in Eleva where we have the perfect sunrise over the cattle pastures and sunsets on the other end of the pastures.

Photo of cattle

While sunrises and sunsets have a special spot in the heart, with cattle (or any animal) in them it just makes them that much better. One of my favorite things about photographing the agricultural and farming community is the relationships I gain. I could sit and talk for hours about crops and cattle. I especially love when the generation farmers come and tell me all the stories of their farming years. That to me is one of the most timeless and special things I could ever gain from these industries. Capturing their love of their land and animals is one of the most amazing things on top of hearing those stories.

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What are one or two tips you would give to an amateur photographer who wants to take a great picture of people and/or animals?

NORBY: Find a way to use your camera every day. I mean it – practice makes perfect, and while your style will always be evolving and changing, the best thing you can do is continue to photograph every single day. Another tip I have for anyone starting out is: Don’t be afraid to ask other photographers you look up to questions. We all started from somewhere and had to figure it out and ask questions along the way too.  end mark

Leeza NrobyLeeza Norby
Eleva, Wisconsin
Leeza Marie Photography
Facebook: Leeza Marie Photography
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Leeza Marie Photography

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