Last year I partnered with talented winery owner and winemaker Mary Derby of DAMA Wines to produce a fine art black and white portrait of the notable women of wine in Walla Walla. At first we thought it would be fun to feature naked women. We actually collaborated on a lovely portrait of Mary just wearing her muck boots while holding a glass of wine and sitting on a wine barrel. While quite a lovely photo, not all of the women were receptive to the idea of posing nude! I could not exactly blame them.
I was then inspired by Annie Leibovitz’s work on the 2016 Pirelli Calendar. I wanted to focus on the women’s strength and character, by having the images all in black and white in the same location. Ali Mayfield generously donated the production space at The Walls Winery before it opened to serve as a “studio.” To further the Leibovitz aesthetic, I painted my own canvas backdrops to emulate her photographic style. The calendar itself was beautifully defined by graphic designer Whit Gurley of Angled End Identities.
It was also important to the women that a portion of the sales, once printing expenses were covered, would be donated to the Enology and Viticulture scholarship program at Walla Walla Community College. At first Mary and I were concerned that there would not be enough women to include in a 12 month calendar. We ended up with 16 – not all winemakers, but all who have an influential role in the local industry.