Through the lens of The Farmer's Friend in 2020

The Farmer's Friend showcasing diversity of agriculture

Life & Style
'Waiting for a ride with Dad' is one of the many beautiful photos showcased on The Farmer's Friend.

'Waiting for a ride with Dad' is one of the many beautiful photos showcased on The Farmer's Friend.

Aa

There's no doubt that every photograph Alisha Reading shares has a story to tell.

Aa

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words, and there's no doubt that every photograph Alisha Reading shares has a story to tell.

Capturing the beauty in everyday moments, The Farmer's Friend takes followers on a journey by showcasing all there is to love about agriculture - the people, the crops, the animals, but most of all, the diversity.

Experiencing the magic that Ms Reading finds through her lens, it has far exceeded what began as "just a hobby".

"The Farmer's Friendstarted in October of 2018 as simply a way to just get better at photography," she said.

"It's something I've always enjoyed and I thought the best way to make myself take photos and get better was to start an Instagram account so I'm being held accountable to post regularly and it's kind of exploded from there, completely unintentionally.

"The business side of things only really officially started in August this year, out of duress because I kept getting asked by businesses to take photos for them, so I thought I better make myself legitimate and make a business out of it.

"I've been very lucky and it's going really well."

Growing up in Gunnedah, New South Wales, and now living on a cropping property at Toobeah, Ms Reading said the name was a bit of a double entendre.

"My grandparents were farmers and I've always had an affinity to farming, and then my partner Matt is a farmer," she said.

"So it's like I'm a friend to the farmers, I'm the friend of a farmer, and kind of annoying like the farmer's friend or a sticky beak, so I just threw a name out there and it stuck."

'Checking the crop'. Photos by Alisha Reading, The Farmer's Friend.

'Checking the crop'. Photos by Alisha Reading, The Farmer's Friend.

The almost 5000 hectare cropping property Boongargil at Toobeah, where Ms Reading lives with partner Matt, as well as a further 3700ha at Nindigully, provide endless opportunities to capture the beauty of life on the land.

"We don't have any stock, it's just cropping, so a majority of what I photograph is crops and headers," Ms Reading said.

"But I really do love the opportunity when I can photograph some cattle or some sheep. Agriculture is diverse so there isn't one thing that I prefer to photograph in particular; I just love where we live and I just want people to see it how I see it."

Despite not having a favourite setting to photograph, a recent rediscovery of her love for horses has resulted in popular demand for her prints.

"I grew up riding and competing on horses most of my life and then stepped away when I started a career in the financial planning industry, and now I've sort of found my way back to being around horses again," Ms Reading said.

"My first fine art collection is in the new gallery that has opened up in Goondiwindi and it's of polo ponies and it's gone really well.

"Five of the seven prints have sold - three before it even opened the doors - and I'm genuinely surprised and shocked with how they've gone."

As well as cultivating an audience with fellow ag lovers, Ms Reading hopes The Farmer's Friend can bridge the divide between country and city.

"Prior to moving onto the farm in 2017, I had been living in Toowoomba and you sort of realise there's a big disconnect between the townies and the country people," Alisha Reading said.

"And also because of the isolation of where we live, The Farmer's Friend was just a way of showing people how beautiful the place is that we live.

"Especially during drought, people just see dust and things dead and no colour, where I see the way that the light hits a dead tree and the texture in that dead tree and it's just a way of showing people how I see it."

While Ms Reading believes agriculture is doing as much as it can to bridge the divide, she said "it's perhaps up to the powers that be to promote our industry more".

"Every human on this planet is a consumer of products from the agriculture industry in some form or another," she said.

"We've always known the importance of the industry but there are people that live in the city that probably take that for granted and don't understand how hard we work and how important it is, that we clothe you and we feed you and without us, what are you going to do?

"Agriculture is great, and everyone should love it."

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by