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Family Farm

Story telling is an art

People love to tell stories and they love hearing them.  A good story can impart wisdom and some times teach a lesson. Before the written word was invented the story teller was an important member of the tribe. He or she was responsible for collecting tribal history and wisdom and passing it along to the next generation.

Photos tell stories

I like to tell stories with my photos. Right now the biggest story in my life has to do with my job and the foreclosed properties in my area.  Especially the vacant historic homes around town and the vacant store fronts.  They all tell a story.  They are not about buildings they are about people. The people that lived in the homes matter and so do the business owners.

They are not telling their own stories so I am documenting the real estate market, and the economy with my camera.  It has been challenging and at times exhausting.  I can’t look at a vacant home with a child’s toy in it and a basket ball hoop on the garage without feeling something.  I both admire and pity people who can remain detached.

There are happy stories too.

I recently saw a home that has been vacant for two years.  It has a fresh coat of pain on it now and curtains in the windows.  There were green paper shamrocks on one of the windows, and a dog in the yard.

A photo contest and a chance to tell a story.

Inman News is having a photo contest. (see complete rules on the Inman site)    Daniel Rothamel and I are two of the judges.  They are offering a prize, a $200 dollar gift certificate.  The deadline for entering is March 31st.

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I like the idea of nation wide documentation of the real estate market.  Telling the stories both happy and sad with photographs. What is happening now in the economy and the housing market is a historic event that will be remembered for generations to come. our grand children may one day read about it in history books.

Start shooting and sharing

If you have a camera and are not afraid to use it, enter the contest and participate in the group on Flickr.  Invite your neighbors and friends to do the same so we can share the stories.

Written By

Full time REALTOR and licensed broker with Saint Paul Home Realty Realty in St. Paul, Minnesota. Author of, Columnist for Inman News and an avid photographer.



  1. Bill Lublin

    March 25, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Incredible color and depth (you- not the photo – but that’s nice too)
    Incredible piece of art –
    Reminds me of the Wyeth painting of a farm foreclosure in the 1930’s – the same tired buildings, worn down by the times

    The contest sounds great too – can;t wait to see te submissions

  2. Teresa Boardman

    March 25, 2009 at 9:02 am

    LOL it would have been better if Boomer would have stopped the car. The photo that is, not me.

  3. Mack

    March 25, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Teresa~It was a real pleasure meeting you in Atlanta last week. I hope you came away with as much as you gave to the conference. This post is just an example of why I like your story telling, both in pictures and words.

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