After spending 40 years as a news photographer, covering stories around the country, it was in the Fall of 2018 that I was handed one of the best assignments of my entire career- a chance to capture the stories of western Loudoun through photographs.
My county’s tourism office, Visit Loudoun, had discovered some of the local work I was doing during retirement and fell in love with the images. I was tasked with capturing real life moments in western Loudoun over the course of 30 days in June. I was thrilled to be given the gift of documenting a place and a way of life that I have been in love with for the past 30 years. My career went in many directions but after I moved to Loudoun in 1984, I never left. It’s home for me and will be until the end.
The project started on June 3rd at exactly 4:53:38 p.m. with a single quiet trip of the shutter of my trusty Nikon Df I captured a white-tailed doe giving birth to a fawn in a field near Bluemont. At that moment I knew this project was going to be special and that in the coming days I would have the time to explore and allow the images to just simply come to me.
The project boundaries lay east of the Blue Ridge, within the Loudoun Valley. A landscape of riches where golden pastures, beautiful homes, winding rustic and historic roads connect travelers to pristine vistas lush in beauty and in history. It’s the kind of place that drills itself not only into your mind’s eye but also your heart and its beauty never leaves you.
In the coming weeks I’ll explain in greater detail about photographing this stunning rural region of Virginia and show you images of the working farms, fox hunts, scores of wineries and breweries and quaint hamlets that make up the land, as well as the people who live and also come to visit this wonderful place called Loudoun.
Douglas’ 30 Days in June will be features as a Sunday series on Visit Loudoun’s blog and social media. Check back over the next three weekends to follow his work.
Douglas Graham is an award-winning photographer, with work appearing in more than 150 publications. Early on in his 40-year career, Graham was named Newspaper Photographer of the Year and Wildlife Photographer of the Year in Virginia. For more: https://douglasgrahamphotography.com/