Currently, I photograph agriculture, energy and various corporate cultures around the country for advertising and commercial uses, but my first love is photographing farm life around my home state of South Dakota. I grew up on a beef and grain farm near Letcher, and the farming lifestyle is still something dear to me.
How did you get started in photography?
Latza: I picked up a camera in college as a journalism student at South Dakota State University and fell in love with photojournalism. I worked in the newspaper business for a few years out of college before going freelance full time in 1997.
What is your favorite type of photo to shoot?
Latza: I mostly love to chase good light as it illuminates the prairie here in South Dakota, and I like to come up with beautiful scenery photographs.
Describe your most memorable photo shoot.
Latza: My most memorable series of assignments was when I covered the Iditarod for Wells Fargo for three years, from 2002 to 2004. The bank sponsored a South Dakota musher, and I had to document him racing. Alaska was grand and humbling.
Why do you enjoy farm-related photography?
Latza: I enjoy photographing the farming lifestyle because I grew up on a family farm and it’s never left my blood … I can relate very well and, as a result, most of my work is farm-related.
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?
Latza: The best way to make your photographs look good is to try and cover subjects at the ends of the day when the light is best: sunrise and sunset. And if that’s not possible, do your best to learn lighting techniques that make the light more dramatic for you, whether that’s using flash creatively or simply moving your subject to a spot that has more interesting light.
As far as photographing people and animals, it takes a little time to get both of those subjects comfortable and used to you being around. Make some conversation, find things in common – and with animals, it’s best to show that you aren’t a threat before pulling out your camera … many farm animals are frightened by cameras (as well as many people).
PHOTO 1: Greg Latza
PHOTO 2: An Iowa farm girl talks to her family’s Holsteins on a chilly winter day.
PHOTO 3: A worker in charge of bottles prepares his load for fresh calves in Oregon.
PHOTO 4: A drone photograph of a dairy operation in Oregon.
PHOTO 5: A Vermont dairy farmer puts in time with his herd to establish a strong connection.
PHOTO 6: A Maryland dairy farmer helps his grandson bottle feed a Holstein. Photos by Greg Latza.
Greg Latza Photography
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Latza Stock.com (stock photography site)