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Chicken Shit + Incidental Beauty

I’ll get the controversial part out of the way. I am sick to death of socials, influencers and their shit factory content right now. I’m slowly curating the reels I see and nudging my algorithm in the right direction, but social media isn’t smart enough to discern contrived beauty from genuine beauty.

A concept that’s occurred to me recently – well, let’s start again – a concept I’ve articulated better recently, is how incidental beauty has driven me to photography. Words are my main jam, I communicate best in writing and in my world visuals support words, not the other way around. So why am I a photographer?

I like finding exquisite sights by accident. As a stylist I’ve orchestrated and staged many beautiful things of which I’m very proud. Styling has a place and it’s important in certain contexts, but we are sickeningly obsessed with it. I can’t imagine how much time people are taking to fabricate beauty in their daily lives for Instagram when it’s so much more pleasurable to discover it in its natural state. The kind of perfection that floats past us in standalone moments. The no-design, no-plan beauty of a child, an animal, a farm.

When Wide Open Agriculture and Dirty Clean Food approached me to shoot their Runnymede Family Farm Day in Uduc, I was so keen I could have sprinted the whole way there. I knew instinctively that there would be a gold mine of material that would fall into that elusive incidental beauty category.

With the (dirty clean) food lovingly managed by North Street Store’s Cowboy Catering and the incredible property lush with rain and sultry with ash and smoke, I was not disappointed. Plus, you know, children, cows, dogs, puddles, chickens, worms, farm stuff. It’s a no brainer.

“All of this magic was captured by the talented, beautiful and dedicated Taya Reid, who rolled around in mud and chicken shit to capture moments that truly show the beauty of the people, the animals and this gorgeous part of the world…"
- Blythe Calnan, Legend Farmer

Thanks to everyone at WOA, DCF, North Street Store and Runnymede. You’re all beautiful in the genuine way.

Taya. x.

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