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Photographer's images connect rural, urban communities

Those who can't visit rural California can still see it, thanks to the work of a dedicated artist in San Mateo County.



There are a lot of different ways you can experience the beauty of the country. But those who can't visit rural California can still see it, thanks to the work of a dedicated artist in San Mateo County.

Taking a photo - on the surface it's such an easy thing to do. But if you want a picture that's worth a thousand words or more - now that's a little more difficult.

For nearly 20 years, Paolo Vescia has traveled far and wide, capturing memorable images of unforgettable, though often unheralded people- the farmers and ranchers who besides growing our daily bread have interesting passions and pursuits of their own.

"I think the job gives back to me a lot. All of the stories, the variety of people I meet is wonderful. I don't always make top dollar but if I have a good story from the job, I like that," Vescia said.

Vescia has learned that those who have worked the land for generations know a thing or two about overcoming adversity, and making the most of it.

"They're self-confident. Nobody I've met in farming has ever expressed doubts. They know the situation is tough a lot of times, and they have doubts about that, but I think to still farm under today's pressures is pretty remarkable," Vescia said.

Vescia's photos have been seen in Parade, Rolling Stone and The New York Times, and he says one of his greatest joys with his agricultural photography is bridging the gap between the urban and rural communities--a sentiment shared by many of his subjects.

"For a farmer to succeed, he has to have it in his blood to farm, and I think something like this that Paolo is doing I think it's in his blood, too, and he wants to help agriculture - it's very important and very nice of him," farmer B.J. Burns said.


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