What We Do Here

We've been driving around Wisconsin photographing what people do here and the landscape they do it in and finished a book of the pictures called What We Do Here. Some of our favorites were Mel (a soda pop bottler in Seymour whose small business supplies the surrounding area with white sugar sweetened pop in vintage 7 oz. glass bottles), Richie (who owns the Culture Cafe in Manitowoc and whose excellent rants critique local happenings that reflect global issues), and Becky from Popp's Resort (who returned to the family business in Crivitz after a career as a Waterski pro). We were interested in self-employed people making their own reality in an obscure place at a time when there's a growing hysteria over job security, health insurance and crumbling institutions. We revisited people we've photographed on their home turf a few times over the past 10 or more years (e.g. Rev. Norb, Dylan, Amber, Tina, Debbra, Jeri) but this time we photographed them where they work be it a chain pizza restaurant or yacht building company. Our author friend Michael Perry posed with his pigs and gave us an essay for the book. It's called "Feed Mill" and it's about his childhood memories of driving to the feed mill with his father. We keep making these pictures as we drive around Wisconsin in our 1962 Rambler Town and Country station wagon.


  1. Your book, What We Do Here, is a beautiful display of your always fascinating portraits. I like how many photographers/exhibits today are including a brief narrative of the work that is being viewed. Your book, the Dawoud Bey exhibit that was at MAM and the Wounded in America exhibit at Cardinal Stritch University all use the narrative very successfully.
    Your images resonate the proud and independent spirit of the people in the great state of WI. Beautifully and respectfully done.