Thursday April 26th, 2012
To challenge himself as a photographer, Seattle-based Ron Wurzer assigned himself a personal project. He felt his work had become somewhat stagnant lately and wanted to push himself out of his comfort zone. Ron knew that he wanted his assignment work to focus more on people making things, so he gave himself an assignment doing just that, in the hopes that it would lead to similar work.
Attracted to the wine country of Eastern Washington, and to wine itself, Ron decided to document Washington’s wine industry—from the grape to the lips. So last Fall, Ron put the project in motion, leaving Seattle to begin photographing some vineyards.
To gain access to many of the wineries, Ron simply showed up,
Most of my initial contacts came from just showing up to the wineries, or one time to a tasting room. I’ve had great success with this. All the winemakers were very welcoming to letting me shoot pictures either right then, or letting me know a good time at a later date. I’ll continue with this method if I can’t get a call or email returned. This is the one challenge so far, some winemakers don’t return emails or phone calls.
Through this project, Ron hopes to bring attention to Washington’s wine industry,
I hope to capture a variety of vineyard landscapes during all seasons, winery exteriors of note, a thorough documentation of the winemaking process, from growing grapes, harvesting and bottling, and a series of portraits of winemakers and grape-growers. Included in that, I would like the project to be representative of the different grape-growing regions in the state, and also show small, medium and large wineries. All that being said, I am open to other ideas that I come across.
Ron has already seen the benefits of the project, having booked a job from a winery directly from the work. He also hopes to continue shooting wineries to gain enough material for a wine stock library and to create a photo book. He’s greatly enjoyed the work and has learned a good deal about wine along the way, “ It’s been great to do my own research, and to make my own contacts. It’s something that I did more of when I worked at a newspaper a handful of years ago. So while it’s not foreign to me, it’s good to exercise those skills.”
View more of Ron’s work on his website, ronwurzer.com.
- Maria Luci