In the spring of 2007, Bridget was commissioned by Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) to create a series of images on their work in agricultural conservation, which provides healthy local food, preserves a traditional rural way of life and protects land for production value and scenic beauty.
From this body of images, Bridget curated and produced the exhibit Maine Farms at Work in 2008, which continually travels the state of Maine from galleries to organic food fairs to cafes to the Maine State House, helping raise awareness about agricultural land preservation. In 2010, she produced the book From the Land with her images, text by MFT Executive Director and Maine State Legislator John Piotti and foreword by Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.
Buy From the Land at Maine Farmland Trust or at book stores throughout Maine
Bridget Besaw’s photographs from seven Maine farms of very different types are stunningly beautiful, showing people and animals working and living on great Maine land. It is the kind of book you want to leave on the coffee table and look at a few minutes at a time.
—Portland Press Herald
This is a gorgeous book telling the stories of some of Maine’s best farms. We watch the farming cycles — from preparing the land, planting seeds with dirt-strewn hands, to weeding, harvesting, and finally selling the gorgeous, freshly-picked fruits and vegetables at local farmer’s markets. The joy and love these farmers exude makes for a beautiful, inspiring book.
In the spring of 2005, Bridget was commissioned by Maine Woods Forever to create a series of images documenting the various human-powered ways people enjoy the North Woods of Maine. The goal was to celebrate the wilderness spirit and recreational heritage of the region, and to help raise public interest in the protection of the threatened land and waterways surrounding the trail that Henry David Thoreau traveled 150 years prior with the help of Wabanaki guides.
This project culminated in a traveling exhibit that has been seen in museums, galleries and cafes by thousands of Maine residents. In 2007, she produced the book of this imagery with essays by various Maine authors and foreword by renowned environmental author Bill McKibben.
Buy Wildness Within at Patagonia
Bridget Besaw uses her extensive photographic wiles for a sacred purpose: She is out to save the world’s wild and fragile places. All the photos from these pages are from her book Wildness Within Wildness Without, presenting a dazzling case for preserving the Maine lands once traveled by Henry David Thoreau and his Native American guides. Her case is made for preserving and enjoying—for in virtually all of Besaw’s masterful photos in the book, nearly 70 of them, the land and landscape are being savored by people. Besaw shows us that mankind’s footprint does not need to be heavy, and her work inspires stewardship more than these same scenes ever could without their human subjects.
—Bangor Daily News
In the 1850s, Henry David Thoreau set out to explore Maine’s North Woods. But the poet-naturalist was not the first to travel the trails and tributaries of The Pine Tree State. The Wabanaki, meaning “people of the dawn,” used the area’s interconnected waterways for thousands of years before Thoreau gained the heights of Mount Katahdin or paddled the dark waters of the Penobscot. In Wildness Within Wildness Without, photographer Bridget Besaw pairs images of Maine’s quiet beauty with thoughtful essays by writer-conservationists. The foreword by Bill McKibben makes it clear that Maine is at a conservation crossroads — clear-cutting and development are gaining momentum, and the state’s wet, green wilderness hangs in the balance. Perhaps Besaw’s images will not only preserve a moment in time when Maine is still somewhat wild but also encourage others to keep it that way.
—Nature Conservancy Magazine