Looking out his window, Rusty Laidlaw wasn’t sure what to make of the strangers with cameras walking around his family's Musquodoboit Valley farm. So the artist and blacksmith did the only thing he could think to do: “I introduced myself and asked what they were doing.”
Rusty discovered they were first and second year Photography students from NSCC’s Waterfront Campus. And they were in the area scouting shots for a new book, This Day in Musquodoboit Valley.
“I like to show off, so I invited them to come into my shop and take pictures.”
Nathan Boone was among the students who landed on the farm that day in April 2012. Grateful for the invitation, Nathan wound up becoming fast friends with Rusty, and that made his work relatively easy.
"He really was my introduction to the community. He suggested places we could go, and people to approach. I wouldn’t have gotten the amazing photos I did had I not met him.”
Those photos include Rusty forging a knife and two shots of the farm that were selected for the front and back covers of the book.
“I had never taken landscape photos before, only people. That’s actually why I got into photography: to take pictures of my friends. Being selected for the cover was a real honour.”
His photos also found their way into Rusty's portfolio. “Nathan’s a really cool guy and very enthusiastic. The shots he took of me are excellent and have helped me demonstrate my work to clients.”
Published in March 2013, This Day in Musquodoboit Valley is the third book in the “This Day” series. Launched by instructors Dave Campbell and Ingram Barss, the project not only promotes Nova Scotia’s smaller communities, it gives students invaluable experience in planning and executing a real photo shoot.
“It takes you out of your comfort zone and prepares you for the reality of working in the industry,” says Nathan.
Adds Rusty: “It’s amazing how the students captured the soul of Musquodoboit Valley. I’m glad the College is doing this and I hope it will encourage people to go and experience Nova Scotia."
The fourth book, This Day in Annapolis Royal, has just been released.