Many view hunting as a sport or even a hobby but now, thanks to one photographer, we can now see that hunting is an art.
Northern Michigan native and photographer, Clare Benson, lost her mother at age 11. As she got older, that experience started her on a journey of self-discovery and this brought her closer to her family. Her photographic series “The Shepard’s Daughter” explores the rugged landscape and hunting culture she was born into.
The series portrays her father, the “Shepherd,” as he guides Benson and her sister through both the culture and landscape of their home. While she admits that the work began as way to connect with her mother, Benson says;
The work evolved to be more about my father, my upbringing in northern Michigan, and my connection to this landscape where generations of ancestors have lived…
For Benson, her father’s memories of his time as an Alaskan hunting guide (and championship archer) and her memories of family time spent outdoors serve as way to connect her to ancestors whom she never had the opportunity to meet.
For those who have never spent time outdoors, Benson’s series portrays the strong bond that is forged between those who grew up in a strong hunting tradition. It portrays a side of hunting that most non-hunters have probably never seen.
Thanks Clare, for showing us that our favorite pastime can also be an art form; a way to connect us with the memories of those past.
All images courtesy of Clare Benson.