Jefferson Caine Lankford is a documentary and fine art photographer based in North Carolina. He uses a range of photographic techniques within his work including alternative, analog and digital practices. Jefferson earned his BFA in photography at East Carolina University in May of 2016, and during his undergraduate career he also attended the Australian National University, located in Canberra, Australia, where he studied documentary photography for one year. Much of Jefferson’s work involves documenting the impact humans are having on their environment. He either documents his subjects directly in a photojournalistic approach, or creates scenes that conceptually depict environmental concerns. As an artist, his goal is to use photography as a means of bridging together people and their stories alike to share with the world and bring about change that will better the lives and the environment(s) of the subjects he photographs.
Beekeepers of North Carolina
Jefferson Caine Lankford began photographing beekeepers and honey bees during a year-long exchange program at the Australian National University from 2014-2015. During this time, he spent three and a half months shadowing local beekeepers in Canberra, AU, while also working with the ANU Apiculture Society on the Australian National University campus. Jefferson’s goal was to document the processes and practices of beekeeping while highlighting the problems beekeepers were facing in Australia during that time. Upon his return to the United States, Jefferson had one more year remaining at East Carolina University and after graduating in May of 2016, he decided to start a new project that could represent the people of his home state. Without much delay, Jefferson did some research about North Carolina beekeeping and stumbled upon the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association.
After reaching out to the NCSBA and sharing some of the work he did in Australia and further pitching the idea of his goal to continue photographing beekeepers — The NCSBA made apparent that the 100th year anniversary of the organization will be celebrated in 2017 and suggested the possibility that Jefferson could take portraits of influential beekeepers that have either been nominated by their local beekeeping chapter or by the NCSBA itself. Working with the NCSBA voluntarily to photograph influential beekeepers has taken Jefferson over 5,000 miles across North Carolina, from the coast to the piedmont, up into the mountains and back again, on multiple occasions. Each beekeeper Jefferson encountered has demonstrated various approaches to the ever-changing atmosphere of beekeeping and the creative solutions being applied to combat the many problems faced by beekeepers today emphasize the determination of these individuals. The portraits Jefferson has taken represent the variety of people involved with the NCSBA and their specific roles as beekeepers across North Carolina and further provides a platform for each person to share their own unique and important stories.
This particular submission of fifteen images is a small representation of the larger body of work that consists of over 50 individual beekeepers.
To view more of Jefferson’s work please visit his website.