• Casey Harlow

"On the Farm": An interview with photographer Aliza Eliazarov

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

We sat down (as in I sat at my computer and emailed Aliza who was sitting at her computer) with Aliza Eliazarov to learn more about her new photography book, On the Farm. The book highlights heritage breed animals from farms all across the country and features a few familiar faces from the National Colonial Farm.

Here's what she had to say.

Headshot of photographer Aliza Eliazarov
Photo by Aliza Eliazarov

Accokeek Foundation: You mention in the book that your inspiration for this photo project stemmed from a feeling of disconnect between yourself and the food you bought at the grocery store. Why choose livestock as your subject, and heritage breeds in particular?

Aliza Eliazarov: About a decade ago, this project began with photographing chickens. I chose the chicken for many reasons. Both chicken and eggs are such a common food source here in the US and I personally ate both quite frequently. I found that the backyard poultry movement was inspiring, accessible and gaining momentum across the country at the time. There is so much beauty, interest and variety in poultry, I was drawn to these sometimes elegant, sometimes comical and always entertaining birds. When I was hired to photograph for Modern Farmer Magazine, the kinds of animals I photograph expanded. I became interested in making classic studio portraits of rare and endangered breeds of poultry and livestock, in order to elevate these forgotten breeds and shed more light on the importance of conservation and maintaining biodiversity in our food supply.