BEE GIRL is a short film about a young woman who finds her passion in beekeeping and conservation. Sarah Red-Laird is the "Bee Girl", and founder of BeeGirl.org, a non-profit organization based in Southern Oregon whose mission is to educate and inspire communities to conserve bees, their flowers, and our food.
The film has recently been screened at the Ashland Independent Film Festival in Ashland, Oregon, close to where filming took place.
Natalie Faye, a still and motion photographer and member of Boulevard Artists says,
"I met Sarah a few years ago when i was living part-time in Southern Oregon and in search of the best local honey to buy. I was immediately taken by her enthusiasm for her work. She’s a millennial and a woman, and I feel is indicative of a new generation of farmers and keepers of our land.
Food politics and the changing face of agriculture are topics that interest me personally and as a storyteller. Her story inspired me, so I asked her if she'd be down to let me do a photo project about her and she said yes. I shadowed her for a day as she made her rounds to various bee hives, and this gave me a chance to spend time with her and find out more about her story–she spent her 20s working on a fishing boat in Alaska and had a dozen other odd jobs before finding her calling as a beekeeper. She founded a non-profit dedicated to environmental conservation, and has traveled around the world as a speaker.
The photo shoot went really well, so I proposed the idea of shooting a mini documentary film on her. It took a while for us to get our schedules aligned with both of traveling and also working around a particularly stormy season in Southern Oregon, however our persistence paid off. We had a sit down interview as well as a few shoot days to film her in the field.
Having done the still shoot first, I had a really good idea of what shots I wanted to capture and I storyboarded the project in detail. We had a blast shooting it and she was lovely to work with. I either shot alone or with one assistant, and she taught us how to handle ourselves around the hives so that we didn’t disturb them.
It was beautiful to see her relationship and tenderness with the bees. Most of the time we weren’t even wearing nets, she had a knack for reading their moods and was able guide us. It was a great experience. I learned so much from her about bees, conservation, and the ever-changing environmental movement. Honestly that is really why I do these projects like this, to celebrate people who are doing good work, and also to learn more about a topic that interests me. It's inspiring to learn from a person who is following their passion and making a difference in the world."