Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A photo moment: Two ladies buying squash November 29, 2016



AS A PHOTOGRAPHER, I strive to document, to tell a story, to record moments and emotions, to photograph people and places and events. Succinctly stated, I desire to present life. As it is.

Nothing gives me greater satisfaction in photography than capturing candid memorable moments. Yes, I take posed photos. But I prefer not to. So if I’m cruising with my camera and someone alerts others to my presence, I typically stop photographing. I want to be unseen. Just there. Blending in. Not always easy to do with a bulky Canon DSLR camera slung around my neck. But I try.

Recently I was rewarded with one of those prize shots while photographing at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, in Jordan. A moment of everyday life right there, outside the signature yellow building along US Highway 169.

Two elderly women were shopping for squash as if it was the most important thing in the world on a weekday afternoon in October. And to them, it was important.

I had one chance to photograph them. I love the results—the joy and concentration on their faces as they peruse the squash. I notice the clothing. I can’t recall the last time I saw a woman wearing a kerchief. There are details, too, of oversized purse (not bag) and cane in hand.

I note also the care the merchandiser takes in marketing the squash with historical information, flavor notations and graphics.

The subject of this image is not extraordinary, newsworthy or remarkable. It’s simply ordinary. Everyday. Two ladies buying squash. And therein lies its value to me as a Minnesota photographer.


Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store is now closed for the season and reopens in time for Memorial Day weekend.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


20 Responses to “A photo moment: Two ladies buying squash”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    An ordinary moment made extraordinary with your camera. 🙂

  2. Colleen Gengler Says:

    Your photo reminds me of one I took when traveling in Budapest, Hungary. Although it was a tour featuring the famous sites, whenever we could we tried to do what the “locals” might do. So we went to a market. I have a photo of several older women lined up to purchase meat. I so liked it because it said to me this is what people here do; this place is not just for tourists. The difference is that you see these things right here. Have to admit, I don’t always see the significance of the ordinary everyday life here.

    • Your meat market photo sounds equally as lovely. An ordinary moment recorded.

      Perhaps it takes thinking like a tourist to see what is right here, in America. We go about our daily lives, past the same places, with the same people, in a routine. So we overlook. Everything is familiar. My camera has really helped me to notice the details in my surroundings, wherever I may be.

  3. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    And that is clearly poetry in that picture! That slice of the everyday ordinariness that is absolutely beautiful, and you have to have your eyes open to notice it. Glad you noticed.

  4. Littlesundog Says:

    I love candid shots – you did a nice job here, Audrey. It really gives the viewer a feeling of the moment – life being lived. I have to admit that I don’t often see the little things in a photo when I take it. It’s usually later when I’m viewing it on computer that I find all sorts of interesting details.

  5. Valerie Says:

    Wonderful photo Audrey. I love how you capture these ordinary moments.

  6. Jackie Says:

    I love the lady on the right with her little sea-foam green sweat pants, scarf and oversized bag. Great capture Audrey!

  7. Eric Satterlee Says:

    A photographer myself, I am in total synch with Ms Helbling’s preference for shooting candids. As soon as someone is aware of the camera everything changes from capturing the natural to that of performance.

    On Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 4:03 AM, Minnesota Prairie Roots wrote:

    > Audrey Kletscher Helbling posted: ” AS A PHOTOGRAPHER, I strive to > document, to tell a story, to record moments and emotions, to photograph > people and places and events. Succinctly stated, I desire to present life. > As it is. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction in photogra” >

  8. Looks like she might be wearing a hand knit pink sweater too.

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