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People of the Vine

Christopher Bingham | Sonoma County, California, United States


There are two versions of wine country: the marketing side portrayed in modern culture as a carefully crafted image of affluence and consumption; the other, exists in the vineyard, away from the manicured grounds of a winery tasting room, and just out of sight from wine country visitors. These photographs explore the latter and introduce the viewer to the unheralded vineyard workers who are the backbone of the wine industry. These portraits have shallow depth of field to emphasize the person over the often-distracting beauty and color of the vineyards; they strive to express the pride and dignity of each worker. As I have come to know these people over several months, I am reminded that despite economic, language and cultural differences, we have more in things common than we have that divide us. The photographs were created in the Spring of 2020 both before and after social distancing began in the beautiful Alexander Valley wine growing region of Sonoma County, California.

As a landscape photographer and photojournalist, Christopher Bingham is curious about the world around him: the people; the places; the ways that order and beauty arise from randomness in unexpected places.He explores the light, colors, and textures of our surroundings, as well as the human condition in its interaction with the environment.He spent 20 years as a military pilot seeing the world from 30,000 feet both literally and figuratively; this beautiful but distant view left him longing to see the world more closely and intimately.After his retirement from the US Air Force, and his role as a Veteran’s advocate, he decided to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Photography.With this transition, he embarked on a journey to explore the world in a new way. His photographs document that journey, and he invites you to explore with him.


IG: christopher.d.bingham


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