Brooklyn-based photographer/director Bryan Coppede recently told me, “I value the outdoors and nature, even when it’s cultivated.” I think that’s a perfect way to describe what makes him such a gifted outdoor photographer. He captures the authentic beauty of natural settings and the people who care for them. But, like the family farmers he loves to document, he also uses his eye and his camera to “cultivate” nature in ways that bring out its beauty. To capture the lavender harvest at Araceli Farms and tell the inspiring story of founder Justina Salinas in the best light (literally), Bryan found himself shooting at dawn in the company of hundreds of thousands of bees, and at sunset at the close of a 107˚ day. He loves that kind of natural challenge, and nature loves him back: he didn’t get a single bee sting from dawn to dusk!