"Dear Mr. Mobley: I was at Lawrence Tractor in Visalia, CA., and they gave me a copy of your American Farmer's photos. I was going to flip through it quickly and get on with my chores. I went through about 10 pages and I had chills. The photos are incredible. I've been around farmers all my life (my Grandpa and Dad were farmers) and I've always admired them and their character and their LOOK. But I've never seen them quite how you capture them. No way will I flip through that book. I will sit down and study and feel the feelings that each one of your photos produces in me. Something that can stir my insides like that is quite simply ART. You have a new admirer."
"A masterpiece of a book...The pictures are uncannily good, as is the narrative of spoken words from the farmers photographed. This book will get you thinking about what's left that's good about America, and what is precious about human beings."
"Visit after visit, Mobley came to know the independent farmer's spirit from both behind the lens and across the dinner table. The result is the first portrait collection of modern American farmers ever published to reach so deeply and gracefully into its subject. Images are accompanied by short and revealing first person narratives, told in the farmers' own words, that offer an intimate look inside the hardships and joys of a quickly disappearing way of life—one that once defined our national identity and now struggles to remain vital"
"In an afterward to this book, Paul Mobley explains that the inspiration for his project came while sitting in a small cafe in northern Michigan, observing the "weathered, salt-of-the-earth faces" of the farmers also sitting in there. He was there as a getaway from his life as a big-city commercial photographer, and when later that day he took a picture of one of those farmers, he thought it was the most honest photograph he'd ever done. Thus began a journey that over the next four years took him to more than 200 farms and ranches in 30 states from Florida to Alaska. The result is an impressive portrait covering all manner of contemporary American farming and ranching: from livestock to grain, dairy to vegetables; from first generation to families who have been on their land since the early 1800s. All the portraits were shot on that land where they work with lighting, whether flash or early— or late—day sunlight, that gives everyone a dramatic glow."
"[Paul] did a fabulous job. We had women who were teary and people were buying 4-5 copies at a time. He was just great and when we have him back next time, we will buy more books."
"...American Farmer is the first portrait collection of modern American farmers and ranchers ever published and tells the honest and inspiring stories of the true stewards of the land"
"Having been in the business for thirty years, I didn't think there was anything that could surprise me, but I was surprised by how many and how quickly we sold out of American Farmer at our event."
"Where some might see dirty fingernails and sun-damaged faces, Mobley saw the soul of America"
"...an endless source of wonder and admiration for those who work the land"
"The photographs [...] are so genuine, so real, you feel as though you are reading them — that is, you feel you understand something about these subjects not shown directly—and you hear the first-person narratives written here. The book, alive, will move around in the room where you leave it; and leave it on the coffee table if you must (its big), but this is not a coffee table book. It is beyond that. The narratives have surprise and tension. And they don't go on and on. The book sings with visual poetry, and crops, and dirt, and animals, and hard work, and a direct plain simplicity."
"The book documents what many people think of as America's past, but in the current economic crisis, it might be a reminder of why old knowledge is worth holding on to"
"...intimate, powerful portraits of the weather-worn faces and calloused hands of farmers"
"...a candid record of modern-day farmers from Tennessee to Montana to Maine"
"...an astonishing artistic statement about those who've devoted their lives to agriculture"
"In the photographic spirit of Richard Avedon's American West come Paul Mobley's powerful portraits of farmers and ranchers. Stunning interviews celebrate and give voice to those who live and work the land throughout America"
"As photographer Paul Mobley shows-there is no better way to get to the heart of farm life than through portraits and stories of the farmers themselves. This collection of photographs, with text by Katrina Fried, tells the tale of farmers across the country, from cattle ranchers in Montana to citrus farmers in Florida."
"[Katrina] Fried transcribes their stories into engaging narratives-the highlight of the book-that present a cross-section of America that is politically active, proud of its traditions but open to experimentation, and often pleased to see college-educated offspring return to the family business."
"Paul Mobley confirms my theory that the average American citizen, when thy spend enough time with agriculturalists, will fall in love with them. He's their best advocate right now. Once he publishes this national photography book, more Americans will get to fall in love with farmers and ranchers. ...You should see Mobley work. He scopes the landscape quickly looking for the unique and distinct...The finished photograph was amazing. When it comes out, buy this book. It'll be worth every penny."
"Paul Mobley does for American agriculture what Ansel Adams did for the American west."
"Paul Mobley has captured something about the American spirit and the people who have been living and working on the land. It's a living spirit that is part of America's future. Paul's work has made the faces of America's farmers and ranchers visible to the rest of America."
"Paul is an outstanding photographer...and I know this book is really going to be something special...Without doubt this will likely be the definitive book on the faces of farmers in America."
"The book will be excellent...I believe he has a real love for our members that comes across in his work."
"You are a real pro. We enjoyed working with you."
"Today's farmer or rancher may be on his laptop or using his handheld GPS, but he's still out there with his hands in the soil. As you turn the pages of the book, you can almost see into the soul of those photographed. At a time when agriculture is very high-tech and modern, AMERICAN FARMER, conveys through Paul Mobley's photographic artistry the distinctive spirit and traditional values of hard-working American farmers and ranchers."
"American Farmer is a richly layered mosaic of brilliant visuals and honest text that honors the farmers and ranchers across America. The combination is breathtaking."
"A masterpiece of a book. The pictures are uncannily good, as is the narrative of spoken words from the farmers photographed. This book will get you thinking about what's left that's good about America, and what is precious about human beings."
"Paul Mobley started out looking to take some great portraits of farmers and ranchers and captured so much more in his travels through rural America. His photographs depict American agriculture's recent past, its present and its future, often in the same photograph. And more poignantly, for urban folks, he put a face on the men and women whose love for the land runs deep, and who toil every day to feed their fellow citizens."