Val Shaff has been photographing the natural world since she was a child growing up in the Hudson River Valley. She graduated from Bard College in 1978 where she was the first photo major from the newly formed photography department . Arriving in New York City in 1980 she worked in many photographic disciplines including photographing New York City nightlife and children's fashion. During these years she developed an extensive body of work making pinhole photographs in her frequent travels out of the city seeking to photograph primordial landscapes , or land that felt utterly timeless and with no evidence of civilization .
In the early 90’s Val bought a home in the country 3 hours up the Hudson River nestled in the backside of the Catskills Mountains . In that rural landscape she found the multi-generational barnyards where her vision found the subject matter that would truly launch her long standing career. Val photographed farm animals seeking to monumentalize not just their fascinating beauty but her own soulful communication with these other sentient beings . These analog images shot with an old Hasselblad were printed large scale and found both a responsive audience as well as ushering in years of photographing domestic animals and their relationships with people.Val has been esteemed in both the Fine Art world and the commercial world . With a presence that incited international exhibitions , a great visibility in the publishing world with 4 books , the first of which made the extended NYTimes Best Sellers List, and longstanding corporate clients , Val has truly devoted her life to the pursuit of creating imagery that honors all beings .