Because photographers have played such an important guiding role in my life, I have kept them uppermost in my mind as I ransacked archives and carved out a multi-volume, comprehensive history of California farmworkers. Early in my research I discovered that at some time, in some way, for some reason so many photographers who otherwise would not be considered in the same breath–Ansel Adams to Carleton E. Watkins—all photographed in the fields. Involvement with farmworkers is a such a uniquely defining characteristic of photography in the Golden State that I integrated two separate volumes describing photographers and their work into the larger magnum opus.
Richard Steven Street is a documentary photographer who has extensively covered the California argiculture industry. He has published three books on the subject: "Beasts of the Field: A Narrative History of California Farmworkers, 1769-1913," "Photographing Farmworkers in California," and "Everyone Had Cameras: Photography and Farmworkers in California, 1850-2000." More of his work is featured on Socialdocumentary.net.