Written by Andrea Kelley @ Nebraska Sky

I remember I was sitting across the table from the handsome photo manager for Worldwide Challenge magazine. I wanted very much to impress him because I hoping I would have a chance to work for the magazine. He had traveled all over the world and seen a lot of interesting places. We were making small talk and I asked him what his favorite photo shoot was that he had done. He explained to me he did a really great photo shoot in Kansas.

I remember thinking “Kansas? You have been all over the world and you liked Kansas?” The more I thought about it though, the more it made sense. Kansas is very much like my home state of Nebraska. There is beauty in sunsets, and in exploring old buildings. The people are often very genuine. Rural people are typically very authentic and often are good-hearted.

This weekend I decided to go to my 94-year-old Grandma’s who lives near Sumner, Nebraska. She can’t see very well, and she can’t drive. However,  she is highly independent and resides on the farm all by herself. I hadn’t visited her for a while, so I thought we could have some lunch after church.


I made it to her house before she got home from church, so I decided to explore her old barn and take a few photographs. She has a classic old barn that is full of  interesting old stuff. The first place I wanted to go was up in the hay loft area. I threw my tripod up in the hayloft area and carefully climbed up to take a look around. I hadn’t been up there since I was a kid. It was smaller than what I remembered.


Then I noticed a box in the corner where a furry animal was moving around. I wondered if it was a stray cat that decided to find a new home. It turned out to be a raccoon. Needless to say, I think neither of us knew what to make of each other. I decided he was adorable and made for a nice picture so I started quickly taking some snapshots. Then he came a little more in my direction and I my thoughts turned from him being adorable, to wondering if I could turn my tripod into a makeshift weapon. He abruptly decided the impromptu “meet and greet” time was over and he scurried along the wall. Then he quickly jumped off the hayloft floor, and dropped at least eight feet to the main floor.



My family pulled into the driveway. My mom came into the barn and pointed out a branding iron that my grandpa used to use.


When you are in the barn, you are not alone. There are plenty of pretty barn swallows busily flying in and out of the barn to their nests. I could hear some of the baby birds chirping away, waiting for their momma bird to come back to the nest.


I think even rooms that are full of old junk can look kind of artistic if you spend a little time modifying the colors. I liked the look of the light streaming through the cracks in the roof.


My dad came into the barn and decided to take a look at a trunk that was nailed to the wall. When he was pulling on it, I realized that the lighting was really beautiful. It was natural and worked well for portrait lighting. I had him take off his sunglasses and he allowed me to take a quick photograph. My dad is a retired cattle rancher and his features seemed to fit will with the look of the rustic barn.

If you would like to see more rural Nebraska photographs, click on link below:

Andrea Kelley

Andrea is a fine art photographer who specialized in taking pictures of classic cars and rural Nebraska landscapes. To see more of her photography visit Pictures Of Nebraska. She also is the founder of a video website called Slideshows For Homes. Andrea helps people create real estate videos to assist them with selling their homes.