I finally made it out to Utahs west desert to see the wild horses. It felt like it had been forever since I had seen them. If I don’t get out there at least once a month I start to get a little edgy. My wife can tell and will make it a point to make sure that I find time. During the winter I have more time to make It out and usually will get out there a couple times a month. As spring rolls around and my horseshoeing business picks up it starts to get harder and harder to find time. As time goes on I would like to commit to twice a month year round. I love it out there!
We have also had a remodel project going in my office/studio and our master bedroom. That has had most of my free time tied up. We are replacing the old carpet with new wood flooring, trim, and paint. We also put in a closet in my office for storage. I’m excited to see what its going to look like when it’s done!
I have no desire to be a photographer for hire. My motivation is solely self expression and selling prints. But I love to practice and learn anything I can. I talked my oldest daughter, Alyx into letting me take a series of images of her while she rode her horse at our place one afternoon for fun.
Back to the theme of getting better. My summer photography project besides my staple of wild horses and landscapes from the American West, with horses in them, is going to be going to all my roping friends arenas while they are practicing and photograph them. It’s a good way for me to work on action shots and timing.
I love this image and what it represents to me! When I look at it I see my photography journey. I have such a problem of over thinking everything I want to do. Whenever I get to that place in my life I have to just stop and tell myself to just get going and get things done. A lot of times I find clarity in the process.
In the back of my mind I do have goals and dreams about where I want to take my photography. Those are great, and thats where a lot of the motivation comes from. But it’s the little things on a daily basis that make the dreams come to fruition.
I’ve listened to a few podcasts lately that have talked about the way to sustainability in any long term creative endeavor is figuring out your values and who you really are as a person. For me the values are easy, I know who I am and values that are important to me. The hard part for me is honing in on one aspect, or subject that I want to focus on. I love wild horses, and photographing them. I also love landscapes from the American West. I love good cowboy horses, and I love the cowboy way of life! Bringing them all together to create a cohesive story is my struggle. Where do I focus my attention the most?? I have a feeling I will never completely figure that part out. But as long as I have a camera in my hand heading in any of those directions, I’ll feel like I’m on the journey I was meant to follow.
Another thing I would like to do with this newsletter is give some behind the seen’s images to newsletter subscribers. After going through my camera roll on my phone I can see I have a lot of work to do in this area. Haha! I very rarely take photographs to document my life. Whenever I create an image It’s with the intent to create something visually to stir the soul. I get so caught up in the moments I’m living, it never crosses my mind to stop and document it. Nevertheless I want the newsletter to be as personal as I can let myself get.
But I always take images of the other lady in my life, my mare T.H. She is getting pretty good at being a horse model. I think she wonders what the hell I’m doing most of the time, but I think she likes me enough to put up with my crazy ideas.
This set of images is from the first of January when me and a friend of mine, Chris Dickenson, and a friend he introduced me too, Matt Ballard. We were out in Utah’s west desert photographing the Onaqui wild horse herd. One of my favorite places on earth!
A couple of weeks ago on Instagram I posted an “Ask me a question” on my stories. One of the most asked questions was “Whats your favorite image you’ve taken, and why?”. I keep thinking about it over and over, trying to answer it. But all my thoughts keep coming back to… I haven’t taken it yet, and I’m not sure I ever will have a favorite. My mind doesn’t work like that. I don’t think of things as favorites, like best basketball player ever, best restaurant, best artist, best photographer, etc. I appreciate all things for what they are, not how I can categorize them.
But! If you ask me what it was that made me like an image, or how it made me feel, I can go all day talking your ear off about it. When I go out and shoot I take hundreds of pictures, but very few will make the cut. When I pick them out its for good reason, they struck a cord in me somewhere.
And sometimes it can be as simple as a jester a horse was giving me, the tone of an image, the story it tells, or a composition I liked. My photography and art is not something that will have an achieved end to it where I can sit down and say I accomplished everything I wanted with it and list my favorites. As long as I’m breathing I hope a camera can help me express how I see the world, or how I want to see it.
Even though I don’t claim to have favorites, I do have images that represent values to me that I revere. This Image I call “Down But Never Defeated” When I look at the photo the horse looks dismal, and somber. Like he has just taken a pounding. But one of the things that impresses me about wild horses, or horses in general is how tough and resilient they are. The instincts in them to keep fighting even when they are down is so powerful that no amount of pain will stop them. I know this horse well, he doesn’t always win. But he just keeps going and fighting the fight everyday!
I think as human’s we are constantly looking for the day where we no longer have to fight to survive. But in a lifetime those days are brief. There is always something to fight for, or a purpose to live for, I think we should embrace it…
Koby’s happy place is without a doubt out in the arena when we are riding or roping. You can’t get him not to smile! While I’m leading horses out to ride, he will grab ahold of the lead ropes and pull the horses around. He’s a terrible cow dog, but he doesn’t know that. He’s good at scattering them more then he is herding them. But this his happy place, so we let him do what he wants for the most part.
I never was much of a dog person before Koby. When my daughter rescued him from a neighbor who wasn’t taking very good care of a mom and her pups, I made her keep him in the barn because I struggle with animals in the house. That didn’t last for very long. Pretty soon, it was “Can he stay in for a while?” “Can he sleep in the house tonight? It’s too cold for him outside?” next thing I knew, he was inside living the spoiled dog life. Eating table scraps every meal, sleeping on the couch getting hair all over it, eating fancy dog food. I try and keep him outside with me as much as possible, but if we are not out in the arena and it’s naptime, he would just as soon be inside.