May 2021

May started with some good friends from Colorado visiting us. The Onaqui wild horse herd will be rounded up this July and culled down to its Bureau of Land Management Herd Management level, and they wanted to see all the horses before it happened. My daughter and son in-law also went. It was a great day.

The second weekend I went to a branding to help my friend Seth Hadlock. I didn’t end up helping much. Most of the time when I go to help my friends with ranch work I want to take as many photographs as I can but I always end up working instead. He had plenty of help so I stayed behind the camera all day.

I ran into a friend I used to rodeo with back in the day, Baylor Roche. I got to talking to him about when they would be practicing so I could invite myself to come and take some photos. I had a great time watching the guys wrestle around in the dirt with an animal that doesn’t want any part of it. It brought back a lot of memories I haven’t thought about for awhile. It’s been ten years since I last threw one down. And part of me was missing it after watching them. They asked me if I wanted to throw some down for old time sake, I declined. I’m pretty sure if I did I would be in the corner of the arena throwing up for being so out of shape!

His boy had just got a new horse, and he was all business riding him around!

The next day me and my friend, Kylee went for a ride up Logan canyon, in Northern Utah. What a beautiful place! We followed a little creek up a canyon scattered with beaver ponds. When we were on our way back I talked her into letting me try and get some images of her riding her horse, Breazy around some spots I thought would make for some good compositions. There was a neat old livestock fence that bended around on top of a knoll. I asked her if she would walk along the side of it, she said that would be fine, but then she suggested that she would like to run along side the fence. I said sure, but she could tell that wasn’t what I had in my mind. She says to me something along the lines of “Get used to it if you are going to be taking pictures with girls!” I had to laugh, she was right.

The first couple passes along the fence went pretty good. But about the third time she ran down the fence her horse decided that the cool mountain air, and getting all worked up she would put her head down start bucking! It only lasted for a fraction of a second but I was able to catch it, and both me and Kylee, got a good laugh out of it.

Photography and horses are my life, but coming in not far behind is fly fishing. Just like photography it takes me to places I never would go to otherwise. Me and a buddy Bill Shore, found an afternoon to hit the river. Good times!

I finished out the month on the desert photographing the Onaqui with my photographer friend Sam Cooper. It seems like every time we meet up out there the wind is blowing fifty miles an hour! It was so dusty you could barely keep your eyes open and keep the dust out. The west desert could sure use some rain!

April 2021

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.

“The Journey”

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!

Down But Never Defeated

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…