Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer - Rodeo
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Arizona Photographer – Rodeo

The last two weekends have been the Cowboy & Indian Days in Casa Grande, Arizona; an annual celebration of the Western and Native American culture that makes up the history of the town. The festival includes parades, a carnival, and multiple rodeo events.

On the last day of the schedule we went down to check out the all Indian rodeo. This rodeo consists mainly of Native American participants from all over the Western United States. Having a strong interest in cultures and subcultures that are different from my own I knew it was something I wanted to photograph.

I wasn’t able to find any way to contact anyone in charge of the event so I went down with the plan to just wing it and see where I could get myself. Having a large impressive looking camera helps with this. Most people shoot sports events and rodeos with a long telephoto lens from the sidelines, but this is not really what I’m about as a photographer. I wanted to show the behind the scenes quiet moments of a rodeo and it’s participants. With this as my goal I was able to get myself into the pit with the riders and shoot almost from their point of view, but as an outsider both to the event itself and to rodeo culture as a whole.

What I found was a much more emotional side of the rodeo than I was expecting. The riders wholly understand the dangers involved and it seemed to me that this was a constant on their minds. Several competitors sustained broken bones and one seemingly received a concussion after being thrown from a bronco. Watching each rider before their runs I documented them in moments of deep concentration as they gathered the courage needed for the upcoming ride, and others as they returned to the pen area showing disappointment after an unsuccessful performance.

Below are some selects from the day. Technical specs: All shots created with the Mamiya DF camera body, 80mm Schneider-Kreuznach lens, and Leaf Credo 80 megapixel digital back.

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arizona photographer, arizona photography, rodeo, rodeo photography, rodeo photographer, photographer of the american west

arizona photographer, arizona photography, rodeo, rodeo photography, rodeo photographer, photographer of the american west

arizona photographer, arizona photography, rodeo, rodeo photography, rodeo photographer, photographer of the american west

arizona photographer, arizona photography, rodeo, rodeo photography, rodeo photographer, photographer of the american west

arizona photographer, arizona photography, rodeo, rodeo photography, rodeo photographer, photographer of the american west

arizona photographer, arizona photography, rodeo, rodeo photography, rodeo photographer, photographer of the american west

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TravisShoots® is a Phoenix Commercial Photographer specializing in on location advertising photography production. Primarily shooting lifestyle, environmental portraits, and landscapes his work has helped brands tell their story for 10 years.
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