City Slickers Cowboy up

I was blessed to be able to shoot for a client of mine who is going to be launching a new product line this summer of 2009.  It is top secret so I can’t mention the name of the new brand.  I can say it has to do with cowboys.  I myself hail from the rural lands of NJ with an abundance of horse farms but I have no experience of being a cowboy.  Now my brother has become a weekend cowboy so visiting him has given me an idea of what to expect on a ranch.  So we headed up to Carbondale, CO for a real life city slickers bringing in the herd. My job was to capture the event with cool cowboy fotos to be used for the upcoming campaign.  

I had such a good time learning all the ropes(get it) and asking too many questions.  I think they had a good time educating the rookie on cattle ranching.  My client Jake grew up on farm and was a cowboy growing up in Wyoming and was my main teacher for the 2 days of shooting.  One of the cowboys I spent most of my time photographing was Mike.  He took the blunt of my ignorance but handled me well.  

The weather was cold and raining most of the time so that added to the drama of the photos. There were around 1200 cattle from about 5 different ranches all turned out to the mountains.  Their job was to bring them all home. After getting them all into one big holding area they cut the herd(separating them into each persons ranch) and truck them out or march them through town to the next ranch. Here are a few samples of our time in the mountains bringing in the herd. Enjoy the photos.Ripin up the hill.

I love Carbondale.  beautiful mountains like Mt. Sopris here. If I could find something to due up here I’d live here.

We drove up McClure pass to capture the sunrise for some nice scenic shots.

The magnificent Four.  

They start them young, training them on the ways of the cowboy

The cowboys weren’t the only ones out rounding up some fun.  I like to cal these girls the “Betty’s of cowgirls”   instead of snowboard betty’s, you know what i mean

This dog was the coolest dog on the ranch.  She had only one eye and she did a better job sorting the cattle then the cowboys.  It is called a Blue Heeler because it bites the heels of the cows till they turn blue.

This guy said he has been doing this crap for 45 years.  He looks like it. We were told to stay away from him because he is always grumpy.  He was quite friendly to me and looked like he was having fun.

Now this guy sure looks like a real cowboy.  Maybe the retired Marlboro man.

What would a ranch be without an old Ford truck.

Its all about the cows.  The calfs sell for around 700-900 after they fatten them up, so losing 10% of your cows in the mountains due to wild animals or poisonous plants can be very costly.

How do cowboys keep track of how many cows they have?  Write it on the back of your hand.

In the end it was a great time. I want to say thank you to all the cowboys for letting me take all these photos and I have a new respect for the hamburgers I eat and the black angus steaks that grace my grill.

Thanks again Jake.


One Response to “City Slickers Cowboy up”

  1. Love the cowboy shots. Especially the one with the fog rolling in down the mountains.

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