Butte NRA Photos are up!
In other news, it has been a while since I have shared any of my Montana stories. This weekend has been a huge highlight of my rodeo photography career, so I am going to share it with you.
This weekend we packed up and headed to Butte, Montana for another Northern Rodeo Association (NRA) rodeo. This was a big event for the local community. It was the first year ever that the rodeo and the local county fair were held together in the same location.
Every rodeo I bring my camera and plan to just shoot along the outside of the arena but this weekend something amazing happened. I got invited to head into the arena as the official photographer!
This was the first time I have ever been allowed into the arena so I was super excited but once my boots hit the arena dirt I got a little nervous. I had never had to actually cover a rodeo. This means getting every contestant in every event as well as some of the crowd. I also have never had to worry about being in the way of contestants or the stock.
Of course this was the one rodeo I didn’t bring a western shirt or boots. This is required attire to be in the arena. I had to borrow a shirt from a friend as well as boots. The shirt was a perfect fit but sadly the boots were about two sizes too small.
I squeezed into these boots, tossed my cowboy hat on, slung my camera over my shoulder and headed for the arena gate. I had such a fun time dodging calves and steers, running from bulls and broncs and watching the reactions of the competitors and the crowd.
Lucky for me I didn’t miss a beat with my camera and got some amazing pictures. I didn’t get in the way of any of the working men and women out there which was a was a sigh of relief on my end.
In all of my stories I always say I have learned something and this weekend I learned a lot about myself as well as the skills it takes to be a great rodeo photographer. I have had my doubts in pursuing this career and if it was worth it, but this was an eye opener. I proved to myself that I can compete with any other photographer out there and I can push through the tough times.
I can’t wait to get into an arena again to push my skills, to share laughs with the judges, make new friends and tackle another beast.
Until next time!