I told my good friend Zach Wolfe, "I want to shoot some cowboys" He replied "Here it is, served on a silver platter"
"Dude, its going to be raining all night" - Zach Wolfe
I have a friend named Elias who has some land in Hiram, Georgia. Luckily he's a cowboy at heart. With that being said, he owns a couple of horses, chickens, goats and a few other animals. Every time I go to his place he's out with the horses and doing "farm stuff" He showed me how to ride horses and lets me roam around his land on his animals. It's awesome! Always a good time over there in Hiram. Occasionally I take my camera with me and take stills of him and his family. The vibe there is just simple and fun. Just living! It's something that I've been liking more the older I get. Family, friends and as many good days as possible.
I recently finished watching the show Yellowstone, thanks to my sister Vicky for putting me on. We tend to swap shows and documentaries to watch. She's usually on to a few shows that I wouldn't be paying attention to. Glad I got onto Yellowstone though. The way they filmed it grabbed my attention at first. The lighting is always on point. Let's not even start talking about the scenery. ( that's a blog on its own )
So between my friend Elias and his horses and watching Yellowstone, I decided that's I wanted to photograph some "cowboys" It just happens to be that I'm blessed to have friends named Matt Swinsky and Zach Wolfe. Two of the most talented dudes I know when it comes to being "creatives" (just google them, you'll see what I'm talking about) They had just finished working on a music video for an artist and you wouldn't believe it. They filmed some real ass cowboys to take part in it. Zach had previously filmed a short documentary on the Brooks Family in 2018, which is sick! Crazy enough the "real ass cowboys" happen to be the Brooks Family.
After I saw that they had filmed with the Brooks Family I had to ask Zach what it would take for me, or if it was even possible to photograph "them" Zach replied with " You want to shoot some cowboys, here it is; served on a silver platter"
So apperently, the Brooks Family runs a company named Southern Rodeo Company and they host rodeo shows all over the place. Luckily, Zach and Swinsky had agreed to go out to one of their near future rodeos and cover the event for them. So guess what? They invited me to come out to take photos! The Rodeo was set to be in Hiawassee, Georgia on the 4th of September.
The day finally came and I was Pelican Case packed ready! Ofcourse, it was raining and it was to continue all day with rainstorms. Zach called me one hour before we were supposed to meet and said "Dude, its going to be raining all night" I thought they (Swinsky and Zach) were going to pussy out and cancel. But they were just making sure I was still with it. For a few seconds I thought that this chance was going to slip away. They pulled up to my house and we were on our way to Hiawassee.
It continued to rain the whole two hour drive to the event. Zach noticed I was wearing my trusty Jordan 1 Shadow Sneakers and asked me "are you sure you want to wear those"? I started thinking about how muddy the Rodeo was going to be. So I asked him if he could pull over at any store that might carry some boots I can beat up. As soon as I mentioned stopping for some new boots, we just happened to be in front of a TJ Maxx store. So we pulled over and Swinsky and I went in on my hunt for boots. We asked the lady working where the mens shoes were and she let us know that they don't carry shoes. "But there's a place next door named Shoe Show that carries shoes". We walked over to Shoe Show while it was still raining outside and to my surprise, we found some knee high rain boots for $19.99. They only had two pairs and the second pair I checked was a size 10. Which is my size! I was ready now.
Once at the Rodeo, Zach introduced me to the Brook's family and they were just as cool as I hoped. They assured me that I was able to photograph anything I wanted. The show started and the rain didn't stop! It was great. I was knee deep in mud and didn't care. I photographed the event with my Canon R5 paired with a RF 70-200 2.8 and RF 28-70 2.0 lenses. Here are some of my favorite photos of that night. Feel free to let me know what y'all think.
Photos by Jorge Sigala