“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”~W Rogers
We have a small Western-themed museum here in Prescott, called The Phippen. Finally after two years of living here, I spent some time there and I have to say it is a great, little place, especially if you appreciate the Wild West. I specifically was there to see a photography exhibit called “Rodeo, A Tribute to Louise Serpa”. I shot one rodeo so far and I did not think I would like it but the action and cowboy culture drew me right in!
Serpa shot rodeos for about 50 years and was considered to be a photographic pioneer not only as a rodeo photographer but as a woman in that particular field. I marveled over some of her work, most of it showing was from the 70s and 80s. It was not just about high action, bronco busting type of shots but also captured the spirit of the cowboys, the animals, and even the attendees. All the work was in B&W and the show even included some fun artifacts (like her AZ license plate which said “Photog” ♥ and her Justin cowgirl boots).
I’ll leave you with one of her best advice lines for shooting a rodeo. Of course, it applies not just to photographing rodeos but to all photography and to life in general….”Never don’t pay attention”. 🙂