Cooper Farm Rodeo

sometimes the reward is the experience.

decided to go see a friend race at the rodeo and ended up documenting my experience.

I can't begin to describe how amazing my experience was at the Cooper Farm Rodeo this past weekend. So many factors tied into what a great time I had. The weather, the smiling faces, the character and details as well as the deep rooted family traditions so many of these riders shared.

I have not experienced too much time in this culture although I have had the pleasure of growing up around horses and other livestock.. but this experience, for me, was a whole other ball park.. not to mention the skill and drive so many of these individuals carried.

My girlfriend, Kelly, competes in the barrel racing division of the competition.. so she was the one that let me know about this rodeo as I had shown an interest in coming out to one. I was excited to see that my calendar was open and I was able to come out and watch her race.

Upon arriving, I found my parking space.. became acclimated with the surroundings and proceeded to carry my camera around my neck. I didn't bother with hauling any gear and wanted to keep it as minimal as possible and honestly, didn't have too many expectations of what I would soon be capturing as a photographer.

It wasn't long before I met a bull rider, Trevor, who helped educate me with the art of bull riding and was very helpful when I asked to photograph him and his friends.. this soon led to me meeting more of the riders, speaking with them, their family, their girlfriends and others who came out to support their loved ones.

Needless to say, they were so welcoming that I think I camped out behind the bull rider's pen for the majority of the evening as I enjoyed capturing the energy of a rodeo.