Today, well today and tonight, I had two of the hardest questions ever posed to me. No She did not ask me to Marry her.
The first Hard Questions question was, are you a “Big Picture” guy or a “Details” guy and the only thing I could think of was “Yes.” Ok, sure, not a good answer but it is the truth. Being a field technician for many years for a major shipping company I had to learn about the business impact of what I was doing. If I negatively affected the business, then I not only hurt the delivery drivers but shot the heck out of customer service. At the Universities the last few years as I took on more responsibilities I definitely was a “Yes” guy. As my projects became larger and much more complex (read: expensive), I was the guy not only planning the projects but worrying about the implementation and then sticking my hands all the way up to the shoulder blades in the cabling. So my answer was yes! Now don’t worry I didn’t just say yes, but explained it. So I am “The Big Picture Guy Who Sees the Pixels out of whack.” Sorry blame it on my video background.
Then tonight Hard Questions number two, was even a scarier question posed to me! How do my professional dreams and my skills align? Now this is not a what are you doing in five years’ question, but instead a “you have a magic wand and you could have any job you want” question and how do your skills align with having that job. Wow, shocking was a mild understatement because at first I thought “THEY DON’T!” But as I sat down to diagram what I wanted, yes I did go big, I realized while I might not have every skill required, I have most. So now, addressing the jobs I really want, the proverbial gauntlet has been slapped upside the back of my head and I now understand that I need to begin planning my future to acquire the necessary experience and skills to land that job.
So if you need a Chief Information Officer, drop me a line. I am the big picture guy who has installed the cable and replaced the boards while smoothing the ruffled feathers of the customers.
Notes From A Rodeo Photographer: Being a rodeo photographer isn’t about just showing up with a nice camera or being able to edit photo’s on your iPhone. Knowing the events and understanding the arena helps to capture the moments. Knowing the lighting helps make the shots “pop.” Now from shooting from broad daylight in the Texas Panhandle to shooting at dusk with rain clouds building in the Southern Colorado Mountains, you have to understand how to light. Now I personally use Alien Bee from Paul C. Buff, because, well I can’t afford anything else and I got mine cheap from another photographer Kent Kerschner the FotoCowboy. When I first started I shot with a first generation Canon Digital Rebel the 300D with kit lenses and a 75-300mm. Now I shoot with a Canon 6D with a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 which gives me better control and more depth of function. When you add quality equipment body, lenses and lights and work hard at your craft you should be able to capture good pictures that show the action of all athletes in the arena.
A few years ago myself and Kent Kerschner with a few others tried to start an Association to help rodeo photographers. We shuttered it because rodeo shooters couldn’t be bothered.
My reasoning behind it was to start the rodeo equivalent of Sports Shooters. I was new to the craft after having done video for years and wanted to learn.
Others wanted to start the association because of issues similar to what is being brought up here. People taking us for granted and or stealing from us. Granted not as bad as it is today but you could see the writing on the walls as to what the future would bring.
Too many people treat the business like they did in the old days when they thought a handshake was good. Well that sure isn’t working out today is it? Rodeo has become a business, if you treat it the same way you did 15+ years ago you will not be respected. If the people you are dealing with want it all for free then just tell them you are a professional and only shoot professional events, thank them and walk away.
In my opinion, if someone is stealing from you say nothing to them. Or to the association or to their friends. Sue them, that is why there are Federal and often state laws to protect us as professionals and as artist. If you know someone who is plastering their stuff all over Facebook then they are not a professional. The wedding pro’s I follow put teaser shots up, especially on Instagram, then little else. We as rodeo folks should follow suit. Don’t try to change the want to be. Let them ride on.
I don’t say much, and wont. I wish you all luck, but a reminder to all. At the end of the day this is a business, treat it as such.
Escape, It is hard growing up trailer park trash. Especially in an oil patch. Sure my friends who were smart headed to college, but, when you do just enough to get by the grades normally show it. The friends who didn’t want to go to college headed to the patch. Not an easy life being the low man on the rig. Sure the money is good, the beer is cold and the drugs are easy, but the work is dangerous and grueling.
Me, I took the easy way and joined the Army. It wasn’t the Navy so I wouldn’t run into my dad. I wasn’t Navajo so the Marines were not my cup of tea. The Air Force was cool but didn’t want to talk to me until after I was 18. But the Army, what can I say the recruiter was hot.
Bucking Horses. There has been a lot of interest in bucking bulls and it appears to be a growth industry. But the question is what will it take for bucking horses to catch up?
There are many new associations trying to get the bucking horse game off the ground. But it seems the process is moving along slowly. Now part of the slow uptake could be the lack of media interaction, lets face it the PRCA is not exactly a media darling like the PBR. Another part could be the lack of big events for riders, you don’t see many $50,000 added events for Bronc Riders.
So what will it take for the horses to become an investment and not a sideshow?
All photo’s are property of Double P Tack and are not to be copied or reused. All rights reserved 2015.