Cowboys and the western lifestyle still thrive in the western United States.
Cowboys still walk the streets of Prescott, Arizona. On any given day you can walk downtown and feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Prescott’s downtown square area is home to saloons and art galleries and restaurants and the Yavapai County Courthouse sits in the center. On the weekends, the sidewalks can be filled with tourists, residents and other locals dressed in 1800’s attire. Besides the groups that perform historic reenactments of gun fights and bar room brawls-the cowboy life still exists in the western United States.
Photographing the western cowboy lifestyle.
For years, I have been enamored by the “western lifestyle”. Funny, considering I don’t even ride horses. Wikipedia says “Western lifestyle or cowboy culture is the lifestyle, or behaviourisms, of, and resulting from the influence of, the (often romanticized) attitudes, ethics and history of the American Western cowboy.” Perhaps it’s the “often romanticized” part that gets to me. In my eyes, horses are very romantic and my love of creating horse art brought me my true love. But the cowboy and cowgirl photography has always been so fun. In 2003 I had a great photo shoot at a dude ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona. We used real cowboys and cowgirls, not models. This was the start of my fascination with capturing the western lifestyle and shooting on ranches through out the Southwest and Northwest United States.
Some of my favorite parts of photographing the western lifestyle and cowboys and cowgirls is the clothing. I’m not talking about ladies parasols, lace and full skirts and high boots. I love the casual modern day look of blue jeans, cowboy boots, leather chaps, work gloves, cowboy hats.
Dude Ranches across the U.S.
There are many dude ranches across the US. The Dude Ranch Association has an online directory. You can create a luxury vacation or a working vacation, a bit like Billy Crystal in the movie, City Slickers. Here’s another great website listing guest ranches in North America. You can ride horses, rope cattle, fish, hike, or simply sleep in a hammock under the trees with a cool summer breeze. There’s chuck wagon rides and cook outs. If you are enamored with the western lifestyle as I am, perhaps choose a Dude Ranch vacation from these websites.
My job as a western lifestyle photographer is to capture this lifestyle and portray it through images. If you are a Dude Ranch or Advertising and Marketing firm looking for a photographer to capture that lifestyle- please contact me to schedule your custom photo shoot. I also have many stock images of cowboys, cowgirls or stock photography portraying this western lifestyle.
Jody Miller is a professional photographer specializing in Horse Photography, Equine Photography, and Equestrian photography. Her work can be viewed online here in her gallery section, and she is also featured at Arts Prescott Gallery, in Arizona.