It is easy to recall one of my last projects before – early in 2020 before the world slowed and shuttered.
This shoot was memorable not simply for when, but for where and what. I was enlisted by the San Francisco based ad agency, SLAP, by an old friend, Michael Furlong. We’ve traveled the world together on assignments so I was inclined to go where invited. Where was the wide-open space of Montana and the what was a campaign for Ariat Western.
Along with the creative team, we headed for a week in Butte and Browning, Montana. Ariat is a performance footwear and clothing company with an emphasis on technology and innovation. We would photograph ranchers at work with their Ariat gear. There were ideas that came to mind when I envisioned ranchers – but as so often happens – what I saw and learned in my time behind the lens was a gift of perspective.
I witnessed and tried to capture the rugged relationship between people, animals and land. The space is vast but the families are close, and on the cattle and horse ranches I visited, there were two and three generations of families working together. The work was hard and relentless, constant checking, herding, feeding and caring for the animals. I left Montana with so much appreciation and respect for the rugged and never-ending work with a backdrop of rugged, and beautiful, terrain.
It is what I love most about my life as a photographer, I get to wander and find.