How more excitement do you want then taking photos at a rodeo. As a rodeo photographer I’m always amazed at the high energy excitement in the arena. From the cowboys, or cowgirls, to the rodeo clowns the action is non-stop.
Let’s face it the next best thing to doing something is being next to someone doing it and that is true of rodeos. Taking pictures of rodeo cowboys in action is a thrill and a challenge at the same time. Capturing the picture is only part of the job. The other is staying alive! When you’re up close to the fence or in the back at the bullpens you have to be completely aware. The Canadian Pro Rodeo circuit is a challenging one and to be honest I’m amazed that they pull it off without issue. From town to town they set up and tear down and keep everyone safe.
If you’re looking at getting into taking rodeo pictures the first piece of advice I have is to know your gear. It can’t be said that knowing how to take a photo is something you need to do before you get to the event. Taking your photography skills up to the pro level requires a second sense for when and where to take a professional photo. Take for example a very simple problem, lighting. Many local rodeo’s are set in a horse or hockey arena. The lighting is less than ideal for action photography and forget using your flash. Read my rodeo photo tips to get some simple yet effect techniques to improve your shot.
As with many events remember that there is lots to shoot that’s off the main event. One bounce is taking rodeo cowboy images from just behind the gates. This is where you have them somewhat captive and very focused on what they’re about to do. So there is more than just rodeo action photos to be taken when you’re standing by the fence.
Below is a collection of rodeo photos taken in large arenas and local venues. If you’re looking for old rodeo photos send me an email I just might have what you’re looking for.