I really don’t like to fly. In fact, I drive everywhere and usually not in a straight line. Nor do I take the shortest, or easiest route. This way, I get the chance to photograph with a little luck, what I believe to be the true Western Lifestyle.
A lifestyle that hasn’t quite caught up with the rest of the country, but in fact is in danger of being consumed by the present, which I believe happens to many traditions.
However, it’s this tradition that includes the family ranch, the cowboy, the horse, the wildlife of the west, Native Americans and the vistas they occupy or occupied -- that are my subjects.
My artistic process involves planned 7-10-day shoots, each with a unique focus. I often return to favorite sites or ranches to re-shoot subjects. This practice is often inspired by new information gained from fellow photographers and ranchers, or simply a new artistic perception that intrigues me further… and I love to attend a good workshop!
With a little imagination from you and some double meaning” taglines” from me, I let my photographs try and tell the story. The late David Stoecklein, “Photographer of the West”, who I spent a good deal of time at his workshops as well as personally, taught me about “the story”. I learned most of what I produce today from David, and although I work with filters and textures, I still try to keep “the story” alive.
The comment below is from one of my customers who ranch in Eastern Oregon. Cynthia pretty much sums it up….
“We are the young ranchers here, late 50's. However, I have lamented the fact that the other ranchers are all late 70's early 80's and still working, I love to go with them and see how well they ride and how sad it will be to lose all their beauty. I try and photograph, but I am just a picture taker. None of their kids want to go into ranching so, in the next decade it will be gone, that is why I love your photos. You take a story in a picture, one that makes me almost want to cry, the wild horses, the good animals lost, and the Cowboys gone.
That is my inspiration.
JL Grief Fine Art PhotographyCody, Wyoming, United States 82414
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