Did you know that the history of the rodeo dates back to the sixteenth century? It was the Spanish conquistadors and Spanish-Mexican settlers that helped play a key role with their introduction to horses and cattle in the Southwest.
Overtime, the popularity of this event has carried over throughout the United States and Canadian regions. The majority of rodeo spectators that come for the show and action only have view from the front of the ring during the competition. Many individuals never see the work and preparations that occur prior to the rodeo.
My hopes and aspirations with this photo series is to bring the audience behind the scenes of the rodeo chute where the contestants prepare for competition. This approach was hopefully to help personalize the rodeo contestants and allow them to see the work and time that goes into one of these productions.
Many of the images shown in this series portray the ranchers and cattlemen rounding up their livestock into the corral before the start of the rodeo as well as the riders preparing for competition.
The connection and reliance between humans and their livestock had me fully embracing the deep- rooted traditions of the rodeo and the people involved. My focus was spent primarily with behind-the- scenes of this event because I feel that through photography, I am given the opportunity to share with others what most may not always experience with the spectator’s view of the rodeo.
My main objective with my BEHIND THE CHUTE series was to hopefully convey the energy and details that go on behind the scenes of this American tradition, the rodeo, through humanizing these individuals with the in-between moments of anticipation and competition.
From the details to the action, my goal and approach was to photograph in a manner that allowed others that may have never experienced a live rodeo, to feel as though they had a front row seat to the event.
About Leigh Ann Edmonds
Leigh Ann Edmonds is an American documentary photographer, having received a degree in journalism and studio art from The University of Alabama. Her personal works predominently have a strong emphasis with her connection to the culture and people of the rural south in the states. She has over 24 years experience as a photographer and considers her photography more of a visual journey than a professional destination as she documents life in her small town of Alabama.
Her belief is that through her photography, she has the ability to preserve life in an unaltered and observant way as she considers her photography a journal of her life and experiences.
The majority of Leigh Ann’s work is predominantly black and white as she feels this helps create a nostalgic and timeless mood to her images, helping her audience connect to her work more so than to just focus on details and color in a photograph.
With the rise and popularity of digital photography and manipulation, she strives to hold on to the basics of classic photography, drawing her inspiration from Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank and Vivian Maier.
Although, Leigh Ann now works in digital format, she still shoots similair to how she did with film and tries not to get carried away with all the digital post processing and preset options as she reminds herself to focus primarily with capturing her images close to in camera as possible.
Leigh Ann is an award winning photographer for her image titled RODEO and has been featured in Black and White Magazine, Rolling Stone and Vintage Guitar magazine. She is married to a working musician and her love of adventure, life and outdoors can be seen throughout her portfolio. [Official Website]