For the last few years I have taken a hiatus from photographing brandings. I did this for several reasons:
1. My children were too young to ride and someone had to cook lunch!
2. All of my branding pictures were beginning to look alike and I couldn't tell one year from the next.
3. By the time I arrived at the branding, the sun was rising higher in the sky and I wasn't able to capture the beautiful light and long shadows that early morning light provides.
4. In the branding pen, the backgrounds are sometimes less than desirable.
5. The main reason, though, is because I had to work! And who wants to worry about getting your camera kicked by a calf while giving shots or setting it down in something that might not wash off!
Now that my children are growing up faster than I would prefer, I am starting to reevaluate the somewhat lame list posted above. And after stumbling across this blog post by a fellow ranch photographer, Happy Heart Ranch Photography, I began to realize again that it's not about creating the perfect picture or having the perfect circumstances fall into place. Instead, it's about recording this time in my life and in the lives of family and friends, and knowing that I am blessed to being living this life that God has giving me! - even though it's (or my pictures are) rarely perfect!
...but it's so nice when kids are finally old enough to ride their own horse!!
Things are never perfect in the branding pen, either. Especially when your sorting in the mud!
...or when you get your rope around your colt's leg!
But at least we have friends to help us laugh about it!
And then there are those times when we throw a nice heel loop, and it makes it all worth it!!