On a beautiful Monday evening in July, I drove to OutWest Arena in Buffalo, Minnesota to capture portraits of some of the hard-working cowgirls that ride there. Hannah, Maddy, and Katie are all involved in the cattle events at OutWest.

I’ve known these girls since the beginning of high school so I was looking forward to creating some incredible images with them!

We started out in one of the pastures and took some individual portraits before working on any group shots. There are so many great images from this session, I’m just going to have to share them all!

Hannah and Rattler.



Katie and Yoda.


Maddy and JayZ.

Then we worked on group shots!

Maddy had a great idea about setting up a “summer fun” theme by bringing a blanket, a beach ball, and some marshmellows on sticks. It was fun to set up this shot!

I am in love with these portraits with Hannah and Maddy sitting on the log! I love the way the light is filtered through the trees in the back and the pose looks so natural. These cowgirls killed it!!

After that, we took the horses in the arena for a bit to get a few loping shots!

I love the way the light plays with my lens in these shots. I try to keep the sun in front of my lens rather than behind me so that it can create an amazing glow in my photos just like in these!

And of course you have to have a bit of fun during the sessions… So Katie brought out an OutWest goat for some photos!

Lastly, Hannah and Maddy took to the road and we brought out some smoke bombs that Hannah had bought. Using smoke bombs with horses can get tricky because many horses will be afraid of the sight, smell, and sound of them. Luckily Hannah and Maddy had practiced with their horses before the photo session so we were confident that they wouldn’t get too scared.

I really love the way these photos turned out. Talk about cowgirl tough! With their boots, spurs, and buckles, the smoke in these photos really brings the cowgirl image to life.

Doing sessions where I can experiment with different things and play with different scenes is so fun for me! I had always wanted to try something like this and will hopefully play around with it more in future sessions.

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