Leaving South Carolina early on Thursday morning, I set out for Encampment, Wyoming to begin a second summer working with the A Bar A Ranch. After 1,970 miles of mosaic bug splatters on my windshield, 7 fill-ups at the gas pump, and a miserably desolate drive across Kansas and Nebraska, I rolled into Encampment on Saturday afternoon.
This year, my job title is a little more specific as photographer, teen counselor, and fishing guide. Luckily for me, I have the flexibility of making my own schedule and most of my job consists of a daily improvise to entertain the guests. I have taken a loose definition of “entertain” to suite my style of fun - particularly camping, hiking, photographing, fishing, and exploring backcounry sections of the ranch. As long as the teenagers are happy, I’m doing my job. At the end of each week, I present a slideshow to the guests specifically focused on their stay and experiences.
One of my goals last year was to publish a coffee table book to highlight the rich history, the wildlife, the vast landscapes, and the eco-friendly management of the A Bar A Ranch. By the end of March 2009 the book was ready for print, complete with 120 pages and over 150 images. You can purchase a copy of the book or preview some of its pages on www.Blurb.com.
In many ways after such a long publication process and a full portfolio from last year, I feel satiated and contented to the point where I see my creativity stagnating.
The test this year will be to see if I can push past the pride of a job-well-done and convince myself there are more images to be had.