Long Live Cowboys and The Dryhead Ranch

Last year Kimberly Beer and I co-hosted a Winter Ranch Workshop in Livingston, Montana but that ranch was sold so we went looking for another location this year and landed on the Dryhead Ranch. Thanks to Jennifer and Kristen Cerroni our first retreat at the Dryhead Ranch in Montana did not disappoint! The Dryhead is a four generation working ranch tucked in the eastern slopes of the Pryor Mountains, deep in the heart of the Crowe Indian Reservation. There is Iris, the matriarch of the family now in her 90’s, still working the office taking reservations and doing the books. Then we have Jennifer and her daughters Kristen and Jess. Jessie and her husband, Jake have four kids, who kept us entertained all week. Maddie, Cassidy, Howdy and James are always hard at play or helping out on the ranch with chores. Jackson came as a guest a few years back but is learning the ropes from Jake on his summer break from college. Lara was our chef extraordinaire, keeping us fed well all week and helping out with the cattle. Kristen’s boyfriend, Braden came out to help on branding day. So all in all, it’s a family affair!

James, Howdy, Maddie, Jess, Jake, Cassidy, Jennifer and Kristen

The kids were a never ending source of entertainment and great photography subjects!

 My co-host Kim Beer is not only a fantastic photographer and teacher, she’s a marketing guru too! Be sure to check out more of her work on Facebook at Kim Beer Photography

It was such pleasure to watch the cowboys of the Dryhead hard at work. We even got to watch Jake put the first ride on a youngster, he’s so good with his horses the colt took everything in stride.

So wonderful to be around a family that honors the land, the stock, the wildlife and God.

The cowboys and cowgirls of the Dryhead Ranch.

On a working ranch there’s always something that needs doing. From fixing fences to gathering, sorting, doctoring, branding and tagging the cattle.

There are horses and lots of them. Each morning the cowboys would bring the cavy (riding string) of about 65 head in and in the evening they would take them back out to pasture for the night.

The ranch also has a breeding operation of Quarter Horses, each stallions runs with their group of mares and foals. These foals are being raised for future ranch horse prospects.

Kim and I would just like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone at the Dryhead that made this year’s retreat a success.

Thanks also, to those who joined us this year: Hilary, Christy, Pam, Rhonda and Greg!!!

Well that’s it for now….yep, we are planning to make this a yearly event. Dates for next year are July 23-28, 2020!

Interested in a cattle drive vacation? Be sure to check out the Dryhead Ranch website for more into!

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Iceland Baby

Well my 2019 Iceland Equine Photo Tour is in the books! What a fantastic time was had by all attendees, the staff at Skalakot AND myself. The week before leaving for Iceland I guess I was a little stressed out, not sleeping enough or taking care of myself. So I left home feeling a bit under the weather, unfortunately it only got worse once I got to Iceland. However, thanks to a wonderful group and our fabulous head horse wrangler, Sanne, we were able to get to every shoot I had scheduled for the week. Thanks to Chef Robert at the farm we dined on the most delicious Icelandic cuisine all week. I’m not sure which was a bigger hit our main courses or the decadent desserts he lavished us with. He even made the most beautiful birthday cake for one of the ladies in our group, I think he heard through the grapevine that chocolate was her favorite and he did not disappoint!

Yes as always we had babies! Of course, we had to spend some time with these little ones and their moms. We even had the treat of a newborn while we were at the farm!

We kicked off the week at Irafoss (foss is Icelandic for waterfall) with the herd but I decided to try something different. I wanted to have one horse (hopefully a cooperative one) to stand in front of the waterfall alone. Luckily with the help of Sanne we were able to accomplish my wish!

Once we discovered this beautiful boy, Frank (aka Blue Eyes), became our favorite model. Not only was he gorgeous but he had two blue eyes AND was extremely cooperative!

Then there is the Lupine, yes it’s literally everywhere! Did you know that Lupine is not native to Iceland? It was brought in to control erosion and grew out of control. It sure is pretty and when you put a horse in it, then that quote “Horses make the landscape more beautiful” by Alice Walker is so true. The bird life in Iceland is abundant, although the Arctic Terns weren’t happy with us for disturbing them. 

We did make our annual trip to the Glacial Lagoon and Ice Beach but while the gang headed out to explore and photograph I tried to get some rest. A nice warm rock on the beach was the perfect place to take a nap! On our way back to the farm that afternoon we stopped at this beautiful cascade right by the side of the road. I couldn’t resist, even though I’ve photographed it several times it still calls to me.

Of course, I love Iceland in color but some scenes are so dramatic they speak to me in Black and White. The Black Sand Beach of Vik or a group of horses running in that iconic landscape.

As always I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jóhanna and Mummi, the owners of Skalakot along with their fantastic staff. Sanne always gives us personal attention and no matter what we ask for it’s always granted. #onemoretime is a photographers motto because we will always ask to see if it’s possible to do that again! 

So many more fabulous images from this tour but I will leave you with this one as it’s one of my favorites and something I always wanted to try but just had to find the perfect models.

Our lovely head wrangler, Sanne with our horse model extraordinaire, Frank. Yes, their eyes really were that blue!

If you think you might like to join me in 2020 please send me a message.

I’d love to share “my Iceland” with you!



***On Another note: Would you like to know how to make these fabulous collages to use in your blog posts?!?! Check out BlogStomp3 so cool! ***

Posted in Photography, Tours, Travel, Workshops

Let’s Collaborate!


“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” ~ Babe Ruth

I’d like to take a few moments to talk about collaboration. We all know that marketing strategies and branding are needed to survive in order to “make it” in
today’s business world. Collaboration, not only with businesses but with our peers can help further our professional career and enhance our personal life as well.

I recently teamed with three wonderful equine business models: Weaver LeatherThe Cavali Club (an equestrian lifestyle box) and WARHorses (Women of Age Riding Horses). I was lucky because they contacted me but you can find a business close to home that is in your genre to do some promotional work for. What about a local western store, feed shop, farrier or equine practitioner that might need new images for their website? Do they have a big social media presence? You can work out payment in the form of trades or reduced rate for the exposure. I listen to podcasts and sometimes guests that are on spark my interest for a collaboration. I know it’s hard to put yourself out there sometimes (believe me I know). Whatever your dream, don’t talk yourself out of it!

If you’d like to collaborate with another photographer there are lots of ways to do it. You could create something together. Perhaps you both have ideas for shoots/images but need help completing the idea. Maybe you both need new head shots or images of your family, you can trade services. There’s #followfriday where you can share another creatives IG/FB or website.

Braided Halter from Weaver Leather

Or you can do what I’ve done and collaborate with my fellow photographers in the form of workshops! Cara Taylor Swift and I host our St Augustine Workshop together. Kim Beer and I are headed west for our ranch workshops. Charlotte Detienne and I will be co-hosting the Southern Cross Guest Ranch Workshop in November.

I’m also excited to say I will be teaming up with Michelle Martin Randolph to do a Winter Draft Horse Workshop in Utah next year!

We all have such different experiences and visions. It’s great to share ideas and good just to think outside the box if you’re in a creative rut.

Got an idea you need help with? I’d love to hear about it!

Now let’s get down to the business side of things, I’ve got a couple of fantastic resources to share with you: 

1. The Contract Shop is running their mid-year sale starting tonight, Monday May 27th and will run until Thursday May 30th at Midnight ET. This is where I get my Equine Portrait Contract from and believe me it’s a great one, covers all the bases. You can save up to 40%! To be more specific, 20% off courses, 30% off workbooks, and 40% off contract templates!
Head over to – The Contract Shop

2. Podcasts are a great informational resource for your growing business. If you need no nonsense help with growing your IG account, starting a blog, selling your work or just how
to deal with life as a creative this podcast is made for you. Check it out: The Creative Chaos Podcast with Jenna Martin

That’s all for now if you have questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Posted in Business and Marketing, Life, Photography, Tutorial, Workshops Tagged , , , , , |