Steens Collab Shoot, shot by Branded in Ink
One of my favorite things about these shoots is the comradery that is built across the internet and the miles! Each shoot is more than a business transaction, it is a true desire to raise the bar of their brand and small business as a whole! Sometimes, these relationships are years in the making. Sometimes, these are the very first we have heard of a product. Either way, it is doubly rewarding when these shoots allow us to launch into further projects. So far, both shoots have afforded myself, and others, this opportunity!
The Rustic Ranch- Oklahoma
Products: Graphic tees, Stetson jeans, Crazy Train kimono, custom leather accessories and more
Sandi Snider, wife to cowboy poet Jay Snider, first told me about The Rustic Ranch years ago. I was doing some jewelry repair on some of Sandi’s inventory and the subject of uniquely run small businesses came up Owner, Emily, had an awesome, refurbed Air Stream that she used for shows and photo shoots, becoming a cornerstone of The Rustic Ranch Brand.
A few months later, I was walking the floor in our Paisley home while talking to a stranger. A stranger who basically became my personal stylist for the Winnemucca Ranch Hand Rodeo in 2015. I am not sure how Emily did it, but I loved everything, received a ton of compliments, and still own some of those pieces today! Be watching about some Oklahoma fun in 2019!
Plum Punchy Purdys- Texas
Products: Wild and Fashion Rags
Jordanne and I go back…like WAY back. I don’t remember how or when we met but she was an integral part of The Buckarette Collection back in the day. Anyone remember the wild rag scraps I used? Many of them were from Jordanne! Later, she became our Washington distributor and I carried her wild rags to match our products.
I am proud to know her, where we started in our businesses, and where we’ll be tomorrow. Jordanne taught me about the importance of an accountability partner and how important it is to have grace while keeping someone’s nose to the grindstone of their dreams.
Flyin’ A Custom Leather and Beading- Kentucky
Products: Beaded cuff, earrings and necklace
Annalisa and I became connected online. She attended my online class about social media and using it to grow her business. This summer we had a phone chat where I got to know more about her business, creative desire, and life beyond the work bench. Holding her products in hand, I gained an even greater perspective of this woman, thousands of miles away. You can tell that each bead was added with pride, each stich placed with love. Check out Flyin’ A Custom Leather and Beading and highly consider her for your next custom project!
Desert Wind Boutique- Oregon
Products: Hackamore set up, armitas, cinches, vintage up cycles, Harney Co. tee
Marilyn is the type of person who understands my loud, un-guarded comments. Occasionally, she even laughs! In all honestly, you rarely find a person so expertly talented in as many crafty endeavors as Marilyn. Add in her full time job, raising her son, and her dedication to our community and you have met an incredibly special person. Marilyn is always doing things for other people and it is a blessing to know her! When she contacted me about jumping in on our second shoot I was honored. This amazing lady found something redeeming from our first collaboration? Don’t be afraid to reach out to Marilyn to snag these vintage and cowboy finds. She ships and is just the kind of business a person likes to support!
Photo Shoot Day
Photo shoots like this are rarely an in and out operation. They require preparation and planning. If something is forgotten, we’re out of luck. I spent the morning charging my camera battery, carefully packing all the product, and strategically placed snacks so they would not get forgotten. (“Feed the models” is a real thing, but I argue it extends to photographers too!)
Next, I had prep our other model. Some of you may have seen him before, he is Sam’s string horse that has become my partner, Blue Duck. I got him in, cleaned up, and put him into the night lot. I shoveled out the trailer, hooked it up and hauled out all of the fashion plunder. Later, I saddled Duck, trotted him a bit and staged him for Morgan’s arrival.
Morgan arrived with her side kick, Tuff, and we were off. As we drove, the planning for which outfits to do when, how we would use Blue Duck, and mutual confirmation that we should probably unsaddle him to showcase that beautiful beaded halter. Strong Oregon winds had been blowing all day. As we set up our product table it started to sprinkle. Just to be safe, we decided to unload Blue Duck and put the table inside. This also meant we need to hustle through the first set of shots to get Morgan horseback before the seat got too wet.
Before we could start shooting, Fish and Wildlife had shown up. With fashion accessories all over, a dog in tow and a horse tied to the trailer, the woman was confirming we were not here to hunt. She was just doing her job, but time was short! Had I known it was opening weekend when I scheduled the photo shoot, it would have been done differently. If I had, Sam would have been home and we wouldn’t have had hunting rigs making cameo appearances in a few shots.
After we got through our first set of outfits, we shifted gears for the horseback and gear shots. It was a blessing to work with someone who I could trust with Blue Duck and I enjoyed watching Morgan interact with him. I’m just hoping he hasn’t replaced me!
Part of the challenge with an evening shoot was managing our light. After spending a little too long playing cowboy, we switched gears up for another set of fashion stuff we needed to accomplish. Up until now, rain had sputtered off and on, but nothing serious. This made for some dynamic clouds, but a struggle for golden light. As we looked toward a rocky point I wanted to use, we saw a break! A beam of light was breaking through at the perfect spot so we made our way across the rocky flat. I asked Morgan to set her basket of accessories under a tree and continued on with shot thoughts as the sound of rattles started.
Yes, a rattle snake and a good sized one too! We moved away to set up camp in a different area, this time looking much closer for other inhabitants of the area. I posed Morgan up on a rock and she kept an eye on our new friend, who my back was now to. He made a large, lazy circle before exiting the area. It happened to be an area perfectly framed by the trees with the right amount of light, but I let the idea go. This was obviously home for him but dang I hate those encounters!
Hustling back to the truck, we switched things around again to focus on beaded gear. We were losing light but I was grateful for the cotton candy clouds we were able to capture. Finally, we tried to work on some shots for the custom cinches but just lost light. I’m currently looking into getting and using external light for future sessions.
I have once again learned so much and hope to have served these brands well as they continue to grow! Be watching our social media channels soon for our announcement on Novembers theme, location, model and businesses!