20/2: PENDLETON (2)

Posted on November 19, 2012


Pendleton: It’s synonymous with bucking broncos, whiskey, woolens, and of course, The Roundup.

20/2: PENDLETON (2) from Swanson Studio on Vimeo.

The Pendleton Roundup started in 1910 as a rodeo competition in the Northwest. 102 years later, cowboys and Native Americans still come together once a year in the town of Pendleton, Oregon to compete in the famous and historic roundup. There are events like barrel racing, cattle roping, and bull riding to keep everyone entertained for days.

This year, our Tyler Ashlock, Kennett Mohrman, and McKenna Johnson headed east to capture the essence of the event in journalistic-style photography. We posted photos and polaroids on the blog from earlier this year at Pendleton, but we never told you it was for a 20/2 project!

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For this particular 20/2 shoot, Tyler wanted to take portraits of cowboys and Native Americans over the course of two days in the style of Richard Avedon’s portrait work. To successfully capture enough portraits to create a photo series,  the crew needed to be in a place where there was a lot of traffic – that meant outside the cowboy dressing room.

“The cowboy dressing room?” Tyler said. “Wow, I don’t think they are going to want their photo taken in their dressing room!”

It worked out to our advantage though. There were enough cowboys going in and out that there were plenty of them who could take five minutes to get their photo taken before their event. Most of the cowboys were more than obliging, and it became somewhat of a novelty for them to do before competing. With Kennett putting up white seamless backdrop and McKenna getting releases signed, Tyler was able to get all the portraits he was after.

“It is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “I want to go back.”