For our team, the June issue is when things really get interesting. We produce this issue in April, and by the 15th of the month, I had enough content to fill this magazine front to back because there are so many ropings and so many rodeos underway.
There was a time when, it didn’t matter how many events were going on, I couldn’t cover them because too few photographers were there to document the goings on. Times have changed, and we’re all enjoying the fruit of these tireless professionals’ labors.
When an event ends, a photographer’s work is just beginning. He or she (or their spouse or coworker) meticulously files the images, labeling ropers by roping, go-round, placing, etc. The files are edited to make sure everyone looks crisp and sharp, and uploaded to the photographer’s website and a Dropbox folder for media. Then begins the task of emailing the digital files already ordered and printing the copies ropers requested.
Because of this work, The Team Roping Journal’s staff is able to highlight the ropings and rodeos you want to know about, even quickly reporting on the events on teamropingjournal.com and across social media. These professionals are constantly expanding their skills, allowing our team to push the limits on our layouts, figuring out creative ways to bring you the stories you want to read that continue to help us with our mission of inspiring the sport for continued growth.
So next time you’re at a roping or rodeo, and you see a man or woman crouched in a corner, making images all day long in whatever elements are present, jotting notes so the files correspond to your draws, introduce yourself, say thank you and maybe even buy a photo. They’re truly the thankless artists pushing this industry forward and allowing us to tell the stories we do every month.
And while we thank the photographers today doing the hard work in and out of the arena, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that there have been champions of team roping photography for as long as ropers have been nodding their heads. That’s evident by the work on page 92 in Julie Mankin’s feature, for the second month in a row, on legends of the sport not to be forgotten.
Thank you for taking us along on your roping journey.