“The Littlest Cowboys” portrait series captures a unique slice of Americana---a lifestyle that lives the sport. A chance invitation introduced me to my first rodeo and a world I previously thought was invented by television. It proved to be a rewarding experience. The children’s rodeo is brimming with a value system we associate with the best of our American heritage: courage, competition, physical stamina, triumph, defeat and sportsmanship. The sport pits its participants, people and animals against a task, the clock and each other.
For this series I have told the story through portraiture. The negatives are printed full frame. I felt that any cropping on my part would perhaps “taint the well,” making the content less honest. When shooting, the time of day had to be ignored as did the dirt, heat and dust blowing everywhere. I think I broke every “Rule of Photography” I had ever learned.
“The Littlest Cowboys” portraits personify the lives they live and the character they are developing. It has been a rewarding series. Along with the photographs, I came away from it with lifelong friends and a respect for those, of any age, who pursue the sport.
The "Littlest Cowboys" portrait series has been shown nationwide in solo and group shows. "The Horton Brothers" was chosen by M. Fulton, chief curator of George Eastman House International Museum of Photography in Rochester, N.Y., for inclusion in The Society for Contemporary Photography exhibit, Kansas City, Mo. The series won the California Gold Award for Photography by "Art In California" magazine, juried by Trudy Wilner Stack from the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Az., and was chosen for a Merit Award by Art Rogers, Artisians Gallery, Mill Valley, Ca.