The cowboy life affirms the words of Winston Churchill: "There's something about the outside of a horse that's good for the inside of a man." From the moment humans first encountered horses, they have been respected and revered as symbols of freedom and power. Indeed, the relationship of man to these noble beasts has done more to change human history than any other domestic animal. And in America, it is the image of the cowboy, along with his gallant horse, that is the foremost icon of the Wild West.
"The Hideout staff, wranglers and chef combined to make for a week far beyond my expectations. Darrell Gulin's experience and expertise allowed us to photograph in a wonderful variety of settings, while he worked with the wranglers to get the most out of each photo session. We signed up for two more tours before the workshop was complete.
Unparalleled opportunities to photograph horses thundering through snowy meadows, against dark pine-covered slopes and jagged mountains are just a fraction of the exceptional photographic potential in our winter photo shoot. Though the horses are our main focus, we also have outstanding chances to photograph all aspects of cowboy life in winter—model-released cowboys working herds of horses in snowy landscapes; during hard-charging and snow-flying action; depicting the adversity of ranch life in winter; and straightforward cowboy portrait sessions! The horses and their cowboys keep us busy all day long—it's the equivalent of two shoots in one! Each day there is an extraordinary range of subjects to please beginners and amateurs, as well as stock and fine arts photographers.
Our setting for this incredible shoot is a magnificent 650,000-acre ranch in Shell, Wyoming. The photogenic vistas of this enormous ranch include the craggy Bighorn Mountains, snowy meadows, slickrock cliffs, polychrome-painted hills, aspen groves and a rushing river. The ranch is home to 1,200 head of cattle, a rugged crew of photogenic cowboys, cowgirls and wranglers and some of the finest ranch horses west of the Mississippi.
Our luxurious ranch accommodations, located at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains, consist of a spacious main lodge surrounded by guest cabins
. It's a wonderfully-appointed
guest ranch for this remote Wyoming location and keeps us warm and cozy between shoots. After an exciting day in the field you can relax and unwind in the hot tub adjacent to the main lodge while flying snow may swirl around your head! The lower level of the lodge houses a library with an inviting fireplace, a large TV and billiards room. The main floor hosts the dining room and a wood-burning fireplace
—plus spectacular views of the mountains. The top floor is home to the cocktail loft, where guests gather to share stories, review daily digital images, and discuss plans for the next day.
Join us on this exclusive winter shoot to capture the power and majesty of horses in snowy landscapes, striking images of Wild West buckaroos, and to chronicle the uniquely American flavor of the "Cowboy Way."
Be sure to read Darrell Gulin's trip report from our 2017 tour.
Day 1 (Jan 14)
Fly to Cody, Wyoming. A 1-hour shuttle transfer from Cody to The Hideout in Shell departs at approximately 1 PM and is included in the tour fee. We meet for orientation and dinner. (D)
We've scheduled two incredible horse drives each day of our shoot—utilizing the best light of the morning and evening (overcast conditions may prevail during winter—and snow is never a guarantee). Depending on snow conditions, each drive is in a different area of the ranch. We photograph extensive action as horses hurtle through flying snow. We won't forget the human element as we include our cowboys during the horse drives. The cowboys work the horses in groups and individually, and we illustrate the harsh conditions associated with a cowboy's life in winter. Between the action, we offer portrait sessions with the cowboys in their winter gear. The tack and saddle room are opened up and we have our pick of a variety of photogenic props for detail work, too. This is a chance to photograph a wide variety of still-life symbols of the American West. There are plenty of opportunities to shoot tight on hard-charging cowboys as well as to shoot loose, getting the classic shot of the lonely cowboy riding homeward on an endless snowbound plain. (BLD)
Day 7 (Jan 20)
Transfer by ranch shuttle to Cody Airport in time for flights home. (B)