Saturday, October 1, 2011

Western Inspiration ~ Shaw Ranch

"I just love this!"

I really do!

I really love these pictures

of our home and family.

One of the ways I can tell

I love them is that they make me

fall in love with my husband

and this life he's given me

all over again.

Considering this is my "before" photo of the edited one above:

Last night I had the privilege to see a presentation by western photographer
I could not sleep when I got home
because I was so excited to work with these photos
that I managed to sneak in taking a few weeks ago
when we did our fall shots for the ranch.
So I stayed up until 1 a.m. last night working with these photos.

David Stoecklein was so excited to show his work.
I loved that!
Over and over again, he would say,
"I just love this one!"
"Do you guys like this?  Because I really do?"
"Isn't that great?"

And I thought, ok, there is a lesson here.
And that lesson is this:
Don't be afraid, ashamed or embarrassed to love your work
and say that you do.

In addition to that,
I wanted to remember a few things
that hit me straight to
the business mind
the creative soul.
These aren't necessarily his exact words,
but they are what his presentation
conveyed to me.

What matters about composition
is that
the creative-artist-photographer,
love the shot.

Not rules.
But your gut reaction & emotion
about the story of the photo.

Big Sky.  Big Land.

You have got to be able to name
the things you do
the things you do not like
about your work,
so that you can weed out what you don't like.

This is true about




your work
your life
will reflect

Honor people with your work.
Don't make them look stupid.
A photo is a snapshot of someone's identity
Respect that.
{Hopefully I did not do that.  I certainly never mean to.}
{My desire with these photos is to honor this life with my husband & family.}

The Gatekeeper.

Every picture
should tell a story.

And you need to know what that story is.

Storytelling helps you make adjustments

in your photos to make them better.

{I've been adjusting these stories I'm sharing here!}

Tell the story.

Story and light.

Those are the two key things in creative photography.

Take things that happen by chance
and learn from them.

Whew!  That was good advice for me
to hear.
Because these shots working cattle
were taken by chance . . .

Trying not to get caught
snapping pictures
while I was supposed
to be pushing cattle up the shoot.

Learn from what happened by chance.

Get your name out there.
Submit to magazines & publications.
Name recognition is important.

Name and style.
Establish a signature style.
So that your work is identified with you.




Love your work.

Say you love it.

Your own name.

And name your likes & dislikes.

So you can link your name with your
signature style.

This is my story.

My story of

My story of our life.






{These photos & this life!}
{It's not perfect ~ there's always things we can improve.}
{But it doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.}

Joining Jen {check out her winged art!} and
these talented artists here:
sneak peek

{All photos property of Jodene (Jodi) Shaw copyright 2011}


  1. Dearest sweet joden, such fun!! I am loving all these gorgeous photos! Very inspiring. Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to you!

  2. WoW! Just breath taking views! I love how you told your story with pictures and great word choices!.. Well said..
    Hugs Dawn

  3. I love your photo story, Jodene! And thanks for sharing what you took away from the class - excellent info for all of us.

  4. I absolutely love the pictures in the sideview mirrors! And the sky! Oh I want to visit you just to see that sky.

  5. Jodie, I love this post!!! This is sooo beautiful - both the written word and the pictures. When I looked at your pictures it reminded me of my childhood when my dad, who was a veterinarian, would take me out to the farms when he was doing his round of vaccinations against mouth-and-foot disease. I always loved it and those are my best and most precious memories of my dad.

  6. I loved those side view mirror photos, too...and I loved that it is OK to love our work and the work we have produced! And it is leading and guiding to others to say we love it...


  7. oh how inspiring. I also love that phrase, "love your work. Say you love it. Name. your own name." This is good. very very good.

  8. What a wonderful and inspired post, enjoyed it a lot. And the photo shoot, oh my word, love them, pieces of life captured in a heartbeat.

  9. I just came across your blog and LOVE the pics of your family, your farm, your life! Farming is hard work - unending work - but with incredible payback....

  10. Hi Jodie, my sister introduced me to your blog, and I am so glad she did! Your photographs are breathtaking, as well as your words. I was a tom boy who grew up on a farm, and when I look at your pictures it makes me long for that kind of life again. I will definitely be following your work!

  11. What a wonderful, wonderful blog. I found you from the Brave Girls Club. Thank you for sharing your story!

  12. Nice story, amazing photography! Cute cows enjoyed the post

  13. Sigh. Just beautiful Jodi. You have honored your husband, your family, your life in such an amazing way. Love all the photos. Love the great advice too. Thank you so much for sharing!

  14. One of my fave posts, Jodi. As always amazing.

    You are my favorite blog. I mean that. And your art is my favorite. Every little word you write and every piece of art is YOU! I am learning from to be a better me, a better artist, a better photographer.

    Thank you, friend.

  15. Jodi~

    We are living the same life right now! I feel like you are right here with me in the kitchen sharing the same sweet afternoon of chutes and follies!

    I agree with all that you said. Well written and heartfelt and your images are divine my sweet sister to the east~

    I adore you, I do!


Welcome ~ share your beautiful thoughts.