I'm all about country. If it has horses, cowboys, cowgirls, bulls, country musicians, or traveling in or out in the country (any country), I’m interested in photographing it! I also have a love of teaching. I am based in Phoenix in the wonderful state of Arizona. I invite you to visit my links below.
Saturday was my day to photograph as many artists as I could at Country Thunder. In four hours, I was able to photograph Tom Wagner, Ry Bradley, Dorado, Ryan Hurd, and Austin Burke.
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark IV and a Tamron 28-300mm lens. I was a one lens pony this day. The Tamron lens gives me all the reach, if I need it, and it is light to carry.
Tom with a Fan
The first act I photographed might have been the most fun for me.Tom Wagner, I found out, is a local guy.And an opening act for Garth Brooks.He’s animated and obviously has fun with his audience.And his audience seems to love him.He also performs regularly at Cave Creeks’ Buffalo Chip, so I will have some follow up shots of him in action.
Ry Bradley was the next act. He has that certain look,doesn’t he? I was thinking “James Dean” from Rebel Without a Cause, although I bet the young folks won’t know what I’m talking about.
Dorado followed Ry (that link goes to Dorado’s Facebook site). Now, we often were going from a smaller sound stage to the main stage, with many beer and food stops along the way!
Ryan Hurd has been a successful songwriter in Nashville and is now trying to cross over as a singer. From his website, I learned that Hurd has written songs that have been recorded by Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Maren Morris, Tim McGraw, FGL, among many others. In 2015, he celebrated his first No. 1 single as a songwriter with the GRAMMY & CMA-nominated duet “Lonely Tonight,” recorded by Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe. I also learned he’s from Kalamazoo, just an hour west of where I grew up in Jackson, Michigan.
The final act we photographed was Austin Burke. According to his webpage, he grew up in the 1990's in Phoenix, Arizona, Austin was a huge country music fan and began singing as soon as he could walk. At the tender age of of 3 he sang the national anthem for both the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks and at a chance meeting with his hero Garth Brooks at a Padre's spring training game, his destiny was set.