One of the great things about my job as a community photojournalist is the connections picked up over the years from all cultures. Such is the case with Jarrett Blessing and his family. I shot an image of the family back in 2009, the last time before this year that the Paradise, Texas cowboy qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in steer roping.
So what makes this cowboy different from all the other cowboys that make the finals? Jarrett has two other jobs, a middle school teacher and a father of two, a son Cayne (8) and a daughter Cali (5) who are Both involved in rodeo and require a lot of time and teaching. He has to work in his practices in-between all the other stuff, giving priority to the kids.
When I heard that Jarrett had qualified again this year, after a nine year dry spell, I wanted to re-shoot the family. A lot of things can happen in nine years. Here’s where the relationships come in to play, by staying in one place for a while and always respecting your subjects time. So… the years had changed the size of the family and I wanted to do something similar but also show it in a different way. I decided to put the kids on the horses and surround them with family, kinda like the way Jarrett and wife, Jessica, place their priorities.