At some point in your life, you might have heard the expression, "This 'Aint My First Rodeo." Usually it is said with a hint of cockiness. A slight bit of arrogance that makes the listener think, "oh shit...this guy/girl/pizza deliverer/escort/doctor has a trick up their sleeve." Well, about a month ago, i spent a weekend in Corvallis at the Double A Arena photographing an event called Sort Pink. And let me get this out right up front...it was my first rodeo. Not that it was a rodeo at all. It was a "sorting" event. No, not sorting like i attempt to do with my socks or bank account or bolts from a bed frame purchased online. Sorting, in the "i own a horse, get out of my way skateboarder who chose to wear a bright orange shirt to a horse event," sense, is an event that gets its roots from cowboys sorting a cow out of the herd for whatever reason. I mean, I am sure there is a list a mile long for why you would do that, right?
Anyhow, Sort Pink is an event put on by the fine folks of Tough Enough To Wear Pink Montana. The organization is a non-profit whose goal it is to put dollars into the hands of people diagnosed with breast cancer in Montana. As the announcer said over the speaker in the arena, they are not trying to cure cancer, or fund some "pie in the sky institution," they want to put actual dollars into the actual hands of Montanans working to defeat cancer. Cheers to that I say!
The weekend was long, dusty, required many GB and batteries and more than a few hourglasses of time, but was one of those experiences that makes me grateful to be a photographer. It brought me back to the days in the Photojournalism dept at UM, where I repeated the words over and over to myself, "Out of photography, I want experiences." Not too sure if I have fully accomplished this goal yet, but being at Sort Pink was one step closer for sure.
The gig came about through a person I had shot photos for about 5 or 7 years ago. We have stayed (somewhat) in touch since then, and I have always appreciated her attitude, approach to working with me, and overall fantastic demeanor. The kind of person that makes you feel like you are working with a friend rather than anything else. The event was eye-opening for me, stressful at times, but overall, frikkin awesome.
Here are a few images from my weekend at Sort Pink 2010: