Every so often I work on a personal project just to motivate and inspire me. There’s just something about shooting for fun, as opposed to money, that feels good and makes it more intriguing. But it has to be something that really interests me and is also photo-worthy.

A couple of years ago I came across a profile on Instagram of an incredibly beautiful cowgirl just north of Denver, Colorado, who goes by Caiti Rose. I started following her page and eventually sent her a private message expressing my interest in doing a photo project on her sometime. She said it sounded like fun and so last weekend, after numerous attempts to make it out there, I finally hopped in my van and headed for Colorado! And I’m so glad I did because it was a blast!

Below are highlights from the two days I spent with her. We spent time on the farm where she helps out and keeps some of her horses and cows, went to a feedlot where she also works and keeps more horses, stopped by a friends place where they were cleaning steer skulls, spent an afternoon at a gathering where they were roping calves, eating ribs, drinking Coors and singing karaoke around a bonfire. She even took me to her childhood home where I met her mother, who was in the kitchen cooking some pork that smelled delicious and met her father who had just come in from the fields where he grows crops. In a fairly short period of time I got a good understanding of who this cowgirl really is and what her life is like. And let me tell you, she is the real deal! She’s not some wealthy ranch wife who thought it would be neat to own some horses. She lives and breathes horses, drives a big pickup truck, wears cowboy boots with spurs, almost always has a cowboy hat on, carries a knife on her belt, eats jerky, skins coyotes, castrates bulls, has a deep faith in God, goes to church on Sunday mornings and seems to live life to the fullest…all while being one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met.

Visit my Farm Life portfolio.

Visit my Personal Projects portfolio

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Rochester, Minnesota, Photographer, Dean Riggott, has specialized in commercial, corporate & editorial photography since 1991. Areas of expertise include agriculture, food, product, architecture, hospitality, industrial, healthcare, environmental portraits and education photography.