Scott Slusher - The Cowboys' Cowboy Photographer - Mountain & Prairie Podcast
Scott Slusher is an Oklahoma native and Texas-based photographer who is best known for his stunning images of cowboys and life on working ranches. After seeing Scott’s work, it is crystal clear that he has a deep understanding of the ranching lifestyle and has invested more than his share of time out in the heat and dust, on horseback or in the branding pen. Given his immersion in the tough, hard-nosed world of ranching, you may be surprised to learn that Scott was trained as a fashion photographer and still works with a variety of big-name companies on their fashion and clothing line spreads.
So what allows Scott to have success in two worlds as diametrically opposed as ranching and fashion? Well, as you’ll hear in this interview, Scott has a habit of pursuing his interests with a single-minded intensity and curiosity, unafraid of getting in over his head, venturing outside his comfort zone, or working harder than expected. Combine those traits with endless energy and a knack for making friends with everyone he meets, and you’ll understand how Scott has managed to work his way onto iconic ranches, riding alongside and photographing some of the best ranch hands in the business.
Scott’s enthusiasm and love of people really come through in our conversation, so I know you’ll enjoy it. We talk about his childhood in Oklahoma and how his father’s work as a veterinarian and horse breeder shaped his outlook. We chat about his time as a photography intern and how he chose to dive head first into no-fun chores (like mopping the floor), and how that optimistic, high-energy approach has paid off time and again throughout his career. We also discuss how he broke into photographing cowboys, and how his respectful approach has allowed him to be accepted by ranch hands throughout the West. We cover a ton, so check out the episode notes for a full list of topics and links.
If you don’t already, be sure to follow Scott on Instagram at @slusherphoto—if you love the West and the ranching lifestyle, I can guarantee you’ll love his work. Hope you enjoy this episode.
2:45 - How Scott describes his work
4:50 - Where Scott grew up
8:30 - Time working at a vet clinic
12:00 - Applying to art school in Dallas
14:00 - Finding focus in art school
18:00 - Work ethic during his first internship
22:30 - First time taking photos of cowboys
26:00 - Making folks feel comfortable during photo shoots
27:20 - How he broke into the cowboy culture
33:00 - Working at the Four 6s Ranch
36:15 - Importance of networking
40:00 - Close calls during ranch photography
44:45 - Close call during a rodeo
49:30 - Importance of social media in Scott’s career
1:04:00 - Important books
1:09:00 - Favorite films
1:14:00 - Words of advice to the listeners
1:15:00 - Connect with Scott online