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Dee Cusick of Walla Walla studied rodeo photography with a renowned photographer in California in 2018. “While the majority of rodeo and sports photographers work at just capturing the action, I want to try different angles, shutter speeds, etc., to try and appeal to those who may not know much about rodeo,” she said.

Photographs capturing rodeo action by Walla Walla resident Dee Cusick are on exhibit at the downtown Starbucks, 28 E. Main St.

Her interest in the genre developed when she grew up on a cattle/hay ranch in Okanogan, Wash., where she and her horses explored the hills around her property. 

She grew her love of the sport participating in high school and junior rodeos.

“While I was never really very good at it, my love of it never left. I also developed an appreciation for nature and animals around me,” she said.

After a 10-year spell in Seattle, she returned to Okanogan and realized how much she missed the farm and ranch life. 

She and her life partner met there and moved to Walla Walla in 2001. She was wine steward at Super 1 and currently works at a Starbucks here.

A friend gave her a camera about the time her last horse died of cancer in 2015. 

“I discovered my love of looking at the world through the lens. I began taking pictures of friends’ horses and shooting along the fence at local jackpot ropings and barrel racing here in Walla Walla. 

“Last year I had the opportunity to take a workshop with world renowned rodeo photographer Matt Cohen in California. 

“I have taken the things I learned from Matt and other photographers to attempt to not only capture the action of rodeo, but to try and make art. 

“While the majority of rodeo and sports photographers work at just capturing the action, I want to try different angles, shutter speeds, etc., to try and appeal to those who may not know much about rodeo,” she said. 

She has photographer credentials for Pro West and NPRA Rodeo associations in Washington and Oregon. 

Her goal is to spend more time in the arena with her camera next year.

She also enjoys doing portraits, especially high school seniors and families.

All of the photos exhibited at Starbucks were taken at barrel racing, team roping and steer wrestling competitions in this area. 

One of a saddle bronc was at Helix Rodeo in spring and the one black and white of a team roper won her Best of Show at the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier days two years ago.

Online see dcusickphotography.com for galleries of her work.

 

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