Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Black Hills Stock Show is Here!

It's time for the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo! I absolutely love this time of year, when I can go hang out with the horses and the cows, and take in the the sights (and yes, the smells!) that bring me back to the days before family and responsibility, when it was just my horses and me, spending our time together traveling on weekends to shows and rodeos and spending the week riding in the mountains or on friend's ranches.  Those were the days of my carefree youth...and the stock show is my time to be immersed in those terrific memories!

I spent a little time at the Rapid City fairgrounds yesterday at the BHSS Winter Classic AQHA show, photographing the amateur heeling event.  I am more impressed with the low-light capabilities of my Canon 1D Mark III every time I use it at a high ISO without flash.  The fairgrounds arena is very dark, and there is an on-site photographer set up to sell photos of the event, so I didn't want to use flash and risk interfering with her photos, so I photographed without flash (by the way, my photos of this particular event are not for sale...I was only shooting for fun and for practice).  I have had several requests to photograph some of the local team roping events around the area, so I am excited about my increased low-light capabilities with this camera, although I am still in the market to buy some strobe lighting!

As the Black Hills Stock Show gets underway, many of my images will be available in the "Events" category of my website at Thompson Photography.  A schedule of events for the stock show and rodeo can be found at BHSS - Schedule.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

2010 Governor's Conference on Tourism

The 2010 Governor's Conference on Tourism was recently held in Pierre, and I was thrilled to be one of 18 vendors selected to have a booth exhibiting "Made in South Dakota" products during the conference.  This was my first time showing my photography, and it was a lot of fun and a great experience!

I was fortunate to find myself next to Trina and Charlie Wheeler of Wheeler Farms Candy Company, who are seasoned exhibitors at the Governor's Conference, and Trina graciously shared many helpful marketing tips and ideas, as well as some delicious pecan butter brittle! Next time you are in Sturgis, I highly recommend stopping at their store and sampling their delicious candy!

I came home from the Conference full of ideas for expanding my market.  Now, if I could just fit a few more hours into the day....!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's Time for Sno-Ball!

Saturday night was the annual Sno-Ball Dance for Spearfish High School, and what better setting for Sno-Ball pictures than out in the snow! I met Alyssa, Jamie, and Jake in the park for some quick shots before they headed to dinner and night of dancing and fun!

I was having a great time, and could have spent all evening taking pictures of these terrific kids, but I was also wearing a coat and boots, and didn't have a dinner and a dance to go to!  I hope all of the students attending the Sno-Ball this year had a great time and a safe night!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Spearfish 14th Annual Holiday Classic

I spent most of this past weekend at the Black Hills State University, photographing the Spearfish 14th Annual Holiday Classic indoor soccer tournament. Teams from all over the region participated in the tournament, with ages ranging from U10 to U19. I was anxious to try out my new Canon ID and test its low-light capabilities at this tournament, as the field house is extremely dark, and I don't like using a flash for soccer. After shooting for 12 hours straight on Saturday, I was glad I didn't have the added weight of a flash on my camera!

Results from the tournament can be seen at Spearfish Soccer. Images from all of the games I covered at the tournament can be viewed and purchased at Thompson Photography.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Blue Jays at 10 Below

The birds felt the effect of our recent cold also, and these blue jays were frequent visitors at my feeder, anxiously awaiting the peanuts I would put out for them every morning!

It's supposed to be in the 40s this weekend...that is going to feel like the tropics! I hope everyone gets a chance to get outside this weekend and enjoy some beautiful winter weather!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Fresh Air Fund is Looking for Runners & Sponsors for 2010! NYC Half Marathon

Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences in the country to more than 1.7 million New York City children from disadvantaged communities. Each year, thousands of children visit volunteer host families in 13 states and Canada through the Friendly Town Program or attend one of five Fresh Air Fund camps. For more information on this terrific program, and how you can help, follow this link, Fresh Air Fund.
On March 21st, the Fresh Air Fund-Racers will take to the streets at the NYC Half-Marathon! Thank you to the Fresh Air Fund-Racers and their supporters for participating in this world class event. You are making a huge difference in the lives of thousands of Fresh Air children! There is limited availability for this amazing race. If you would like to run, please register at Run the NYC Half Marathon with Fresh Air Fund! right away.

The summer of 2009 was amazingly successful thanks to the generous support from all of The Fresh Air Fund volunteers and donors. With your help, next summer will be wonderful too.

2009 Summer Highlights:

Nearly 8,000 children enjoyed their best summers yet!
* 370 students participated in the Career Awareness Program
* 11 counselors-in-training spent three days on the Appalachian Trail
* 168 young people were Leaders-in-training

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Light the Lamp Tournament at the Rushmore Thunderdome

I have had several requests from parents in the past to photograph youth hockey, but up until now I have been too busy carrying a two-job workload to fit hockey into the mix. However, 2010 is bringing an exciting new change, with me taking on photography full time. I am very excited about this endeavor, and the exciting new opportunities and challenges it is going to present!

I have always loved the excitement of hockey but have never photographed it before, so I figured the Light the Lamp Tournament, a high school varsity tournament sponsored by Rushmore Hockey, held this weekend at the Rushmore Thunderdome was a great opportunity to start. Due to a full weekend schedule, I could only make it to one game, but it is definitely going to be the first of many!

For more shots of the Richland Rangers vs Gillette Wild visit my website at Thompson Photography

Call Jana at 605-641-2335 or send an email to if there is an upcoming game that you would like covered. Thompson Photography is also now providing sports team and individual portraits ~ call for information!

Wild Horses of Wyoming

We spent a few days at my in-law's in Big Piney, Wyoming, after Christmas, and took one day to look for some wild horses. My father-in-law works in the natural gas fields and knew where a few bands had been hanging out, so I had an advantage in the vast expanse of BLM land where they winter!
We found this small band, consisting of a stud and a mare, with an old bachelor stud tagging along, in the Jonah natural gas field.

This bigger herd was near Pilot Butte close to Rock Springs. These horses are extremely flighty this time of year and it took me about 30 minutes to get close to them, and with it being near zero out, I didn't stay out for long!

While I was lying on a small bank of sagebrush photographing this small band, I saw a truck slam on its brakes and back up into the ditch on the side of the road. I then heard whistling going past my head, and realized I was being shot at. They had a silencer on the gun, so I never heard any shots, but could hear the bullets going past me. After they saw me take their picture, they took off. My husband & in-laws were around a bend in the road and couldn't see or hear what had happened, but had seen the truck stop and back up. By the time I ran all the way back to our vehicle, the truck was long gone. I don't know if they actually saw me, as I was wearing brown & white, and they were just trying to scare the horses, or if they were trying to scare me...but I was done photographing the horses after that!

Wishing everyone a blessed and healthy New Year full of love and laughter!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Senior Shoot with Amy

I have been looking forward to some winter senior shoots, so I was excited when Amy called just before Christmas to schedule a shoot. Although we were a few days early for the fresh snow from the blizzard, we were able to get some beautiful outdoor shots!

The deadline to get senior pictures to Mrs. Sukstorf for the Spearfish High School Yearbook is January 15, there is still a little bit of time you don't have your pictures yet! Call me at 605-641-2335 or email if you would like to schedule a senior session!