Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Atkinson, Nebraska Lifestyle and Art Photographer: Celebrating A Legacy

This week over at I Heart Faces there was a photojournalism challenge.  This is my favorite photography genre.  I particularly adore black and white images, as I believe they truly have the capacity to elicit raw emotion and character in an image.  That is just my opinion though.  For this challenge I decide to create a storyboard of images that I made at our family branding.  

Our family has been in the ranching industry for over 125 years, when my ancestors began carving their story from the sod prairies of central Custer County, Nebraska.  Today, our story lives on.  My Grandmother MaryBell (top left photo) is the matriarch of our operation.  Together, my mother and father keep the farm/ranch running.  My sister, brother, me, and our families, though we no longer live on the place, come home to help whenever possible, and my sister and brother have plans of one day moving back to continue the legacy that has played such a pivotal role in all our lives.  

When I married my husband, also a rancher, one of the things that told me he was a good man was how he showed respect and loyalty to the ranching legacy from which he was also born.  Though we now ranch away from the place where I grew up, our rich heritage continues to be cultivated through our own children.  We will continue to tell the stories that our mothers and fathers told us. 

Stories like ours are owned by many families, but sadly, with hard times, they are becoming fewer and fewer.  The voices of those who wrote them are becoming lost in the changing times.  More and more generations are severing ties with their agricultural roots due to factors beyond their control or simply because they don’t have the desire to continue to the story.  I am blessed that the legacy of my ancestors has been passed down to us through oral and written tradition.  The care-worn journals and photographs emerge at family get-togethers, and new, never heard stories, always manage to evolve from them.  For me, a lover of history, this is pure excitement! 

This weekend my family will celebrate our heritage.  Grandma MaryBell will be 90 in just a few days.  I look forward to all the stories that will be told and all the photographs that I will make to help me remember who I am.

For more awesome photojournalism , go on over to I Heart Faces!


  1. The first photo in the collage just jumped out at me...the man with the hat. All of them are great and tell quite a story!

  2. Awesome ranching photos - really captures the spirit!

  3. Wow! Awesome story and awesome photos. I love that wrangler shot in the middle!

  4. These photos definitely tell a story. They are beautiful!

  5. Wow, these photos are amazing and evoke alot of emotion!

  6. This is amazing - just incredibly stunning!!

  7. I am always a sucker for a cowboy ;) amazing images!


Katrina Lee Photography is a professional custom photography business specializing in natural light and location portraiture as well as fine art portraiture.