Welcome to the Photography of Nancy Jane Wilhelms

We are pleased to offer Vintage Rodeo Photos by Nancy Jane Wilhelms. This series of photos is from 1974, and captures the lifestyle and faces of cowboys from that summer. Please register for our newsletter (below) and we will keep you informed as more photos (vintage and new) become available and more news is posted.

View all the photos here, and make sure to check out the blog here.

The story behind one photo, "Oklahoma Cowboy"...

Oklahoma Cowboy, © 2008 Nancy J. WilhelmsI’d driven all day and arrived to photograph the rodeo trusting the Committee would actually have reserved a hotel room and a pass for me and believing that maybe I would meet someone who could help me get the access I wanted behind the chutes. A smiling cowboy with a big belt buckle walked up, asked if he could buy me a Coke and invited me to accompany him past the “No Entry” section as he mounted his first bull of the Calgary Stampede.

The belt buckle said “All Around Cowboy” and the cowboy was Larry Mahan. That was 1974 when Monty Henson, Pete and Donny Gay and a host of characters were holding on to their rising stars via a rope attached to a madly bucking bull or bronc.

In May, I started at Jim Shoulder’s ranch in Henrietta, OK where I was warmly welcomed. These photographs are from that summer. There are untold photos of broncs and bulls and wild rodeo rides. In selecting this group of photos, I seek to capture something else…the feeling of the cowboys and the rodeo lifestyle where all is shared and everyone is welcome…including a gal with a camera.

Nancy J. Wilhelms