Rodeo produces an action-packed storyline in each event, with the characters performing their role in split second intervals. The fast-paced beauty of rodeo is hard to capture in its full glory with the naked eye, as the detailed skill of the athletes unfolds in record time.
Slowing down the action by freezing a moment in time allows us to embrace and see the beauty of rodeo through the art of photography. Images draw in the audience visually and can convey a powerful story, leaving a lasting impression.
Cody Noble, a young talent from the Midwest, is enhancing the age-old art of storytelling through photography. Noble is magnifying the story through action shots that he is capturing in the rodeo arena. His unique style is producing frame worthy photos featuring photo finish results.
Through this short interview, Noble gives a view behind the lens on how he got started, how he has evolved, and a snapshot of his future.
Who or what inspired you to move from a rodeo competitor taking part in the action in the arena to capturing the action through your lens?
“I started out taking my camera to the high school rodeos and snapping photos when I was not competing. No one really pushed me to take pictures or encouraged it, I found taking pictures of the sport I love relaxing and a form of creating art. I tell people, ‘I don’t really know how I started taking pictures. It was like a light switch flipped, and that is what I wanted to do.'”
“I am entering less and showing up more on the sideline, which gives a bittersweet taste. When you are competing, training, and traveling with fellow competitors it is a different experience and thrill than taking pictures on the edge of the action. Don’t get me wrong, a super close shot or a ‘wall hanger’ is an amazing feeling and is what I strive for.”
How has being a rodeo competitor aided you in capturing the perfect split-second shot?
“I know, for a fact, I would not be where I am today without competing in rodeos. Being a competitor in the arena in many of the events has given me the upper hand on what action frame athletes are looking for. However, rodeo is exciting and completely unpredictable, which can lead to amazing photos unexpectedly.”
Photography becomes an art, developing your own style of creativity. How have you stamped your work with your own personal signature?
“Part of my signature style comes from growing up around cattle and livestock, along with the understanding and passion of rodeo. I have gained the knowledge to understand and read the livestock, which helps me snag the best photo I can imagine along with being safe in the process.”
“Technology, software, and lenses all play a vital role in creating a unique style. It is a daily learning curve for me, but as I grasp the new knowledge, it provides another form of creativity to share.”
Along with photography you are taking quick video clips throughout the event. These short videos compiled together are gaining attention in the social media world showcasing a fast rhythm enhanced with music. What enticed you to start dabbling in videography and why?
“I view photography and videography as two completely different styles, so it was back to the drawing board to learn a new craft. Through trial and error, I figured out I could videograph high quality clips with my camera. Lucky for me, I fell in love with video clips as much as photographs. I believe photography showcases one side of the story and videography provides the other side, it is a perfect combination.”
Photography and videography are the perfect recipe for storytelling. What message are you hoping to convey to the audience about rodeo?
“At the beginning of my journey, my goal was to give the audience my inside view during a rodeo. Now with my own following on social media, I am taking more unique and candid shots to help promote the growing sport of rodeo. My goal is to show others what us athletes, stock contractors, and families see — beautiful creatures doing what they love.”
Do you have future plans on growing your photography business in the rodeo industry?
“My future goals are a little different than everyone else’s; I would like to have a company where my friends and family work together and not for me. I want to share my knowledge and experience of rodeo with others through my work by projecting positive messages through rodeo images. I think every photographer or videographer wants to make it to their ‘Super Bowl’ of the sport. Taking pictures or videos at the NFR would be a dream come true of mine, but these are God’s plans for me, and I am not finished helping others quite yet to make the big show.”
To wrap up the interview, can you leave us with words of wisdom for the next young individual who is looking to start his own creative business in the rodeo industry?
‘The best advice I can spare right now is to be a good human. Open doors for people, say, ‘Yes, sir’ and ‘No, ma’am,’ lend a helping hand when it is needed. Try not to worry about what others are doing or accomplishing, stay the course, and follow God’s path he has set for you.”