FACES OF PRYOR

“It’s hard to know where our road will lead us. I sure as hell never thought mine would take me to Montana.” –Adam Welch

In the Spring of 2018 I published my first photo book. Little did I know that when I created Faces of Grayson it would be the start of something much larger than I am. It would be the beginning of a journey that would lead me 2,000 miles from the wild ponies of the green Virginia highlands and into the vast big sky country of Montana to seek out one of Americas herds of free-roaming mustangs.

The newst addition to the Pryor Mountains herd in 2021: ‘Voyager’

“Faces of Pryor” will be a photographic record and testament of the feral mustangs which inhabit the rugged 38,000 acre Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range.

This will be a mixed-medium project; meaning that photographs will be captured with both digital and non-digital cameras. This is one aspect which I have struggled to come to terms with while beginning Faces of Pryor. Would the creative benefits of using various antique film cameras alongside my modern digital gear outweigh the potential shortcomings?

After my first venture into the Pryor Mountains in the spring of 2021, the question of whether or not a mixed-medium approach was answered for me and, surprisingly, helped steer my ultimate direction for the book itself.

Juniper of the Pryor Mountains. Captured on an antique box camera from the mid-1950’s. On Kodak TMAX medium format film.

Whereas Faces of Grayson interpreted the wild ponies from a standpoint of portraiture, I learned that this would not suffice for Faces of Pryor. In the Pryor Mountains, the horses, the land, the sky, the weather; they all seem to flow into a singularly complex whole which forms the greater emotion of how it feels to make photographs alone in these mountains. To include or exclude one from the other feels wholly unnatural. So, this is why I have chosen to both document the horses and their environment using a host of different methods, cameras and creative approaches.

As seen through a 150-600mm Tamron lens
Composing a photograph with the “Big Bronica”, my ever faithful Bronica GS-1 6×7 medium format film camera.

The book will also likely include a selection of poems and written words inspired by the Faces of Pryor project. Many of these are hand-typed on location using one of my traveling typewriters which, yes…I do bring along with me into these wild places.

 
My restored 1938 Royal Model O…known as “Orson” was the last thing I packed up before leaving the Range. Shot on Kodak TMAX medium format film.

Faces of Pryor is tentatively aimed for a mid-2022 release. This book will be a much more personal experience compared to my previous work with an intentionally restricted production. While the final run is yet to be determined, I am considering limiting the first editions to no more than 100 copies.

A lone stallion stands sentinel.
‘War Horse’ The scarred and battered back of a Pryor stallion. The result of recent battles for territory and breeding rights.

I am currently organizing my next trip back out to the Pryor Range to gather more images and first hand experience by immersing myself with the herd. I hope to make at least two more excursions into the mountains before the winter snows come down and the area becomes inaccessible to me.

Click here to stay up to date with the Faces of Pryor Project

Pre-orders will commence once a more solid release date has been established.

Special thanks to the good folks at Tamron USA who have generously supported this project.

 

Equal appreciation goes to the townspeople of Lovell, Wyoming, particularly the patrons and staff at the Shoshone Bar Lounge…a place where I instantly felt at home. 

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