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Pics By Clayton Professional Rodeo Photographer
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About Pics By Clayton

 

Nominated as "2007 Rodeo Photographer of the Year" by Southern Extreme Bull Riders Association (SEBRA)

Pics By Clayton is a professional photography service owned and operated by Clayton Grusing.  The title “Professional” isn’t given, it is earned. I have worked very hard to hold such an honored title.  There are many guys with cameras out there who present themselves as professionals and when they fail to perform as expected they tend to give real pro photographers a tarnished name. 

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I specialize in Rodeo and Equestrian events, but shoot so much more.  I think as a photographer you should shoot a little bit of everything and come back to what you truly love.  If you don’t have the passion and desire your pictures will show it.
I accidently fell into photography during my two year deployment to Kosovo.  In the middle of so much death and destruction I found myself wandering off taking pictures of butterflies and sunsets.  The more I shot the more I wanted to learn how to do it right.  After I returned to the states I worked for a regional newspaper in Southwest Kansas as a photographer.  With daily critiques from thousands of readers I honed my skills and outgrew the position.

 

 

All the while I was always drifting back to the rodeo arena.  My parents founded the Bar Diamond Quarter Horse Ranch, so my childhood was spent working on a cutting horse training facility. My grandparents were the proud owners of J-J Rodeo Company making me a member of a large rodeo family.  Growing up in an environment where the entire family worked the rodeos every weekend of the season it became my comfortable place.  It gave me a true understanding of exactly what was going on in the arena and it made me very aware of how much work goes into every performance.  With this kind of background I learned how to “Cowboy-Up” and hang in there.
You will find all kinds of photographers that like to shoot pictures at rodeos, but before you hire one to cover your event, check them out one more time.  When you hire a photographer you normally want someone who will be there before the event starts and stay until after it is over.  If at all possible you would like pictures of each and every contestant whether they made a spectacular ride or not.  There is something to be said about getting a great shot, but if that is the only shot of the night there will be a lot of disappointed people without pictures.  As long as everything works fairly normal a professional rodeo photographer will get excellent shots of every contestant, but if the bull doesn't buck or the rider doesn't make it more than one buck or misses his steer it is hard to get that quality photo.
To do my part in the global war on terrorism, I packed up in 2003 and went to the Middle East.  I was contracted as the installation photographer for the U.S. Army Central Command in Qatar.  Shortly thereafter I earned the title of Visual Information Manager.  As the VI Manager I sharpened my photography skills and enhanced my skills in graphic design and video production.  I provided these critical services to multiple commands throughout the Middle East.  After three years working in this kind of demanding environment and heat, it was time to come back to the United States of America and do what I love…. Rodeo Photography!!
 
       
 

 

 

 

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Read the Russell Huffman/PBR copyright violation story. All Rodeo Photographers should read. (Whether you agree or not we can all learn from this.)

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