My childhood summers were spent on a family dairy farm in Nova Scotia. Waking at dawn and herding cows alone in the field, where the only sounds were the birds waking and the gentle murmurs of the cows. The smell of fresh milk and fields of grass were the touchstones of my youth. The barn where I helped my uncle hand-milk the cows is now gone back into the earth.
My ongoing series Keepers of the West took me back to fields at dawn, this time on the family-run ranches of the American West. Visions of the West have long been central to our culture, but the way of life of the cowboy and the family-run ranch is fast disappearing.
Over half of all family owned ranches in Montana are run by people over 65 and many of their children are not choosing to remain in ranching.
It is because I recognize these struggles that my series celebrates the beauty of family-run ranches. The lives of these people are framed by hardship, yet they thrive in the simpler way of life that remains their routine, and in the stewardship of the land and the animals they tend.
Over the past four years I have witnessed the strength, determination and commitment of these families to continue this way of life, and pass it on to their children. The images are made up of the places, people, and creatures that have welcomed me into their world to remind us of the arresting moments of grace and beauty found in a life lived under the wide-open western skies.
"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed ... We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.
" Wallace Stegner, The Sound Of Mountain Water.
Coming Home © Landry Major
Racing the Storm © Landry Major
Cowboy Boots © Landry Major
Jeff the Dog © Landry Major
Mane and Sky © Landry Major
Landry Major is a fine art photographer living in Los Angeles. She stands in awe of nature, and of the inner life of human beings. Through her lens she seeks to reveal the subtle fire, the hidden hero of her subjects. Her recent work has brought her to a vision of a simpler life, a culture deeply connected to the rugged terrain of the disappearing American West. In it she has found the quiet strength of its stoic people, and the majestic animals they coexist with. In her series Keepers of the West and Winter’s Horses, she provides a fleeting glimpse of a life and time that can only be found under America’s wide-open western skies.
Landry’s striking silver gelatin and platinum palladium prints can be found in both public and private collections. Recent awards and honors include a Solo Exhibition at The Griffin Museum of Photography, Critical Mass Finalist, All About Photo Awards, Tokyo Foto Awards, SIPA Finalist, International Color Awards, Julia Margaret Cameron Gala Award, Lurzer’s Archive Best Photographers Worldwide, and Communication Arts Award of Excellence.
Landry Major's Website
All About Landry Major
All About Photo Awards 2022
Waiting His Turn © Landry Major
Walking In © Landry Major
Winter Horses © Landry Major