An Interview with Photographer Rambo

An Interview with Photographer Rambo

Rambo’s images in fashion, music, and portraits have been featured by GQ,,,, Sweets, Garance Doré and many more. She most recently captured, “A Day with Chris Brown of Refueled Magazine” for #StetsonStories. This week, photographer Heath Herring turns the camera around on Rambo for this intimate interview.

Stetson: How did you develop an interest in photography?

Rambo: I developed an interest in photography through a hard life. I found myself after a bad experience without words for the first time ever, I am a RAMBLER normally. so I picked up a camera, it allowed me to speak, and to develop the world as I wished it was, to remember that wonder, beauty, these are things that are important to me. and that maybe they’re important to grow, it was very healing.

S: What did the early days of photography look like for you?

R: The early days of photography look like everyone else’s…BAD. Haha, I’ve only been at this for four years now, and I didn’t have many early days before my friend got famous, and my job was touring and photographing him, so my early days had a lot of pressure and travel, and it turns out that was the perfect learning environment for me. But the early days were still bad, ha, I still kind of feel like I’m in my early days. You just keep pressing the button, every single day, and you get better at making what you wish to.

S: In what way is leading a creative life important to you?

R: I don’t think leading a creative life IS important to me. If I could take the pill that would allow me to sit at a desk and work, I’d be tempted to take it, ha. I didn’t choose the creative life, it chose me. I think it IS important, however, to get to be yourself in this world. I am built for this. For this kind of free life.

S: Tell us a little bit about the role fashion plays in your life and your work.

R: Fashion is an extension of expression to me. I really love ideas, and fashion is one more way to see them expressed, to experiment. I love dressing up; I always have, I get excited about clothes in a way I’m realizing isn’t the norm. So I try to lean into that and create scenes and characters; I enjoy using fashion to create new worlds.

S: Has your work changed over time?

R: My work has definitely changed over time. I hope it always does. I have never been someone who is easily contented, it can be a character flaw, but it can also be a strength. I hope to never live a life where I feel finished. The older I get, the more I know what I want, but my soul is young, so it delights in finding new ways to do things. I bring all of that to my work.

S: You seem to have a natural talent for creating a sense of ease with your subjects. Can you share with us some insight into the way you interact with the people you photograph?

R: I grew up wanting to become a doctor, and pursued that as long as I was able, so I grew up working in hospitals and rehabilitation. It is easy to make people comfortable because I’ve been healing people my entire life. I genuinely love the human species and want the best for them, so it’s easy when it’s my job to photograph someone to make that a celebration of that person, to show them how beautiful they are just for being here on earth. Cheesy, I know, but I enjoy making people feel calm and cared for, and it’s possible to do that in photography.

S: From your point of view, what makes a good photograph?

R: A good photograph…what makes a good photograph… I think in my life I have learned I am not worried about standards. I only enjoying criticizing my own work, haha. I think for me what makes a good photograph is one that makes someone feel something. It moves the viewer and hopefully moved the people creating it.

S: Any interesting projects recent-past, present or future you can tell us about?

R: As far as projects go, I just built an art install to photograph fortress festival musicians in, and it got pretty wild. We built one side of the room to look like an eighties mall, and the other side was just a version of my grandma’s kitchen covered in 50k worth of fake money, maybe what I wish I could have given her, haha, and it was lit by pink and blue dual tones. I enjoyed designing the world and setting, I didn’t know I would be into that, and it was really funny to see the effects of being in a neon room for fourteen hours a day two days in a row, haha.

S: What are some words of wisdom, advice, or uniquely-Rambo perspective you could share with us?

R: If I had any wisdom for humans out there it would be to remember that we are built for different skills, and we’re meant to be doing this life together. People who are good at business should be helping artists make a living, and artist should be helping business people imagine. There are a million other examples of skill sharing I could go into, but mainly, it’s don’t try to make yourself into something you aren’t. The most important thing in this life to me is kindness. Always and forever. It is easy to be kind, it just requires humility and communication, myself learning this the most daily, ha. Concisely, stay learning, pursue gentleness, go outside, let wonder take your breath away daily.

Photography by @heath_herring. Follow @rambo and visit her work here.

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Exploring Rancho La Pila with Seager Co.

Exploring Rancho La Pila with Seager Co.

In late May, Seager Company set out for another epic journey south of the border, with a handful of Outlaws (Seager friends & ambassadors), Stetson, and a few coolers full of cervezas.

They headed Southeast with Stetsons in hand to a ranch called Rancho La Pila, where they traveled seven miles on dirt roads until they were at its wooden gates. Here they met the incredible landowner Marty Harriman, who led them into her 1,000-acre property with a huge smile on her face. She introduced us to Head rancher, Rodrigo, who has spent the last 40 years working on this ranch.

The main objective was to learn the ways of the ranch, assist in herding cattle and to enjoy each other’s good company. The trip panned out to be a week full of off-roading, cattle driving and searching for good waves in unfamiliar places. Here is their photo essay. Photos by Ryan Valasek (@snackfarmer)

“Being the heritage brand that it is, Stetson is one of the last real American Western companies and being aligned with such a respected company is an honor. It’s a feeling of tradition and happiness to be out on the open range, sporting a worn-in beaver felt hat. With that, we hope that in good company, Stetson and Seager will help push the idea of a strong, humbled, and spirited outdoor lifestyle. The West, as it once was.”

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Head rancher, Rodrigo.

Seager Company is owned and operated by four friends who found a niche in the outdoor and surf market. Founded in San Diego, CA, Elliott, Mattson, Calvin, and Case worked to combine the grit and ruggedness of the Old West with classic surf style.

Seager Company aspires to bring back the respected and spirited lifestyle of the traditional cowboy/outdoorsman. They aim to exemplify the feeling of hard work and high reward.

Long days on the trail followed by a well-lit fire and a cold Banquet are not uncommon for these folks. Neither are the days trekking far outside their comfort zones in order to find uncrowded surf breaks. Seager Company honors the skillful outdoorsmen who like to get lost out in the wilderness, those who get their hands dirty. Follow them on Instagram: @seager_co

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Father’s Day in Bozeman, Montana

Father’s Day in Bozeman, Montana

For Fathers day, Photographer, Courtney Green explores the special bond between her Father and her two young children, growing up experiencing life on a ranch just outside of Bozeman, Montana.

There is a humility and resilience developed through hard work. I grew up on a farm in northern Michigan watching my parents work tirelessly to build a life and keep our farm running. I remember when I was very little, walking out of my bedroom before dawn in the early Spring, and often seeing a new calf laying in the middle of the kitchen floor. The snow in the upper peninsula of Michigan makes Spring calving quite challenging, so if they needed help, the babies often ended up in the house to stay warm.

When your childhood starts that way, it is nearly impossible not to grow up with a certain respect, work ethic, and compassion for animals and the land on which they are raised.

You grow up learning that you always do what needs to get done. That’s it. You do it, and you do it with respect, honesty, and not a little work ethic.

We now live in Montana, not far from my parents working ranch just outside of Bozeman. My children have the opportunity to grow up hearing stories and learning life lessons that you don’t learn in school, and can’t be found on an ipad.

There is a reverence and an appreciation for this place, cultivated through working hard and caring deeply for the animals and the land. They follow my dad everywhere on the ranch… on foot or horseback, fixing the fence, checking cattle, caring for horses, and of course, sneaking in time to play too. They are learning lessons and creating memories that run deeper than they know.

Happy Fathers Day to all of the wonderful Fathers and Grandfathers out there. Especially mine.

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Pheasant Bonanza, Nebraska with Sam Raetz

Pheasant Bonanza, Nebraska with Sam Raetz

It’s 6AM on a Saturday in Northeast Nebraska, and the majority of its citizens are still in bed, fugitives of the unfriendly conditions that are all too common in the Cornhusker State this time of year. The sun has yet to decide when it’s going to illuminate the Heartland, but rest assured, the day started a few hours ago at Pheasant Bonanza.

Shop the shirt here.

Pheasant Bonanza is a well-respected hunting club that offers more than 4,500 acres of upland habitat and a dog training program that is as esteemed as any in the Midwest. Located just outside the endearing town of Tekamah, you can hear the 50 some-odd bird dogs-in-training singing in unison for their breakfast long before you can lay eyes on their impressive facilities. Trent Leichleiter has been the General Manager for nearly 11 years at Pheasant Bonanza and is the driving force behind the thriving business. He wears many hats aside from overseeing the business; dog-trainer, shooting instructor, and marketing manager, among others. Trent leads a team of 15 guides that work during the fall hunting season, and another 8 employees that are full-time staff.

Hat left; Dune 5X Gun Club. Hat right; Bozeman Outdoor.

The sun’s warmth is waging war against what remains of spring’s foothold in the hills, and is at last spreading across the land, notifying the dog trainers and their students that it’s time for today’s instruction.

Trent and his staff load up a dog trailer full of German Shorthaired Pointers and head afield. The pointers, beaming with levels of excitement that could be misconstrued as anxiety, are eager to please. These bird dogs are in the advanced stages of their training, and could practically drive Trent’s Ford to their preferred field. Not ten minutes go by before one of the pointers catches a whiff of a rooster hiding in switchgrass, transforming the dog into a statue-like point. What was once a fun game as a puppy is now a full-time job for these canines, and they’re workaholics. “Whoaaa” Trent calls out to his high energy group, hoping to reign them in before any of the dogs flush the prized game bird prior to him getting into position for a clean shot. Suddenly, the tall grass erupts, and a rooster cuts through the crisp mid-spring sky. Trent raises his 20 gauge over-under shotgun and sends a barrage of steel through the air, connecting directly with the bird. The pointers go into a frenzy, attempting to be the first to arrive at the harvested bird in order to impress their teacher. After a few more exercises, Trent dismisses this group of dogs and begins to work with some Labrador Retrievers who have been patiently waiting their turn back at the kennel.

Some dogs dream about the dinner bell or apprehending the local squirrel, but the dogs at Pheasant Bonanza are living their own paradise every day.

Whether you meet a staff member or a dog that has been under their supervision, it’s clear that those linked to Pheasant Bonanza have found their calling in the chase.

Sam Raetz is a freelance photographer based in the good life – Nebraska. He unknowingly put his photography career in motion when he instinctually reached for a camera to capture his time duck hunting with his brother along the river and realized there is depth and meaning to the photos, beyond capturing an image. Passionate about telling the quietly whispered stories of small towns, nature, and wildlife, he finds himself traveling across America to document not the big moments, but the meaningful ones. Grit over glamor and hard work over everything. Find more of his work at

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Behind the Scenes with Charley Crockett

Behind the Scenes with Charley Crockett

We had the pleasure of spending the day with Charley Crockett ahead of his show in Philadelphia. Read on for the full interview with photography by Jesse Michalski.

When and why did you start playing music and singing?

I started playing music as a way to relieve my sorrow when I was about 16 or 17.

What was the first tune you learned?

“All Along The Watchtower”

Is your family musical?

I had a great uncle who was a Country Western singer. My mama could always sing really well naturally. Both my siblings too.

Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Bill Withers, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, Lightnin’ Hopkins.  With all of them and many others I admire there’s a simple honesty to their songs. They can say a lot in a 2 minute song without being heavy handed. I think that’s a rare gift.

Do you get nervous before a performance?

I do get nervous. I’m not sure that’ll ever go away. I don’t think I want it to. It means I’m excited and that’s a good thing.

How does Stetson fit into your style?

All the best hats I’ve ever had were Stetsons. It’s one of the few brands that have stood the test of time in America. I can identify with that kind of endurance. Not to mention, everybody notices a Stetson.

If you haven’t already, get yourself a copy of “Lonesome As A Shadow” and catch him on tour this summer!

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The Eaton’s Cattle Drive

The Eaton’s Cattle Drive

by Photographer Sofia Jaramillo

Each year the Eaton cattle drive shuts down highway 821 between Ellensburg and Yakima. Cowboys and cowgirls come from all over the state to help the Eaton’s move their herd back to the family’s Mount Baldy Ranch in central Washington. It’s a tradition that has been going on for more than 60 years.

This year, in an effort to keep grazing on land near the Yakima River Canyon, the Eaton’s teamed up with other ranching families. The Akehurst and Stingley family contributed cattle to the Eaton’s herd and together they moved over 100 head.

The drive starts in the foothills above the highway. Cows are moved from the rangeland down to the road, which parallels the river. Black cliffs jot upward from the riverbanks and tall skinny pine trees provide homes for nesting bald eagles.

The drive takes about three hours and after everyone has arrived at the ranch the Eaton’s host a dinner for those who helped out.

“It’s really a way of life for us. It’s something that is just in your soul. You feel more at home horseback than doing anything else,” said Ken Eaton.

Don Akehurst gets ready to put a bridle on his horse before the cattle drive. Shop similar Western Hat styles here.

Cattle move up Burbank Creek road toward highway 821.

Curtis Mecham’s shadow is cast on a trailer early in the morning before the cattle drive.

Cattlemen go after a wandering cow during the cattle drive.

Carly Stingley and her horse during the cattle drive.

Cattlemen stop for some coffee and lunch on their way to Mt. Baldy ranch.

A truck full of hay lures cattle down highway 821 in the Yakima River Canyon.

Sofia Jaramillo is an editorial and commercial photographer, a lover of Latin culture and outdoor adventurer. Her work focuses on agriculture and ranching. When she’s not working on photos, you’ll find her exploring in the Tetons. She recently relocated from central Washington to Jackson, Wyoming. After growing up in the mountains of Sun Valley, Idaho, she couldn’t be happier about moving back to the mountain west.

Instagram:  sofia_jaramillo5


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