Friday, December 22, 2017


Being a Barrel Racing Photographer has it's advantages and disadvantages.  Advantages:  I have the pleasure of photographing a large portion of the ladies that go to the NFR year after year due tot he area I live in.  Tiany Schuster (photo above) went into the NFR with $250,000 and held the #1 spot the entire 2017 season.  She unfortunately didn't win the World Title but she was in the top 5 at the end of the year.

Disadvantages:  There's not much you can do when you photograph except move your location.  There are 3 barrels, the rider and horse go around 3 barrels and run out - fastest time wins.  With the overflow of barrel photographers popping up there is no longer a need for a photo because you can get one at pretty much any jackpot.

When i first started 5 years ago i was the only one in my area and the demand was high for someone that needed a photo to market their horse.  I had to take my disadvantage and make it my advantage, I am pretty much the only local barrel photographer that will move all over the arena to capture something different.

Last night i used a 24-70 wide angle on my Nikon D500 one strobe light bounced off the ceiling to add just enough light to make to keep my ISO at 800 and avoid the grain.  If the rider and horse hit the pocket they ended up with a sweet photo.

The barrel Racers love anything different.  In business and your art you have to do what captures the eye.  Think outside the box and make your disadvantage your advantage.
Jo Haigwood-Johnson
Facebook: Jo H Photography
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Thursday, November 30, 2017


I think it's important in whatever you do if you are in business or out to set goals for yourself.  I recently attended The Joel Grimes Workshop in Buckeye Arizona and something he discussed was setting 1,5,10 and longer goals so you can see how you progress.

My 2018 goal is to work more or grow into commercial photography.  How to gain more business to help them showcase their products thru my photography and video.

I have a game plan in place, I'm working on my products and now I'm ready for my presentation.

December of this year and January 2018 will be my main months to reach out to new companies.  This may not be a good time since they all have just spent money for Christmas but I do have a 8 step follow up process so by mid spring I have gained 25% of those contacts as new business.

Working on your craft at all times will help you be prepared for this goal.  I'm really excited for 2018 and I can't wait to reach new people

Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween Barrel Racing

Barrel Racing is a fast paced sport where the rider is teamed with a horse averaging over 1,200 pounds.  The perfect team are as graceful as the ballet.

Tonight just like any other Monday night you can find me at The Diamond T arena in Denton Texas capturing this fast paced sport.  What made tonight different than any other Monday night was the night before Halloween, and all of the amazing costumes that the riders put on while they competed.

I have always loved team spirit and seeing everyone come out in full force was so much fun to watch.

Don't laugh too much this was a serious competition and the runs were amazing as always, but the crowd enjoyed it just a little bit more tonight due to the eagerness of seeing what the runner was wearing when she ran in.

Check out this amazing sport - it has so much to offer that a lot of people are not aware of.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Trying Something New

A Photographer recently sent me a photo by another photographer in the area I specialise in (Barrel Racing).  his photo was similar to this one.  The other photographer mentioned how playing with light can be appealing to the eye.

I've never tried this method but last night at a small local jackpot I thought "what the heck, I'll give it a try"

I set one of my strobes up high to the far side on a separate channel,  I played around with my settings and was able to switch my pocket wizards and setting while the barrel racer rounded the last barrel and headed home

The Biggest challenge was that I couldn't see what spot they were at to get the best shot so it was timing and trying to make sure i got them in the light.

Playing with light was fun and thats one of the best things about the local barrel races, you see them on a regular basis and their happy to see something different.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Planning your best photography session

Photographers are about to have their busiest time of the year with Fall Season.

Senior portraits start up, as well as Family and Holiday photos.  If your thinking about having photos done please don't wait until the last minute to book a session.

Your favorite photographer is going to get busy, frazzled, stressed and she/he will do everything they can to accommodate your needs.

If your wanting natural settings (outside - what I photograph) don't forget about weather and to plan for an alternate date if your planned date gets windy, rainy or just plain cold.

Location is very important, look for a location with variety, I always let my clients know I would love options (tree, roads, barns, streams old trucks old buildings) anything to give them a variety so their session doesn't look the same.

Props, if you want to include props think ahead about what you would like to bring to your session.  I am very open and will accommodate needs and requests.  Railroad tracks...Not off limits but it is against the law so keep that in mind.

Clothing, I will go over clothing with my clients and color therapy to make their photos POP.  I want your photos to stand out from everyone else.  We will be in constant contact before your session and after.

Get snapshots of any photos you fall in love with on social media, if you have to have this pose I will do everything I can to help you capture that special pose

So, plan ahead, help us make your experience the best you have ever had.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Perspective is something I want to work on more as a photographer, in event photography, portraits and commercial work.  Photographing the same angle can be boring to the runner and to myself.  By moving around you may capture something appealing and if anything you will help the rider see how things are going at a different angle.

It's not always easy as I am a strobe user indoors and nights and it's another learning experience moving light and learning light.  But you just never know what you may capture that the rider may like.

In your craft, try new things, don't do the same thing over and over, twee it a little to see what you get.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Fitness Model

Today I started to work on a personal challenge of learning more about dramatic lighting.  I reached out to some online resources and posted a model call to practice what I learned.

This photo is of Morgan from this morning, she was the best model and patient as I practiced with my new knowledge.

I am beyond happy with some of the photos we have from this mornings session and can't wait to share them with her.

Personal challenges are the best things you can do to improve on any craft your working on.  Challenge yourself, learn, apply repeat.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Vie Vie "Young Entrepreneur" and Rodeo Competitor

Vie Vie may only be 12 years old, but this young lady has goals and she works to accomplish everything she sets her mind too.

She is an active athlete in the sport or Rodeo and will be going to the TJHRA State finals in Barrel racing and Pole Bending in Region IV.  The young rodeo star has created her own line of helmet covers and accessories (keep an eye out for their website; it's in the works and almost ready to launch).

She has style, drive and determination - setting an example on helmet safety for all of our young riders.  Stop by and say Hi the next time you see Vie Vie at a Rodeo event, she'd love to talk to you and encourage you in the sport she loves so much.

One of my favorite things about photography is meeting people and accomplishing the goal of capturing the photos they have in mind.  I love working with young people, give me a call and lets capture those moments you are looking for.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Caly Hayworth Senior 2017

Caly Hayworth, Senior 2017 from Ponder High School is one of those all around ladies that knows when to dress up and be a lady and throw a rope and be a cowgirl.  She currently competes with the THSRA (Texas High School Rodeo Association) competing in Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Goat Tying, Break Away and ribbon roping as well as team roping and ranch rodeos.

She is also a North Texas High School Rodeo Association member and plans to attend a four year college to specialize in horse lameness to help educate owners on how to better care for their equine partners.  Staying close to home will allow her to continue her rodeo career while specializing in a field close to her heart.

Caly is no stranger to modeling for the camera, this was our third photo shoot together and she is definitely a natural around the camera.  We incorporated the things she loved in her session to help everyone see the versatility of this young lady.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Random Photos might be the best!

March 2, 2017

Senior Portrait - Cody Allcorn, Argyle Texas Senior 2017

I've come to love capturing those unexpected moments, when someone is not looking, they don't know your still snapping photos when their fixing their horses mane, or looking around waiting when I told them to "Relax a moment, go ahead and take a break".

This photo was captured today in the second set of his senior photos.  We had already finished up quite a few and I let them know I needed to take a look at something and to take a break.  I kept watching him and he was fixing his horses mane and petting his dog and this was captured.

It ended up being in the top 5 of my favorite photos from todays session.

When your out and about and doing anything, especially in photography, keep your eyes open, you never know what you may miss and / or capture.

*Keep Snapping*  >>> Jo H
Facebook: Jo H Photography
Twitter: @jahaigw
Instagram: joh_photo

Monday, February 27, 2017


As a photographer, we like to see improvements in our work and most importantly, Am I learning anything and getting better.

I decided 2017 was going to be a year of learning for me; I started to search other photographers work to see what other ideas were out there that I haven't thought about and ran across a number of artists that I am in awe of. I still continue to work with a mentor Terri Cage to improve my portrait photography, I am signing up for a workshop in Utah this summer and I have my eye on another workshop later this year that I hope to make.

I started to set goals and projects aside to work on to see if I could learn, grow and gain new knowledge to help my photography improve.

Yesterday was my Calf Roping project, I added a 24-70mm f2.8 to numerous angles and was happy with the look I accomplished, trying to think outside of the box and work on photos in Post hopefully will help me to achieve my goal of learning more in 2017.

Step outside of your comfort zone, try things, if you fail it was just practice but you will walk away with more knowledge than when you stepped inside the box.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

The Horse

The sound is unmistakable; what sounds like thunder or a freight train is the sound of hooves from one of the most magnificent creatures on earth.  Horses have been running for more than 50 million years.  Once the human and horse became acquainted they became more powerful when they were linked together.

Horses were domesticated over 6,000 years ago and over time more than 200 breeds have been created.  From the beauty of the Arabian, the strength of the Clydesdale and the all around ability of the Quarter Horse.  We've fallen in love with these beautiful creatures.

Barrel Racing is one sport that has shown the athletic ability of the horse, this sport was created in 1948 by the Girls Rodeo Association, now called the Women's Professional Rodeo Association and started in the great state of Texas.  Barrel Racing was created so women would have a sport to compete in at the professional rodeos.

Today Barrel Racing is not only a rodeo sport but also a sport amongst itself in jackpot format and is widely popular in such events as NBHA World, BBR World Finals and numerous Futurity events.  In this sport, you can see the versatility and speed of the horse, running short distances, making stops, turns, pivots, and then speeds to the next spot to repeat his moves again.

If you have never watched a Barrel Race, please take some time to find one in your area so you can see what an athletic sport it is and watch as horse and rider become one to compete for the fastest time.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Years Day Race

What better way to start off the new year than at a Barrel Race in Decatur, Texas.  Wild West Promotions holds an annual 5D open added money race every year.  They never cease to amaze me at how many barrel racers come out to this annual event.

Yesterdays event saw 326 barrel racers run in an out of the arena, with some of the top professionals making a run at the annual event as well.

Congratulations to Tiany Schuster of Krum, Texas on winning the 1D championship yesterday, Keep an eye out on the standings - Tiany is tearing up the winners circle and making a run for the National Finals.

There were other opportunity for prizes at yesterdays race as well, Paul Humphrey's offered up one of his special designed bits to one of the first 20 runners that ran the fastest time.  This alone is a huge prize to win. Congratulations Carissa Bryant on winning this amazing bit.

With $1,000 added money and a well organized race you can see why many people come out to compete at a Wild West Promotions race.

Check out their Facebook page to keep up on all of their events.  Also at

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Best Friends

December 31, 2016

I had the pleasure of capturing Natalie and Kris wedding at beautiful Oak Meadow Ranch in Valley View, Tx.

When both post on social media that today was their special day because their going to marry their Best Friend, you know it's going to be a special day.

So many friends and so much laughter and joy was involved in this special day.  Being surrounded by so many friends, enjoying the celebration of their future.

I was so honored to be included in this special day.

Photographer: Jo Haigwood DBA Jo H Photography
Location: Oak Meadow Ranch, Valley View, Texas
Assistant to Photographer: Tana Butts