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Behind the camera lens, Jodie Baxendale

Jodie Baxendale is the talented photographer changing the way rodeo queen portraits are being captured. Find out more: Photography by Jodie Baxendale on CLN

IMG_1037eps2There are moments when the shutter flashes and you know it’s the perfect picture.  Jodie Baxendale is the talented photographer changing the way rodeo queen portraits are being captured.  Earlier this year I admired Miss Rodeo South Dakota, Kristina Maddock’s autograph sheets at the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo.  The pictures told a story that personalized the genuine cowgirl behind the crown.   Beyond the traditional glamour shot pose  was a refreshing new look.
Dale Evans the classic 1950s cowgirl that radiated pride, beauty, self confidence and independence is the imaginary Jodie works to capture.   “I’m a huge advocate for modesty,” she mentioned.   The wholesome qualities of her photography is a quantity to be admired.

Concept photography allows titleholders to bring the rodeo queen into everyday life in a very warm and welcoming way, stated Baxendale.   Jodie has a exuberant personality that makes you feel comfortable from the instant you meet.  She is kind, caring and humble.   She uses her gifts to help her clients relax and let their inner beauty, personality, and self confidence shine in front of the camera.

IMG_0099eem2“Photography is a static moment caught and when a photographer has the opportunity to give validation of self, I think it is such a gift and joy to watch a face light up,” expressed Jodie.

Photography by Jodie Baxendale is so popular that other rodeo queens have taken notice.  Brittany Coffee, a photographer in Arkansas started following Jodie on social media after receiving one of Kristina’s autograph sheets.   In a genuine way Jodie was willing to assist with tips and professional advice. She recently invited Brittany to accompany her on an assignment last month.  A true inspiration and priceless mentoring.

In a concept shoot, “I  get a hold of a model and come up with a concept to create,” Jodie stated.    After being a guest speaker for a rodeo queen clinic on the photogenic topic, Jodie really wanted to work with the reigning Miss Rodeo South  Dakota.   Being a native of Belle Fouche, Jodie was in the audience when Kristina Maddocks was crowned at the Belle Fouch Roundup in July 2012.   Coming from a western background herself she wanted to learn more about the rodeo queen world.

The first time Jodie and Kristina worked together they spent 10 hours on location.  Maddocks recalled, “Jodie immediately made me feel comfortable and relaxed.  She has such a calming  presence! She has a way of making you feel stunningly beautiful, and it carries through to the photos.”
Jodie wanted to experiment with lighting so they were up before sunrise and on location.  “It was amazing.  I was impressed with Kristina’s independence to put together her hair and makeup; within a few minutes she was ready to go for another set. ”  Kristina finished the session and headed off to a nightly rodeo, with energy to boot.

Nebraska’s Lady-in-Waiting, Gina Jespersen is another titleholder that recognized the beautiful art of Jodie’s work and selected to use Jodie for her own images.   As the reigning Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo Queen, Gina  stated, “I love the true western feel Jodie captured as well as the variety of expressions and emotions she was able to present in Kristina’s portraits.  I discussed my vision with her and she did not disappoint. The location we shot my photographs at was nothing less than breathtaking.”

This week 28 ladies are vying to become the 2014 Miss Rodeo America.  Talented, beautiful, and well-spoken, Miss Rodeo America is the ideal ambassador to represent and promote America’s Original Professional Sport – rodeo – serving as the official spokesperson for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, states the website.

IMG_1267ePS2eThe contestants each represent a state and compete in multiple categories over a week long competition at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  The scholarship pageant includes many judged events and categories.  Rodeo queens compete in  horsemanship and public speaking along with being judged on modeling, personality, pose, appearance,  and photogenic qualities.   The photogenic portion is held after their personal interview and is worth 30 points of their total score.

Chenae’  Shiner  the 2013 Miss Rodeo America said, ” One thing I didn’t know when I got there was only one opportunity at taking six different shots.  You do whatever you do in those shots. You want to be able to show you are very versatile.”   Shiner mentioned how important it is for Miss Rodeo America to be photogenic especially when modeling for sponsors.   She encouraged young ladies to work with photographers to be prepared for the competition.

Jodie’s work can be found in the Miss Rodeo America pageant book this year, under Miss Rodeo South Dakota.  The image was taken at the Days of 76 arena.  Her work is also on her website or on facebook JodieB Photography.


CLN Community & Event Sponsor

Gretchen Kirchmann is a veteran journalist covering a variety of events across the country each year. She founded Kirchmann Media Group in 2009 and works as a marketing consultant with a forte for the western lifestyle industry, festivals, fairs and rodeo world. Her work includes 15 national communication awards plus coverage of Nashville's CMT Awards and CMA Fanfest. A favorite assignment was attending the all cast reunion of the Dukes of Hazard in 2006 and 2007 at Dukesfest. In December you will find her covering the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and Miss Rodeo America pageant live from Las Vegas. Her favorite color is orange, favorite song "Rocky Top" and she loves to dance especially clogging.

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