Abby Namken & Cowgirl Imagery showcases the western lifestyle through photography | TSLN.com
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Abby Namken & Cowgirl Imagery showcases the western lifestyle through photography

Courtesy photoAbby Namken, photographer, designer and owner of Cowgirl Imagery lives Reliance, SD.

Abby Namken may have grown up around tractors, combines, corn rows and bean harvests in Minnesota, but it was a South Dakota cattle rancher who caught her eye and stole her heart. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State University (SDSU), Namken married her sweetheart, Justin, in the fall of 2010, and the couple now reside in Reliance, SD.

While Justin works as a ranch hand for Christiansen Land and Cattle, Abby is employed at Larsen Tax and Consulting in Chamberlain. The couple keep busy with their day jobs, but in the evenings, the pair is fueled by their passion for horses, cattle and the western lifestyle.

Just like she fell in the love with the western lifestyle found on the South Dakota prairie, Namken has a knack for capturing and show-casing this life through photography. Her entrepreneurial spirit drove her to start her own business, Cowgirl Imagery, in the fall of 2009.

“Although I may be a Minnesota farm girl, I’m quickly adapting to the ranch lifestyle of South Dakota,” explained Namken. “My photography days go quite a ways back; I first started trying to find the perfect shot back when I was in about fifth grade in the 4-H photography project, trying to win that grand champion prize. I carried on my journey to become a better photographer, and I still enjoy the art of photography and appreciate it more now than ever.”

The business started out as a small hobby, but as Namken posted more of her prints on Facebook, there was an undeniable demand from friends and family to reprint her work for their homes. While most of her work focuses on the cowboy life, she is actively working to expand her business to portrait work – senior, families, weddings and baby photography.

“Taking photographs of livestock is really natural for me because the subject is so readily available on the ranch,” said Namken. “Justin works on such gorgeous land; it’s the perfect backdrop for great photographs.”

Namken’s work has been featured in a few online photography contests, and she was recently featured as a finalist in the Oacoma Chamber of Commerce. As a finalist, her photograph was included in the town’s visitor and promotional guide.

To help meet the demand of requests for her work, Namken opened up an Etsy shop, which can be found at http://www.etsy.com/shop/cowgirlimagery. Additionally, she posts photographs and ranch updates on her blog, Cowgirl Imagery, found at http://www.cowgirlimagery.blogspot.com. She also maintains a Twitter account, http://twitter.com/#!/cowgirl_imagery.

These marketing efforts are becoming wildly popular among ranch wives who are grabbing the bull by the horns and making money without ever leaving their remote homes. It’s this kind of business savvy that assists cowboys in being successful in the cattle business, and the same is applied to the cattlewomen who have many marketable skills. With the Internet, these women are able to share these talents and connect with customers from across the country.

“I have a great selection of prints for sale, some ready in stock to be mailed at anytime,” said Namken. “My Etsy site generated a lot of business from all over. This spring, I also have added my own line of sunglasses, which feature crystals and conchos. These have become really popular on the site. It’s amazing how many people you can reach online.”

Namken’s customer-base spans from Minnesota and South Dakota, to Michigan, Tennessee and Washington.

“My favorite thing about being actively involved in agriculture is the people,” said Namken. “One thing I’ve learned from my farming and ranching life is that the people in this business are always willing to offer their advice. Young people can’t be afraid to ask for help to learn new things and pursue the things they want to do.”

Whether it’s a cowboy fixing fence, a cow-calf pair grazing in the pasture, or a full-fledged cattle drive, capturing these moments with photography helps to preserve and share the agriculture story with others. Abby Namken with Cowgirl Imagery is doing exactly that with her work. Watch this budding photography and ranch wife as her business grows.

Abby Namken may have grown up around tractors, combines, corn rows and bean harvests in Minnesota, but it was a South Dakota cattle rancher who caught her eye and stole her heart. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State University (SDSU), Namken married her sweetheart, Justin, in the fall of 2010, and the couple now reside in Reliance, SD.

While Justin works as a ranch hand for Christiansen Land and Cattle, Abby is employed at Larsen Tax and Consulting in Chamberlain. The couple keep busy with their day jobs, but in the evenings, the pair is fueled by their passion for horses, cattle and the western lifestyle.

Just like she fell in the love with the western lifestyle found on the South Dakota prairie, Namken has a knack for capturing and show-casing this life through photography. Her entrepreneurial spirit drove her to start her own business, Cowgirl Imagery, in the fall of 2009.

“Although I may be a Minnesota farm girl, I’m quickly adapting to the ranch lifestyle of South Dakota,” explained Namken. “My photography days go quite a ways back; I first started trying to find the perfect shot back when I was in about fifth grade in the 4-H photography project, trying to win that grand champion prize. I carried on my journey to become a better photographer, and I still enjoy the art of photography and appreciate it more now than ever.”

The business started out as a small hobby, but as Namken posted more of her prints on Facebook, there was an undeniable demand from friends and family to reprint her work for their homes. While most of her work focuses on the cowboy life, she is actively working to expand her business to portrait work – senior, families, weddings and baby photography.

“Taking photographs of livestock is really natural for me because the subject is so readily available on the ranch,” said Namken. “Justin works on such gorgeous land; it’s the perfect backdrop for great photographs.”

Namken’s work has been featured in a few online photography contests, and she was recently featured as a finalist in the Oacoma Chamber of Commerce. As a finalist, her photograph was included in the town’s visitor and promotional guide.

To help meet the demand of requests for her work, Namken opened up an Etsy shop, which can be found at http://www.etsy.com/shop/cowgirlimagery. Additionally, she posts photographs and ranch updates on her blog, Cowgirl Imagery, found at http://www.cowgirlimagery.blogspot.com. She also maintains a Twitter account, http://twitter.com/#!/cowgirl_imagery.

These marketing efforts are becoming wildly popular among ranch wives who are grabbing the bull by the horns and making money without ever leaving their remote homes. It’s this kind of business savvy that assists cowboys in being successful in the cattle business, and the same is applied to the cattlewomen who have many marketable skills. With the Internet, these women are able to share these talents and connect with customers from across the country.

“I have a great selection of prints for sale, some ready in stock to be mailed at anytime,” said Namken. “My Etsy site generated a lot of business from all over. This spring, I also have added my own line of sunglasses, which feature crystals and conchos. These have become really popular on the site. It’s amazing how many people you can reach online.”

Namken’s customer-base spans from Minnesota and South Dakota, to Michigan, Tennessee and Washington.

“My favorite thing about being actively involved in agriculture is the people,” said Namken. “One thing I’ve learned from my farming and ranching life is that the people in this business are always willing to offer their advice. Young people can’t be afraid to ask for help to learn new things and pursue the things they want to do.”

Whether it’s a cowboy fixing fence, a cow-calf pair grazing in the pasture, or a full-fledged cattle drive, capturing these moments with photography helps to preserve and share the agriculture story with others. Abby Namken with Cowgirl Imagery is doing exactly that with her work. Watch this budding photography and ranch wife as her business grows.


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