Social Media Shortcomings: Sorry, Not Sorry |

Social Media Shortcomings: Sorry, Not Sorry

I love ranching. And I love photography. There are so many beautiful, amazing moments that my photographer’s mind frames as I go through my day. You’d think it would be easy for me to keep a steady stream of eye catching images on social media, right?


Maybe I’m too old fashioned. Maybe I’m lazy. Maybe I was born in the wrong decade of the wrong century of the wrong millennium. But I just don’t seem to have it in me to remember to post on social media platforms.

I do try. I take my good camera almost everywhere with me. Except for when I forget it. Or forget a second battery. Or forget the memory card.

Just the other evening the setting sun was headed for the horizon, and the light made the perfect backdrop behind one of my fillies as she absorbed the last warm rays. I thought it would make a good picture, but I knew that by the time I hurried to the house after my camera the sun would have disappeared. I pulled out my phone and tried to get a photo.

The filly saw me and left her perfect pose to come visit. My eye caught yet another potential picture as she came close for scratches and the golden rays of the sunset beamed off the ends of her golden eyelashes. As I tried to use my now frozen fingers to touch the screen in the right spot to snap a picture she reached out her nose to check out what I was doing, and generously drooled all over the phone screen. The phone went into total crazy mode between the near zero temperature and being wet. So much for pictures!

I shoved it into my pocket and ran my icy fingers up and down her neck, burying my hands under her mane to share her warmth. Who needs virtual love when you have a warm horse that wants your attention?

Not me.

A few years ago, a cousin of mine who is an amazing photographer sent me a story about a lady who had taken a lot of ranch photos while she was riding. They were pretty neat, and he suggested that I should try it. It seemed like a good idea until I tried to figure out how to hold my heavy camera with one hand and the reins with the other. Staying on my horse seemed like a safer option than snapping pictures, no matter how amazing they might potentially be.

Yesterday, I rode madly across the snowy pasture, following the majority of our saddle horses and several of their young up-and-coming friends who had walked over the snowbank that buried their fence and went sightseeing. The mares ahead of me galloped through the draw and the snow went flying from their hooves. It was ‘Man from Snowy River’ material for sure. But I was most definitely not carrying a camera, and it didn’t even occur to me to pull out my phone. I had my hands full keeping my feisty mount beneath me as we thundered home.

After I had unsaddled, I remembered my cousin’s suggestion. I could have gotten some great shots, if I could have stayed on my horse while clicking the shutter. I doubt whether I’m that coordinated.

Today we shipped our calves. The air was crisp and still, the snow glittered in the sunshine, the cattle were pretty cooperative and our horses weren’t too fresh. It is an immense relief to have the calves in town for the year. I am grateful that the losses were not too steep in our recent storm, and the calves have bounced back thanks to a couple of milder weeks with plenty of sunshine on their backs and plenty of hay in their bellies. It was definitely a picture worthy day, but I kept my mittens on and left my phone in the pickup. Do I have a ‘we shipped our calves today’ post for social media? No. Do I care? Not really. I stayed on my horse and no calves jumped out of the pen before we loaded them. Nobody lost their temper and my dog was helpful but not too helpful. It was a good day. That’s what matters.

Maybe someday I will take a camera horseback. But I can just see myself getting bucked off while trying to snap the perfect shot.