Rodeo and dance are part of Pamela Steege’s DNA. She earned a BA in Dance from Loretto Heights College and Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Minnesota. The Santa Barbara, Calif.-native, combined the two disciplines, focusing on dance therapy and working as a pediatric social worker in a large Minneapolis-based county hospital.
After a decade-plus, her longtime love of rodeo, horses and ranches lured her in a new professional direction. She designed high-end western women’s apparel and launched a Lady Ranier. Based in Fort Worth, TX, the line was marketed and sold worldwide, with Steege leading the charge. All the while, she was also breeding horses and competing in shows.
Steege turned her full-time attention to photography in the late 1990s. Mentors and teachers including Arnie Zann, Scott Trees, Tony Stromberg, Bobbie Goodrich, Jess Lee, Bob Moorehouse, David Stoecklein and Tony Stromberg provided inspiration and technical insights. Recently, Steege has photographed the wild mustangs in Wyoming, wranglers in New Mexico, Luistianos in Spain, and the rich colors and life in Cuba.
Steege has shown and sold her work nationwide. She has received numerous juried photography show honors including 1st place at the 2014 Calgary Stampede (rodeo category) and 2nd place honors at the 2014 Western Art Exhibition & Sale, Weatherford, TX.
For many, rodeo and dance are two worlds that rarely, if ever, intersect. Whether it’s bareback bronc or barrel racing, ballet or hip hop (or anything in between), for me the athleticism, theatre and passion of these two worlds are inextricably linked. Motion. Power. Precision. Beauty. That’s what I see through my lens—and why I view these two seemingly opposite domains as one.
As a Cowgirl with a Camera, I am drawn to the dance of the rodeo and all its rhythm. The similarities that exist in the bags they carry, the wraps they protect themselves with, the warm up, the adrenaline rush of a performance well done. This is my vision through the lens, an ongoing project I have been inspired to create and share.