John Langmore is an Austin, Texas based photographer known for his long-term work on East Austin and Oaxaca, Mexico. He grew up in a family of great photographers – most notably his father, Bank Langmore, who established himself as one of the preeminent photographers of the American West in the 1970s. A professional and committed photographer, John tells us about his experience documenting the modern American cowboy.
At a time when photo projects increasingly focus on narrow and idiosyncratic subjects or are altogether conceptual, photographing something as well documented as the American cowboy is a challenge. The cowboy’s iconic status makes it difficult to transcend the clichés that are so often used to describe him. Yet America’s big outfit cowboys, the ones who own little more than the tools of their trade and move frequently between a small number of very large ranches, remain to most mere symbols of an idealized past. And to those that are even aware of his modern existence, few fully understand the life of big outfit cowboys as it exists at the outset of the 21st century.