By Janis Blackwell
About six years ago, what started as a pastime for Jo Haigwood began to evolve into a new career and business. Jo said her husband was always hunting and fishing, so she and her son would spend that time going to movies together. However, her son reached the age of wanting to be with friends more than going to movies with Mom.
It was then that Jo picked up a camera to fill in the free time in her life. At first she said it was just a hobby, and she shot pictures of rocks, trees and landscape, but that soon became boring to her. She needed something a little more exciting to shoot.
At one point in her life for quite a few years, Jo had been a barrel racer so she thought, “Why not pursue that type of action for my photos?” She didn’t really want to enter the sport again as a contestant, but this would give her a way to be part of that world, make friends and have a fun and exciting event to photograph. With that as her motivation, Jo H Photography was born. This month “Equine Superstars and Everyday Heroes” will take a look at a lady who captures them being superstars and heroes.
Jo began by shooting junior rodeos at Denton County Cowboy Church and then at St. Jo’s junior rodeo. That prompted others to call Jo to come photograph their events, and one weekend she heard that TOBRA would put on a barrel race the next weekend in Wichita Falls. She called their administration and got an invitation to go shoot pictures there. Jo said that began what 70 percent of her pictures are comprised of, barrel racers.
Jo set about to perfect her craft. She bought a Nikon camera. As she told it to me, it was the first one the man in the camera store handed her. On his recommendation that it was what she needed, she purchased it and has continued to use Nikon throughout her career. Jo said she is about 75 percent self-taught, but she did start out working with some local photographers to acquire skills she needed to be a professional.
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