This cowboy dismounted his horse and just took a knee, almost like he was reflecting on the day’s work.
The bond between cowboy Allen Foster and his dog was incredible. They were always on the same page—a true partnership.
Wranglers from the Bar W Guest Ranch in Whitefish, Mont., take a break from the day’s work, enjoying each others’ stories as a storm rolls in.
Cowgirl Katie Gullickson and her horse Junior have a nice talk before going on a ride.
Taking some time off, resting on the hay with his gear, as the sun rays peek through the slots in the barn.
The sunset was the perfect lighting as cowboy Ben Temple rode back to the campsite. What’s more iconic than a cowboy’s silhouette?
Cowboy Andrew Weaver watching over the herd as a long day of driving cattle comes to an end.
For centuries, the lure of the West’s beautiful vistas and way of life has attracted unlikely folks from all over the world. Folks like Danny Nestor, a born-and-bred New Yorker and NYPD detective who became a cowboy photographer after a trip to Montana 10 years ago.
Nestor was an amateur landscape and wildlife photographer when he took part in a photography workshop at the Bar W Guest Ranch in Whitefish, Mont. Prior to the trip, he had no interest in photographing people, but then he met the working men and women of the West.
“When I was introduced to this setting and to this life, I was just drawn like a magnet,” he says. “Photographing cowboys and cowgirls was exactly what I wanted to do.”
It was a subject matter that tapped into Nestor’s childhood aspirations. He says, “Like so many kids, I wanted to be a cowboy. I grew up with my dad’s love of John Wayne, Tom Mix, and Bonanza. I just wanted to be Little Joe.”
Nestor was so enamored with the life that he chose to become a full-time Montanan after retiring earlier this year. He’s also now teaching the photography week that he was once a participant of, sharing his passion with others who may be seeing this part of the country for the first time.
“This is America’s story,” he says. “It’s genuine, authentic, iconic. I want people in the big cities to know there are still places in the world where folks wear cowboy hats. It’s a way of life—of values and work ethic—that we can’t let disappear.”
See more of Nestor's photography at dannestorimages.com.