Photographer Scott Slusher’s path to becoming one of the most sought-after, up-and-coming cowboy photographers has its roots in ranching and horses. Spending time on his grandfather’s ranch in Kansas and being around the horse breeding programs of his father, Dr. Steven Slusher, instilled something in Slusher he still hasn’t been able to walk away from.
He never pursued an agrarian career, however, and instead found himself in art school. Though not exactly sure where that path was taking him, he excelled. When it came time for an internship, he chose photography. Since then, his career has blossomed and he’s enjoyed working with clients as varied as JC Penny, Mary Kay, Yeti, and Justin Boots.
His foray into photographing real cowboys, though, came about equally unplanned. At a German festival in Muenster, Texas, he met a cowboy who worked at the RA Brown Ranch in Throckmorton. He asked if he could come shoot for a few days.
“I just tagged along and took some pictures and when I got back to Dallas I showed my studio mates and they all flipped out on it,” he says.
From there, he met more and more influential cowboys, and one connection led to another until he was shooting some of Texas’s top cowboy core events and legendary ranches.
“Just some longhaired crazy guy that comes out and rides a horse and takes pictures—not everybody gets that opportunity,” Slusher says. “It’s mind-boggling to be at the Four Sixes and Spades. That Western influence growing up had always been just out of reach from where I was, so to make it part of my lifestyle is a dream.”
With a gregarious personality and an abundance of energy, Slusher has become as well connected as any Texas day working cowboy, and his photography has captured the spirit of the men and women taking care of cattle for a living.
Quoting the photography legend Kurt Markus, Slusher says, “’I have no real plan for this journey, other than to just be out there; it is a prerequisite to what I do.’ That’s true 100 percent. It’s an honor just to be there and I can’t thank the cowboys enough for letting me be there.”