AUGUSTA — Augusta’s Ross Mosher has achieved some of the highest highs as an athlete.
He won an NAIA national championship in 2011 while wrestling for the University of Great Falls and has enjoyed a successful rodeo career - earning big checks in steer wrestling and qualifying for the Ram National Circuit Finals.
"If I'm really passionate about something, I have to be the best at what I do,” he said. “It's just in me, I have to do whatever it takes.”
That’s the attitude he takes into his latest endeavor - as a professional photographer.
What started as a hobby has taken off. In addition to ranching full time on the family property and entering rodeos, Mosher runs a full-fledged photography business he calls “The Beyond.”
"I loved taking pictures but I got tired of taking them with my phone. So I did some research and got some good equipment and it kind of just grew into more of a passion,” Mosher said. “Then I started learning about like the post-production and editing and all that stuff. I started improving a lot and got some recognition.”
It helps that Mosher is an avid outdoorsman who regularly discovers breathtaking scenes while out hunting, fishing, or even working in some of the most beautiful land in the country.
He’s frequently documenting the wildlife that roams near his property, catching grizzly bears, mountain lions, snakes, deer and other wildlife in their element.
“Well if I have to hang out of a tree to get the perfect shot, I'll try anyways,” he laughed.
But at heart, Mosher is a storyteller. His favorite shots are the ones that tell human stories.
“It's fun to capture that image. When people pose after a hunt that’s always a great picture. But a lot of people don’t see what goes on behind the scenes of the hunt,” Mosher said. “If you just got done hiking up the thousand-foot mountain and you're breathing hard or you're cold and huddled around a fire telling stories and everyone's laughing. Just those moments that tell a story, that’s the image I like to capture.”
Mosher has branched out from wildlife to graduation and engagement photos in the wilds of Montana. He’s shot all kinds of people, places and animals.
But his favorite subject is his number one companion Jock, a ranch dog.
“He’s such an amazing animal. He's fun,” Mosher said. “He jumps into the creek a lot. It's pretty funny like that. He’s just got the face and personality. And he makes my job easier.”
Mosher will sometimes go to great lengths to capture the right moment. His favorite shot is one he calls “Rope the Moon”. Mosher spent hours in the twilight at a friend’s ranch in Texas, throwing his rope in the air and snapping photos.
The result is an image that shows a lasso perfectly silhouetted against the backdrop of the moon. The image was shared thousands of time on Facebook after Mosher posted the finished product.
“If someone would have seen me out to trying to take the photos, they would've thought I was crazy,” he laughed. “I'm sitting there on a hill, just throwing my rope a hundred times in the air until I got the perfect one that had the nice loop and incorporated the moon. It turned out a lot cooler than I thought.”
Mosher was, no question, a talented athlete. But he’s proven just as adept with a camera in his hands. And he’s only getting better.
“Ranching is my main job, but (the photography) doesn't feel like a job,” he said. “I enjoy doing it and there’s so much you can do and I'm blessed to live where I live.”
To view more of Mosher’s work or to purchase a print of schedule a session, visit rossmosherbeyond.com.