Reitzenstein captures Weld County fairs excitement and emotions
July 26, 2018
Kyndal Reitzenstein has captured a lot of champions through her lens but at the end of the day, or the fair, as it were, she looks to capture the heart of 4-H and FFA, the kids and their families.
Reitzenstein, who owns KR Images, is the show photographer for the Weld County Fair and has been in that role for about four years now. With second shooter, Lindsay Miller, wielding a camera to catch the action as well, the duo capture shows and the sale for the week. Reitzenstein, herself, is an alum of the Weld County 4-H program, growing up showing cattle, horses and hogs. She grew up on a cattle operation and, after earning her undergraduate degree in animal science and agriculture communications at Oklahoma State University, she is set to earn her master's degree in December in animal science.
Her grandparent's ranch, Yearous Cattle Company is in Fort Morgan, Colo., where her uncle, Duane is part of a multigenerational operation with his mother Sandra and brother, Kent, who run about 250 head of Angus cattle. Along with her parents, Mark and Kaye and brother, Austin, in Kersey, Colo., the family has their own herd as well.
"I grew up with cattle and kind of grew into the pig thing with an interest in it," she said. "My aunt and uncle (Dawn and Wade Shoemaker, DVM) are into the horses and becoming involved in horses sparked my interest in horse photography."
"Once I was done showing, (photography) gave me a way to be back in the ring because I missed it so much," she said.
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Throughout her 4-H career, Reitzenstein was a successful member of the Weld County Livestock Judging team and carried on that involvement at Oklahoma State University, eventually becoming the assistant coach after entering graduate school. This experience has also combined her passion for good livestock and now, as an assistant coach, she's able to maintain her involvement with agriculturally minded youth.
With one foot in the youth side of agriculture, Reitzenstein has also stepped into serving production agriculture. She has taken a number of promotional and sale photos of cattle and hogs offered for sale or promotion for clients, including her own family and Coyote Ridge Ranch. Her photos appear in catalogs as livestock is offered for sale, a job that is challenging and demands near perfection in every shot. She also shoots promotional videos of livestock for potential buyers to peruse online.
"I enjoy taking senior pictures, too, and ranch pictures and promotional pictures for people as well," she said. "There's a lot of really good (livestock) photographers right now and it's hard to get business because once people get a good photographer, they keep going back."
In the show ring, her job is to capture photos of each exhibitor as well as the action of the judge's evaluation and decisions. For Reitzenstein, though, some of her favorite shots come after the judge has made his decision.
"Some of my favorite pictures are after a big win when someone wins a class or showmanship," she said. "The pictures I love the most are when they go out of the ring and they're emotional and they hug their family."
Among her favorites are Weld County goat exhibitor Karsyn Fetzer being scooped up in a hug by her older brother, Tanner, after her champion win at Weld County in 2017. Another favorite is a photo of the Oschner family following Caitlyn's steer show win.
"I like catching the emotions because it's a family event," she said. "Catching those family moments is my favorite." ❖
— Gabel is an assistant editor and reporter for The Fence Post. She lives on a farm near Wiggins, Colo., where she and her family raise cattle and show goats.