Two French people living in Wyoming share a passion for photography and horseback riding, and document the daily lives of cowboys in the American West. Eager to present their work to the world, the couple recently opened a gallery in the small town of Cody.
Guillaume Beau de Loménie is the son of a banker, who grew up in Madagascar, the Congo, Senegal and Haiti. He worked as a soldier in the French marines, a hunting guide on steppes of Central Asia and the African savannah, a journalist, and a photographer, before settling in Cody, in northwest Wyoming, some ten years ago. “In Wyoming, I’m reunited with the same horseback riding culture and landscapes that I loved in Mongolia and Kazakhstan,” says the Frenchman, who is drawn to wide, open spaces.
The town of Cody was founded in the late 19th century by the legendary Buffalo Bill, and has preserved its “Wild West” appearance. The local rodeo stadium puts on a show every evening during the summer, and cowboys lead their herds on horseback in nearby ranches. For now, there are no four-wheelers or helicopters, as is the case in similar settings in Texas and Australia. The “extremely traditional working methods” won over Guillaume and his wife Isabelle, who is also a photographer and horseback rider.
At the start of the year, the French couple began reporting on the lives of cattle ranchers and landowners in the region around Cody. They met men who are “proud of their work,” but “aware they represent a trade of times past,” men who are “confronted with the struggle to recruit young cowboys prepared to take on the harsh climate and wild animals.”
While they wait for their book to be published, Guillaume and Isabelle are focused on the gallery they recently opened on Sheridan Avenue, the main street in Cody. This endeavor was something of a gamble in a town of less than 10,000 inhabitants. But the couple are hoping the nearby Yellowstone National Park and its 3.5 million visitors per year will draw the crowds, as well as the annual western art festival, Rendezvous Royale.
The couple will be following the cattle herds as they return to the pastures at the end of the summer. The journey takes three or four days, and is one of the main events for cowboys out West. Seasons come and go in Wyoming, but Guillaume and Isabelle’s lens remains the same, fixed in place to “depict this country and its inhabitants.”
The Perfect Moment Photo Gallery
1183 Sheridan Avenue
Cody, WY 82414