Personal Project: Todd Burandt

- - Personal Project

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist: Todd Burandt


I’ve been photographing rodeos as a personal project, for the last six years.  When I heard about a rodeo that was held inside of a maximum security prison, in which the inmates are the participants, I had to go.  It seemed like the perfect capstone to this obsession of mine.  After a lot of cold calls, and lengthy emails, I was finally granted access to photograph the event known as The Angola Prison Rodeo.

The Rodeo started in 1965, and has grown in size each year.  The general public originally sat on apple crates, and the hood of their cars.  Now, they sit comfortably inside a 10,000 seat covered arena.  Due to increasing popularity, the inmates are now allowed to sell their artwork, furniture, and jewelry to the public.  All of the funds go directly to the artist’s families on the outside.

Many people are torn on the thought of inmates with no prior experience riding bulls, and roping broncos, participating in this event.  But, the truth of the matter is that this is completely voluntary.  My goal was to depict them as ordinary citizens, in an extraordinary place.  But when the sun sets on the Rodeo, the reality of it all sets back in place.

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.


Suzanne Sease

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