About Sam Wirzba
Hi and welcome to my web page. I specialize in cattle and agriculture photography. I have been photographing bovines for almost 20 years now. My goal is to obtain the best livestock photos in the industry. I have the largest personal collection of beef cattle photos in the world -- over 25,000 images. My list of clients keeps expanding, with many satisfied customers. Please take a minute to view the many livestock and agricultural photo galleries that are featured on my website. Now let me fill you in a little bit about myself.
As a youngster I loved visiting Grandpa’s farm, helping him with farm chores, exploring the farmyard, roaming the nearby fields and coulees. But I especially loved being with the chickens, rabbits, pigs, cattle and dairy cows – feeding them, handling them and cleaning their pens. Watching Grandpa milk the cows – during which time he would squirt milk into the open mouths of nearby kittens – was always a thrill, especially when I got to try it. I loved holding the kittens, piglets, baby chicks and new-born rabbits that Grandpa put in my hands and wrapping my arms around baby calves.
Eventually my dad got into farming as well, and as his three sons got older, we bought a larger farm and started a feedlot operation. Helping on the farm and working in dad’s construction company (building houses) kept me busy after school and on weekends in senior high school. When I graduated from Grade 12 I had to choose between farming, carpentry, or pursuing a post-secondary education – I chose the latter. After nine years of college and university studies I became self-employed as an environmental consultant. This was then followed by a 28-year career with the Government of Alberta where I was actively involved in land use planning, natural resource management, facilitation, mediation, project management, and First Nations and stakeholder consultation. Most of my government career was taken up in developing policies and plans for the management of Alberta’s public lands and natural resources.
I had an interest in photography at an early age, starting with the purchase of a small Rollei 35s camera while I was a teenager. I used my first 35mm to chronicle my mountain adventures: hiking, backpacking, climbing and hunting. I then purchased a Canon professional SLR system in my early 20’s so that I could pursue photography more seriously. The yearly purchase of large quantities of film (and the high costs of developing exposed film) became alarming to my wife, who encouraged me to consider generating some income through my photos. I decided to investigate this after placing well in two prestigious international photography competitions in 2003.
Last Light BOVINE Photography
In 2003 I spent some time thinking about where I would like to concentrate my energy if I became a professional photographer. I eventually decided to pursue agricultural stock photography. During 2004 I spent time preparing a portfolio of agricultural photos and finding a stock agency. In 2005 Ed Young, owner of AgStock USA (now AgStock Images) -– the world’s premier agricultural stock photography agency –- took me on as a photographer. Then in 2012 I decided to establish my own photography business (Last Light Photography) and developed a website to showcase my photos. I also decided at that time to specialize in cattle photography and worked hard to establish a large library of high-quality cattle images. I have provided photos to numerous clients over the years and am continuing to expand my network of agencies, livestock producer organizations, ag publications and agricultural interest groups.
In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 my photography was recognized by the American Agriculture Editor's Association (I received the Master Photography certificate; 1st, 2nd and 3rd place photo awards; and several honourable mentions).
I photograph cattle on a regular basis, travelling both within Canada and the US to capture new images. My photos are used in every imaginable way within the agricultural sector.
Please take a moment to look through my many photo galleries to acquaint yourself with my work. And thanks for visiting my website. Sam Wirzba