LIVINGSTON — Andy Watson has had the best seat in the house for 27 years.
As the PBR’s photographer, he’s inside the arena for each and every ride. He’s become the best in the business for a reason, as he knows just what he’s looking for through his lens.
“It's all about timing. It's about watching the way the guy is riding and watching the bucking pattern of the bull," he said. "As the bull comes out, you watch him up at the front end then break over and kick, and you want to catch that kick. So it's a lot about timing. Then watching and making sure the cowboy is in shape so you can show him as best as you can, as well."
Watson is a Livingston native, of course, and helped produce the PBR event there in mid-July. That’s one of the few times he’s able to sneak home during the busy season. He’s got youth on his side, but just how long will Watson stay in the arena?
“I still want to do it. I'm only 50, so I've got a little ways to go. I want to make sure the sport is in good hands before I pass it off to somebody," he said. "I'll probably run a crew. I've had some guys that are very capable and great photographers. I'll probably run them for a while and let them go to some and step back and take a few weeks off here and there."
That stop in Livingston earlier this summer is one of two the PBR makes in Montana each year. Watson has been everywhere from Madison Square Garden in New York City to Cowboy Stadium in Dallas. But what’s his favorite stop on tour?
“Albuquerque, New Mexico. One, I love the food. Two, that pit is this little tiny arena down in a hole," he said. "You've got to walk from the concourse down to the arena. That means when cowboys get hurt they've got to walk from down in the arena to up in the concourse. Everybody is right on top of the action and it's just such a cool little setting."
Watson added that it’s the green chili that has him hooked on Albuquerque.