Celebrity Photographer Richard Phibbs Captures Rodeo and Ranch Life in 'The West' See moving portraits from his 18 years of traveling throughout the American and Canadian West By Diana Pearl Published on August 3, 2015 12:00 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 05 Courtesy Richard Phibbs Photographer Richard Phibbs' book The West chronicles the 18 years he spent traveling throughout Canada and the United States, documenting life on ranches, in the rodeo and within the Stoney Nakoda tribe. During his travels, he visited a full working ranch and caught this cowboy in action. 02 of 05 Courtesy Richard Phibbs Members of Western Canada's Stoney Nakoda tribe often attend rodeos in traditional dress. Phibbs, whose first job was sweeping floors at a rodeo in Calgary, Alberta, captured this image in a makeshift photo studio he created by taping a piece of black velvet to a fence. "I think there's something really powerful about that portrait," he tells PEOPLE. 03 of 05 Courtesy Richard Phibbs Cowboy hats, uncuffed shirts and pressed jeans are all part of the official dress code of the rodeo – even Phibbs couldn't enter the enclosure without the proper attire. These three boys, two American and one Canadian, were competing in the rodeo. 04 of 05 Courtesy Richard Phibbs Phibbs developed such an emotional connection to the aboriginal people he met during his work that he dedicated the book to them. "It's their place," he tells PEOPLE. "We're the ones that landed there. I'm trying to give them the honor and dignity that they deserve." 05 of 05 Courtesy Richard Phibbs Horses run wild on the grounds of a Montana ranch. "They're really the most incredible beings," Phibbs says.