While Lee Sackett might not identify himself as a “renaissance man,” his various talents and skills would qualify him as someone who has acquired knowledge and proficiency in a variety of vocations and avocations.
His various accomplishments include horse training, farrier work, cattle ranching, long-haul trucking, logging and photography.
Through his photography business, Handcrafted Imagery, Sackett tends to focus his lens on the nature he finds on his Burnett ranch as well as animals and portraiture.
“I’m mostly self-taught,” Sackett said, “but I do get some information online. My favorite subjects are the outdoors, people and horses.”
Sackett has entered his photography in competitions and received awards, including taking a top prize at the Western Idaho State Fair.
Sackett started his photography career when he was growing up in California borrowing his mother’s camera. His mother soon reclaimed her camera, but encouraged her son’s interest by giving him his own camera. However, she did put a limit on the number of film rolls she would provide her son because of the expense.
Over the years, Sackett has advanced the craft to include the use of special filters and lenses as well as some special effects such as creating composites.
He has also noticed changes in the photographic styles and composition customers want. An example of innovations is in where student and wedding photos are taken.
“Today, senior photos are different than when I was in school,” Sackett said. “Then, there was just a photographer taking photos for the yearbook; now, it’s a big production. If seniors want to have their pictures taken, I’ll go to where they want or we have places on our ranch that will work.”
His mother was also instrumental in introducing Sackett to his other passion — horses. He accompanied his mother when she worked at a summer camp near Lake Tahoe. As a fifth-grader, Sackett volunteered to help the wranglers at the horse riding concession, and as an eighth-grader, he was hired on as a member of the horse crew.
After his first year in high school, Sackett moved to Idaho to learn more about training horses. He did complete high school and then went on to learn other trades. In addition to horse trainer, he added cowboy, logger, truck driver and carpenter to his resume.
He became acquainted with Wisconsin during his long-haul trucking employment, always accompanied by his camera.
“I did trucking between Idaho and Wisconsin,” Sackett said. “I knew people in Wisconsin and decided to move here 25 years ago.”
He met his wife, Diane, and the couple settled on a 154-acre ranch, raising Red Angus cattle along with horses. At their base of operation, the two also sell feed supplements, tack and farrier equipment.
“We have good quality stuff that people who use it regularly can depend on,” Sackett said.
Sackett can vouch for the equipment as he has used the farrier equipment himself. However, in recent years, he’s cut back on the number of horses he will trim and shoe.
“In 2002, I did 2,015 farrier visits,” said Sackett, “and that doesn’t include my own horses. When I told clients I wouldn’t be at their place until 10 o’clock at night, they’d say, ‘We’ll have fresh coffee when you get here.’ I’d be working until 1 a.m. or 2 a.m.”
A broken leg, received while competing in a show in 2004, gave him a break from farrier work. However, he was back in the saddle a year later competing at the World Foundation Quarter Horse Alliance world show in Missouri. Riding his stallion, SP Poco Millennium, Sackett earned the all-around title in the All Age Senior division.