“The name speaks for itself,” said Shane Hanchey about American hats. “American hats and American cowboys are what the Western way of life is all […]
American Hat Presents Click Thompson
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
“My first hat was an American. I’ve always been particular about how I looked and that’s where it started – they are definitely family members at this point for me. They have a great product and have helped me progress and connect with other people.”
Click Thompson grew up in Virginia. His passion for photography was sparked in high school, and further fueled in college when he went to his first PBR event. “I was hooked,” said the 34-year-old who migrated to Decatur, Texas, in 2019 to further his plan to become a successful Western sports photographer. “I started shooting bull riding and barrel racing. I was working at a theme park and got my first taste of shooting at a monthly event three hours from my house.” Click received his undergrad degree in visual communications from Virginia State University. “It was a mix of communication tools like graphic design and photography,” he explained. He went on to get his Master’s of Fine Arts in photography from Savannah College of Arts and Design while working as a photographer for the Department of Defense. “What you learn what you’re interested in from a bachelor’s degree. The Master’s degree is where you develop your own voice.” He picked Western Sports because of the unique aspect of the photography.
“Western sports are a reactionary type of photography; I have learned how to be conceptual and intentional in what I shoot,” he explains. With clients ranging from American Hat Company to individual athletes, and projects including catalogs, print and social media creative, and photography, he has etched out a market that allows him to utilize his many talents into various platforms that his clients need for marketing.
He admits the last three and a half years have been a whirlwind. “Overall, I’ve shot western sports for 11 years. Geographically, moving to Texas was perfect. Fort Worth is the headquarters for all of it. It allowed me to network and meet new people and clients to work with.” Click planned out this future for himself. “When Covid hit, I had to step back, but that allowed me to focus on my profession and process. I am dedicated to my craft and being a professional.” His short-term goal is to continue to give back to the western industry through his work as an artist. However, it’s his work as an instructor that serves as the driving force and foundation for his long-term legacy. Click instructs the next generation of rodeo photographers hosting clinics and workshops nationwide. “That ties back to me being an instructor years ago at Virginia State.”
For now, it’s on to the next one for this American hat wearing cowboy from Virginia.