Missoula Rabble

This is a book I picked up last week that I’d never even heard about before. It’s called Missoula Rabble, and it’s a compact little photo book by a woman named Ashley McKee, whom I’ve never met. We seem to know many of the same people, though, so it’s likely our paths have crossed before. The book just came out on the 5th, I believe, and she has since pulled up stakes and moved to Austin.


This from Ashley’s Facebook page devoted to the book:

Hello all! I have received many messages asking where one can buy Missoula Rabble since I moved away (I made it safely to Austin!) so I am posting a link to my website where you can order the book from me. If you are in Missoula you can buy it at Fact and Fiction Books, Shakespeare and Co., The Book Exchange, Butterfly Herbs, Rockin’ Rudy’s, and The UC Bookstore.

Missoula Rabble is a collection of portraits of Missoula folks — familiar faces, local “celebs,” even some of our homeless residents. With each portrait is a short story, anecdote, or quote from the person. It’s really cool. If you want a look at a certain side of Missoula, I highly recommend buying it.

Personally, I think it looks awesome and is a fantastic idea. I’m biased though. As I mentioned before, I’ve never met Ashley. However, a few years ago, when I was first getting interested in becoming a “real” photographer myself, I had pretty much the exact same idea. Every year one of our local bakeries has a call to artists to pitch ideas to them. If they like your idea, you have an opening on the First Friday of whatever month you’re awarded, then your work stays up in their common area for the entire month. I pitched this idea — portraits of local people, with an accompanying biography — but they shot it down. It was just a concept at the time and I didn’t have any photos that would be IN the show, just some that were kinda what I had in mind. They certainly weren’t as good as the work Ashley has in her book, otherwise it probably would have worked. Who knows.

I was bitter at the time that they didn’t like my idea. Eventually wisdom prevailed (as did my weakness for their baked goods) and I got over myself. I never pursued the idea either. I didn’t really take up photography with any seriousness for another year or two, but lately I’d been toying with the idea again because I love portraits so much. Seeing the project come to fruition now in Ashley’s work, though, gives me kind of a thrill of pride. Not because I had anything at all to do with Missoula Rabble, I’m just happy to see something I thought would be cool actually pulled off, and BE very cool.

So kudos to Ashley. I hope she does well in Austin.


Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

2 thoughts on “Missoula Rabble”

Leave a Reply