One of the Delony’s first dates was Scott taking Brandi Jo on a rattlesnake catching adventure at night.
“That was when I knew she was the one,” Scott said.
He had grown up catching snakes and keeping small critters as pets outside of Houston. Brandi Jo grew up in Abilene, obsessed with horses from a young age even though she didn’t have one.
Their love of animals played a vital role in their marriage, though it was actually a love of music that first brought them together. Scott played bass in a band with three other guys who were looking to change it up and add a violinist. He thought it wouldn’t work musically, but then he found out she was the “hot violin chick from Beltway” and changed his mind about her joining. A year later they started dating.
“My mom said I came out of the womb crying for horses,” Brandi Jo said.
Today, they’ve been married for 10 years. Brandi Jo is self-employed with her own digital bookkeeping business and Scott works as a visual media specialist for Abilene Christian University. In their free time, along with playing together on the worship team at Beltway Park Church, they also spend time with their four dogs, tortoise, and beta fish.
“I didn’t realize how much of an animal lover I was until we got married,” Brandi Jo said.
And as she discovered from their very first date, she would have to deal with one of the creepy-crawlies of the animal kingdom: snakes. Scott said at one point in their marriage they had as many as 50 snakes living in their house. Right now he doesn’t have any at home, but helps Big Country Snake Removal with snake removals and clinics for training dogs to avoid snakes. In college, he worked at the Abilene Zoo in the reptile department.
“Snakes actually do a lot of good for the ecosystem,” Scott said. “The day I retire, I’ll be back in the zoo.”
Brandi Jo stays busy working with a local horse trainer. She recently trained Zeke, a horse that was halter-broke but had never had a saddle on him. She was able to take him through the training process to eventually have a rider.
“I was training horses, but like with any animal, it’s the human that needs to be trained more than the horse,” Brandi Jo said.
Her favorite part is building a relationship and being around the horses no matter what aspect of horse-care she’s doing.
“I’m happy as a clam mucking out stalls,” she said.
Both skilled photographers, they combined their hobbies and talents to shoot photos and show off some of their favorite animals. Scott realized that his friends who breed and sell reptiles
might want to learn how to take better photos of them. Now he’s working on a self-published book (through Amazon print-on-demand) called “How to Photograph Snakes and Other Small Animals.” This textbook-style work will provide instructions and techniques based on Scott’s visual media experience.
In the future, the couple hopes to continue working their nonprofit “Kaleidoscope Media Ministries,” which allows them to travel the world to ministries and provide free or reduced-price photo and videos. They also plan to continue trying out new hobbies, such as hand-carved pens for Scott and growing cut flowers for Brandi Jo.
“Our hobbies ebb and flow,” Brandi Jo said. “We’ll do something really intensely for a season, then take a break. But most of the time, those hobbies will circle back around.”
By Haley Laurence
Photos by Scott and Brandi Jo Delony