Life moves quickly, and even in this day and age, where it seems as though we all have access to a camera most of the time, we often don’t take the time to properly document our precious memories with professional grade photography. Being both a horsewoman and a photographer, I have come across many situations where people have been thankful for taking the time to set up an equine portrait session with their beloved equines, as there will come a time (sometimes unexpectedly) when our friends are no longer with us.
Capturing the Moment; Preserving the Memory
Some time ago, I was out at the barn with a horse friend and we began chatting about her beautiful 24 year old gelding. She had owned him for many years, and he had been both her companion and her show partner. On multiple occasions, we had discussed setting aside some time to do a portrait session, but it seemed as though life always got in the way. Several months after our first conversation, my friend’s gelding had an unexpected colic episode that was eventually deemed untreatable, and she had to say good bye. Luckily, because I always have my camera with me, I was able to look back through my archives and came upon a few candid photos that I had taken of her and her horse while at her barn with another client, and so I had one printed up in large format to give to her as a gift.
“When Sarah gave me the print of me and my boy, I couldn’t believe it,” Meri said. “From the day that I lost him, I was sick by the fact that the only photographs I had were either from years ago when we were showing, or were blurry, unprintable cell phone shots that I wouldn’t be able to actually display. It was just by sheer luck that Sarah had gotten a few photos of us together in our last year, and the large, beautiful 12×18 print that she gave to me is currently hanging on my living room wall as a constant reminder of one of my best friends.”
The idea of preserving memories with our equine friends photographically hit close to home for us here at SLO Horse News recently, when our own Sharon Jantzen lost her beloved mare, “Katie”. We had a portrait session for promotional photographs only months before Katie had an unexpected injury and had to be let go. Sharon relayed to me that the photographs that I took of her and Katie together were the last ones that she had with her, and they will be memories that she can keep for a lifetime. Just the other day, I was out at the barn telling this very story to a horsey friend who has a 26 year old Thoroughbred mare; although, “Veda” is currently happy and healthy, her owner, Grace, knows that their time together is limited. Grace has now decided that a portrait session with her and “Veda” is now at the top of her “to do” list.
Setting up an Equine Portrait Session
So, how do you go about having a portrait session done with you and your equine friend? It’s really quite simple and affordable. There are many photographers in our local area, but it is important to find one that knows both their craft and is familiar with horses. In my business, I will either go to a client’s barn, or meet them at a designated location, like the beach or Montana de Oro (depending upon what the client wants in terms of photographs), and spend about an hour. I then provide my clients with shareable versions of at least 30 fully edited photographs – from there, the client can decide which photographs they love and want printed (photographs can be printed on paper, wood, canvas, metal…the options are truly endless).
Even though we are always snapping photos on our cell phones or point and shoot cameras, there is really no substitute for professional photography when it comes to preserving memories. Brides and Grooms document their special day with professional photography, parents document family milestones with professional photography, so why shouldn’t we, as horse people, document our special moments in the same way?
If you would like more information on Equine Portrait sessions, please feel free to visit my website at http://mirrorsedgephotography.com to view my work, and contact me any time to set up an appointment for a session.