It’s a question that is asked pretty often when people find out that I’m an equine photographer: “How did you get started?”
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to grow up around horses as many others did. Instead, my sister and I would go trail riding a few times a year. One time, we got really desperate and attempted to ride one of our grandparent’s steer around our property. Buck was such a saint for putting up with our shenanigans!
It wasn’t until 2014 that I truly got involved with horses. That was the year that I started volunteering at Freedom Hill Horse Rescue in Dunkirk, Maryland as a feed shift member and photographer. It’s one of the best decisions I have ever made.
That is where I met my heart horse Brocca – the plainest, grumpiest 38 year old Standardbred at the rescue. It was love at pinned ears. His personality was that of an old man sitting on the porch yelling at the youngins to get off of his porch. However, beneath that grumpy exterior was the fluffiest of teddy bears. Brocca loved to be loved on. He was the one who made me realize that I was happiest with a horse in front of my camera.
I have never had any formal education on photographing horses. Instead, I relied on the training that I have in combat photography (which is the coolest job to have in the military, by the way) and information I found within the depths of Google. Photographing horses and combat are similar in that you don’t quite know what to expect when you first get acquainted. It’s unpredictable, messy, and poop is involved.
If you’re a photographer, I highly recommend reaching out to a nearby rescue. It’s a wonderful opportunity and the gorgeous photos help in grabbing the attention of potential adopters that can give these amazing horses the forever homes that they deserve.