In the previous blog post, I discussed what to consider when choosing a photographer.
This week I will make it easy for you. Instead of letting you do all the research work, I'll just hand you all the information.
Specialist vs Generalist
When we moved to the States, our daughter was 6. We were trying different after-school activities. One of them was horseback riding lessons. She did it for a while but it wasn't her thing. Unfortunately, I discovered that horses were my thing.
I owned two horses in the States, and here in Switzerland, I have one horse. For now 😁.
Being around horses gives me tremendous joy and that is why I started photographing them.
I did not have the privilege to grow up with horses but since 2012, I spent as much time with them as I could, both riding and working as a farm hand.
I had a deep submersion when we started our own little boarding farm in the States in 2017. As mentioned before, I had two horses of my own: an Appendix mare who didn't like me but loved my husband and an 18hh senior Belgian draft who had no idea how big he was and just wanted to cuddle. And then we had a few horses boarding at our farm. I was lucky enough to care for a high-strung OTTB mare, a sassy quarter horse, a toddler Arabian colt, and a barrel racing horse with a continuous let's go attitude.
It was a steep learning curve but very fulfilling. I loved every minute of it, even shoveling manure in Michigan's -30°C winters.
All these different horses at our farm, each with their own personalities and needs, taught me that whatever can happen, will happen. So I go with, not the flow, but the horse.
For that reason, I do not plan my shoots from A to Z. It is of the utmost importance that your horse is relaxed. Because if they are not, you won't be either.
Before we moved to the USA, I had no patience to speak of. When I started riding and handling horses, I quickly learned that that attitude didn't get me anywhere.
A lot has changed since then.
Working with animals requires an infinite amount of patience, which I have since developed. You can't ask them to behave, you can not reason with them like you can with adults and kids. The only way to get animals to behave is patience.
Yes, it can be challenging when a horse simply does not do what is asked. But why get mad or annoyed? The horse is not behaving like that on purpose. And rather than letting the owner struggle, get frustrated, and maybe embarrassed, I will just laugh it off and give them time to regroup. This photo session is not the dressage ring, or a jumping event. There is no need to get nervous over some good old antics. It doesn't matter: I can take as many pictures as needed to get those perfect shots. And you know what? You'll have some excellent bloopers to put in your album 😁.
My style is boldly real. I don't know how to describe it any other way.
I will not add a dreamy haze or sun flare in photoshop. I will not change the color of your horse or soften your wrinkles. I could go on but I think you get it.
Another way my style differs from most other photographers is that I do not take bright and airy images. I lean more toward a darker edit.
I am not a shoot-and-burn photographer.
I shoot RAW, review, and edit every single image according to my style. Yes, I have a digital files package but that is not what I am about. Trust me, you will not look at those after the excitement of your session has subsided.
What I like to do is create artwork for your home. Wall pieces that you will enjoy day after day, for years to come. Or a beautiful album that you can browse through and is so beautiful you can leave it on your coffee table.
I am unapologetically all about inclusion.
As you can read on my blog, I donate 5% of my profit to causes that I care about.