Friday, July 2, 2010

Equine Photography

I found something very exciting on the internet yesterday. I won't build up the suspense anymore. It's called Equine Photographers Network (.org) and it's fantastic! In fact, I feel so inspired by this discovery I've decided to blog about it and how it's motivating me.

I think it's safe to tell you "Epona" is not my real name. That would be awesome, but simply not so in this situation. I shouldn't need to explain my anonymity but I'll just say it's mostly for work purposes. And I really don't need some people knowing everything about me. That being said, there are certain nuggets of truth I can divulge from time to time.

I've mentioned my profession (vaguely) in previous posts. It's not exactly what I'd like to be doing, but it's a living and allows me to keep an eye out for any photographic opportunities. At heart I'm a photographer...a photographer sitting on a horse.

I've thought long and hard about the things that bring me the most joy in my life: horses, animals, art, personal expression, photography, my husband (sometimes ;) ) independence. But making money so I can live within slight comfort has been a bit of a priority since I left home at 18 years of age. I immediately began plotting out routes to success that would leave me with piles of money under my feet so I could live the "good life" but each of these plans fizzled out as I realized I didn't have the patience to be unhappy for the length of time it would take to be "rolling in it" as they say.

Even still, I have a good job that's relatively in my realm of where I'd like to see myself in 10 years, but there's still a strong divide in that and my animal pseudo-lunacy. How can I make the loves of my life converge into one cohesive, lucrative, existence?

I toyed with the idea of going back to school and get my MA in photography (haven't ruled that out yet) and thought maybe going to a strictly horse training school would be the right thing for me. It never dawned on me that I could combine these two passions into a possible (might I even say probable?) career. Long Island has more horses per square mile that just about anywhere else in the country, so finding subjects would never be an issue. I'm in NYC, the photo-hub of the world. It's all there. Why didn't I see it before?

Perhaps I did...I just never recognized it as a valid possibility--until now.

Ok, not just this instant. I have touched on the thought a few times in the past year, but it wasn't something I took too seriously. Horses are tough subjects and you really have to have a unique eye in order to stand out. So many photographers are all doing the same thing. There are a few, however, who really take equine photography to the next level.

Tim Flach is one example. If I could be any kind of photographer, I would be like him. He has an unfailing talent of capturing the wild soul of his subjects. He's made a career of shooting animals and wildlife, but his book Equus is dedicated to the horse and all its majesty. I have never seen more beautiful photos of horses in my life. I've never said the words "I want to be just like him when I grow up!" with more heart-felt ernest than now.

I've shown my photography to a couple photographers, coworkers and friends and they all say the same thing--that I should really pursue the equine photography. I guess it just really comes through how much I love it.

So for now, I'm taking pictures here and there as I see the opportunity, but I am looking at graduate schools around the country (especially in horse-concentrated areas). I'd like to give this a go. Can't hurt to try, right?

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