How I Got Started In Equine Photography

 Facing The Elements

Facing The Elements

Sometimes it is good to look back on your humble beginnings and reflect why and how you got started down the path you are on.

I thought I would share with you my humble beginnings in horse photography. I was living in Montana at the time and working as a school cook in a little country town called Hobson. It was a pretty good job for a mountain area but not what you call creative. I was a cook on a guest ranch prior to this job and was able to create the menu and cook most things from scratch. But in a public school, it is pretty much heat and serve other than the fresh salad bar. So for five days a week I would get up early and go to the school. 

For extra income I started selling horse tack on ebay. I would go to auctions, garage sales or where ever else I thought I could find used tack. It was a pretty good gig for the time, but also not so creative.  I could feel inside myself that something wanted to come out and create. But I have no art background or schooling. My mother was quiet the creative, she did ceramics, sewing, knitting, china painting etc. but I was an outdoor girl and this type of talant did not catch my interest.

I was needing to update my small Canon point and shoot camera and a friend of my mine was selling her used Nikon. At the time it was a lot of money for just a camera just to  sell things on ebay. But after a little convincing from her and thinking I could also take photographs of beautiful Montana,  I bit the bullet and bought it from her. This was back in 2002 when digital was just entering the consumer world.

When I received the camera in the mail it looked very intimating, I did not have a clue what I was doing or how to work all of the buttons but was excited to learn. It happened to be a cold snowy day on the mountain  property and my horses were out eating hay in the pasture next to the cabin. So I decided to go out and snap a few photos of them just to test out her out.

I then had to figure out how to get the images on the computer, back then it was a bit of a process.  When I uploaded the images most were just pictures, but the image you see at the top of this blog was one that came out of that camera and I did not remember even taking it. The image stopped me in my tracks. Wow! I thought to myself is possible to take a photograph of a horse like this? I was hooked. I have always loved horses and this image put me on the journey to capture their beauty. 

To this day I still keep this photograph in my portfolio, not because it is my best but because it always reminds me of the gift I was given that day. I feel something bigger than me was laying my path in front of me, because I know I did not have the skills to take a photograph like this.

So that was my beginning, but it would take another 3 years of studying, reading, practicing and trial and error before I would get an image like that again.

I thought I would share with you a few places that I went to to learn equine photography.

I join Equine Photographer Network:   You can join as general member and find great content about how to take photographs of horses and enter contest and all about the business of being an equine photographer.

I also signed up many classes online at: Here is a great website to help you improve you photography skills. I learn so much from this website. The classes are online and the instructors are extermely helpful and want you to become the best photographer you can.


I also highly recommend this book. A great place to get started if you would like to photograph horses.

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