11th Annual International Color Awards Honors Photographer Cara Taylor Swift From the United States

11th Annual International Color Awards Honors Photographer Cara Taylor Swift From the United States




LOS ANGELES 03/14/2018 - Professional equine photographer Cara Taylor Swift of the United States was presented with the 11th Annual International Color Awards Nominee title in the categories of People, Silhouette, and Americana at a prestigious Nomination & Winners Photoshow streamed Saturday, March 10, 2018.


The live online gala was attended by over 12,500 photography fans around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the industry's most important event for color photography. 11th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Christie's, Paris; Grey Group, New York; The Art Channel, London; Ogilvy & Mather, Amsterdam; Publicis Conseil, Paris; Preus Museum, Norway; Art Beatus, Hong Kong; Netflix, Los Angeles; Whitechapel Gallery, London; and Phillips, New York who honored Color Masters with 709 title awards and 730 nominees in 33 categories.

"Photography is more popular than ever. Last year around 1.2 trillion pictures were taken. In this awards show we pay tribute to the top 0.0000000001% of them" said Juror Martijn van Marle, Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather, Amsterdam. Joshua White, Presenter and Producer on The Art Channel, London added "Judging this year's submissions for the Color Awards was challenging. The winning images illustrate the continuing importance of photography as a way of seeing the world around us and understanding human experience."


"It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 5,642 entries we received this year," said Basil O'Brien, the awards Creative Director. "Cara's " Minor Adjustments, Sunrise Gallop, Trail Break, and Over The Hill," are exceptional images entered in the People, Silhouette, and Americana categories, represents contemporary color photography at its finest, and we're pleased to present her with the title of Nominee."


INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in color photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in color photography. www.colorawards.com

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Contact: Fast Horse Photography
Telephone: 904.826.7991
Email: Cara@FastHorsePhotography.com
Website: FastHorsePhotography.com 

NE FL Open Pleasure Horse Show Photography

NE FL Open Pleasure Horse Show Photography

St. Augustine Horse Photographer

The NE FL Open Pleasure Horse Show took place on February 19, 2018 at the St. Johns County Horse Council Equestrian Center located in Hastings, FL and Fast Horse Photography was onsite all day as the official horse show photographer!  Boy did we have fun!  The weather was GORGEOUS and typical of Florida this time of year...super foggy in the morning with the sky opening up to gorgeous warm sunshine and layers of clouds.  The smell of ShowSheen drifted on the breeze while horses called to one another from barn to arena.  

Florida Horse Photographer

The judges for the day were Brenda DeMartino and Jennifer Moshier and I often watched them give feedback and kind words to those participating in classes.  As someone who spent much of my childhood in a show ring it sure is nice to see judges supporting young equestrians this way!

This month brings us another NE FL Open Pleasure Circuit Show on March 10, 2018.  For more information you can check out the show FaceBook page!  Judges for this event will be Sandy Curl and Emily Roberts and don't forget all proceeds benefit the St. Johns County Horse Council and the St. Johns County Equestrian Center!  

Florida Equine Photographer

Images from the President's Day event can be found on the Fast Horse Photography Horse Show & Event Galleries Page.  Big thank you to all those who worked so hard to make this show a success for our equine community!  Stay horsey!  

Horses on the Beach Workshop

Horses on the Beach Workshop

Horse on the beach

I always talk about photographing horses on the beach and describe it as a dream.  The truth is it really does feel like you are dreaming while you are doing it.  Early morning (pre-sunrise hours), the brisk ocean breeze, the spray from the crashing waves, the smell of horses mixed with salt water, and the sounds of horses hooves pounding through the surf all come together to form this very dreamlike experience.  There really is nothing else like it.

Mounted Archer

Recently, I teamed up with a friend and fellow equine photographer, Phyllis Burchett, to host the St. Augustine Horses on the Beach Workshop here in St. Augustine, Florida.  Seven photographers joined us for a day and a half of equine and equestrian focused photography with the ultimate goal of capturing images of horses and their people on the beach.  We also had the opportunity to photograph on the beautiful Picalata Farms where we enjoyed the company of a mounted shooter pair, an English show team, and a Florida cowgirl with her favorite Appaloosa.  

Mounted Shooter

I think it's safe to say, at least for me, that we walked away from this weekend with amazing images to enjoy all year long, sand in our camera bags, and a fresh drive for doing what we love...photographing horses and their people!  

To learn about future opportunities to participate in a St. Augustine Horses on the Beach Workshop feel free to reach out to me at Cara@FastHorsePhotography.com!  I look forward to shooting with you soon!

PS- I'll have a new blog coming out soon all about the lessons I've learned photographing horses on the beach.  I can't wait to share it with you soon!  

Horse Show Photos

Horse Show Photos

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This weekend I had the opportunity to photograph horses at the Salt Water Show Series held at the St. Johns County Equestrian Center located in Hastings, Florida.  I wasn't able to stay all day but I love the horse show photos I was able to capture!  The day was gorgeous for equestrian and equine photography and there was no shortage of candid horse and rider moments that make for some of the most memorable horse images.  

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A diverse series of classes were offered to many breeds of horses with divisions that included Halter, English, Western, Ranch Horse and specialty divisions for off the track thoroughbreds and rescue horses.  The main ring judge was Jennifer Moshier, who is known for making the show ring both fun and educational.  It wasn't uncommon for her to spend a few moments with class participants talking through ways that they can improve their performance at future events.  The show ring is always a great place to photograph horses at work, but my favorite moments to capture are often found right outside the entry gates and are of the horses, ponies and equestrians patiently waiting their turn to compete.  

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To see a full gallery of horse show images captured by Fast Horse Photography at the Salt Water Show Series check out the gallery!    Fast Horse Photography was happy to sponsor this event!  

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Bloopers! The 5 Common Bloopers of Equine & Equestrian Photography.

I love bloopers!  I mean who doesn't right?  When working with people and horses it's inevitable that goofy moments are going to happen and I always feel lucky when I capture them.  I go back to them throughout the year as a form of blackmail...I mean entertainment, and this year I thought it might be fun to highlight some of the common bloopers common to equine and equestrian photography.  Here they are in no particular order.  Enjoy!

 1. The Classic Look-A-Like

It's a well known FACT that when humans and animals spend a bunch of time together that they start to look alike.  I mean I'm pretty sure this is documented somewhere...right?  Whether it be the same hair style, goofy expression, or maybe horse and rider just showed up wearing the same hair bows.  Additionally, it's not uncommon to ask for a smile and have the horse and their human make the same face.  A great example is Kirstin and Dash below.   I mean they nailed it!


2. The OUCH-Take

The OUCH-Take definitely qualifies as one of the most painful types of equine & equestrian photography bloopers.  This blooper can be captured when a 900 pound animal decides to step on their unsuspecting human's toe.  Need I say more?  Ouch!  A great example is of Mackenzie below.  I feel like the flowers in the background really help lighten the mood of this image though.   


3. The Repeat Offender

The Repeat Offender blooper is a little harder to come by in horse photography.  It happens when you photograph the same horse twice and they just happen to engage in the same blooper-worthy activity during both photography sessions.  Belle, the Clydesdale, has never let me down at giving me the most incredible head-shaking portraits!  I look forward to photographing her again in February where I will attempt to capture the almost impossible Three-Peat Offender!  Will I be able to make it happen?  


4. The Clown

I always tell Fast Horse Photography clients that horses can be camera hogs.  They will steal the show any chance they get and will stop at almost nothing to make sure that the photography session is all about them!  Well The Clown blooper is achieved when you have a horse that has their own idea about what they'd like to have captured by the photographer.  Take Winterhawk below.  He was tired of his person, Rachel, getting to handle all the props so he took matters into his own hands...well mouth, when he snatched her hat away and then gazed majestically into the sunset.  In this case it actually worked...so let that be a lesson to all of you that sometimes the horse is smarter than the photographer.  


5. The Naughty Photographer

The Naughty Photographer blooper happens when your photographer tries to teach your horse terrible habits when you aren't looking.  I didn't take this picture as I was the photographer dangling on the end of the sweatshirt.  This image was captured by my friend and fellow equine photographer, Phyllis Burchett of Phyllis Burchett Photo at the Powderhorn Ranch.  Heather and her horse were being good sports though and putting up with my antics. 

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So there you have it!   Bloopers happen along side all the beautiful images that come from photographing horses.  I'd love to hear about the bloopers you find in your work or maybe you can share some pictures of your bloopers in action.  Maybe you've already captured the Triple-Peat!  In the meantime, there is nothing wrong with finding more reasons to laugh at this crazy life!  Stay horsey!   

New! Farmhouse Frames to Showcase Your Equine Artwork.

To say I'm excited about the new farmhouse inspired frames that Fast Horse Photography has added to the product line would be an understatement!  Because for starters, they are gorgeous!  I've always thought that rustic wood frames married well to the equine and equestrian images that best represent Fast Horse Photography, but to find frames that have character and a natural beauty unique to each frame just finishes each image to the point of perfection!  


Each frame is hand made and is 100% unique in that the wood has been weathered due to age, wind, rain and sun. There are no two boards alike which is what makes these frames completely original and one of a kind. These frames are true original pieces of art and each piece of wood has its own character.  

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Along with delivering several completed equine wall art pieces using farmhouse frames to clients in the St. Augustine, Florida area I've also added a large sample selection to the Fast Horse Photography show room so clients can see, touch and browse the selection to find the right frame for their home, office or barn.  We can work together to create one of a kind equine art pieces personal to you and your horses!  


I look forward to sharing some of the other new product options available to Fast Horse Photography clients soon! In the meantime, Stay Horsey!  


Photographing Horses on the Beach

One of the best parts of being a professional equine photographer in St. Augustine, Florida is getting the opportunity to photograph horses on the beach on a regular basis!  When the alarm clock goes off an hour before sunrise I always groan a little at having to get up really REALLY early but then I remember the folks bringing the horses to the beach were probably up hours before me feeding and trailering horses.  So I'm quickly off and running and the excitement starts building the moment I get in the truck and start looking for that golden glow that means that the sun is getting ready to rise over the ocean. 


I like to start early, having the horses saddled and riders dressed and ready to ride just before the sun hits the horizon so I can shoot for silhouettes and starbursts over the water trying to soak up as much sunrise color and cloud texture as possible.  It's not long before the sounds of the waves coupled with hoof beats has me in my happiest of happy places and I'm up to my knees in water and my elbows are covered with sand.   As a horse lover and a photographer this is really a dream come true... I actually get teary-eyed remembering these precious moments with fellow equestrians and other photographers.     

Once the sun rises up over the watery horizon It's fun to get some action shots of horses splashing through the surf, pawing in the water, running on a long line or just spending time watching the waves.  Taking portraits of horses and horses with their people on the beach is truly an awesome experience.  No matter the morning light, the beach always has something magical to provide to photographers.  


I do a lot of pre-session planning when it comes to photographing horses on the beach and like to encourage those who don't normally ride on the beach to take their horse down at least once prior to their session date.  You don't want to spend your session time schooling a horse that's terrified of the boogie man waves coming right at them and a photo shoot isn't normally a great time to try something new with your horse...or at least that's my philosophy.  So pre-session consultations that include thinking through all elements of the session are essential.  The planning makes it all worth it though when you have a successful equine beach session and equine wall art featuring YOUR horses hanging in your home for generations to come. 


For other photographers interested in photographing horses on the beach consider joining Phyllis Burchett and Fast Horse Photography at an upcoming workshop featuring horses on the beach!    

Natalie & Delilah. For The Love of Palominos!

Dream Catcher Stables is one of my favorite places to photograph young equestrians and their favorite lesson horses.  Natalie and Delilah were certainly no exception.  Natalie, her parents, and the team at Dream Catchers stables, made sure Delilah's golden coat gleamed and her tack was spotless.  They even had a beautiful soft leather halter with Delilah's name etched across a golden name plate.  Getting the opportunity to be photographed with a favorite horse doesn't happen often for most folks and they took the time to make sure that everything was perfect and it sure showed in their images!  We had beautiful sunlight and the Florida weather was just perfect for a day at the barn.  I absolutely LOVED photographing these two and can't wait to see where Natalie goes with her love of horses and horse showing.  I know their family will cherish these pictures that highlight this time in their daughters life.  

Mo Vannie Blues. Equine Photography.

I recently had the opportunity to photograph the handsome Mo Vannie Blues, or as he is known around the barn, Rain.  Rain is a 2003 AQHA foundation bred (98.4% FQHA) cremello Stallion currently standing at Flying A Performance Horses.  Rain was very impressive to see in action and sure has a way of leaving a lasting impression with his strength and movements, but I was most impressed by his gentle and friendly nature!  You can follow him online at https://www.facebook.com/Movannieblues/.        

Mounted Archery... Because Football Is For Wimps.

It was certainly a dream come true for me to get to photograph Kirstin and her horses Crooks and Dash.  Kirstin is a mounted archer and an instructor/trainer at Ki-Lin Stables in Yulee, Florida.  We started our session photographing her favorite pony and horse of her heart, Dash.  He kept us laughing with his antics from the very beginning, but his calm nature won me over quickly and I kept finding myself wanting to run my fingers through his thick and fluffy forelock.  But, from the moment we started planning Kirstin's equine/equestrian photography session we knew we wanted to include elements to highlight her love of mounted archery.  Her bow and arrow was included in many of the images of her and her horse Crooks.  Her equine artwork has started to arrive to the Fast Horse Photography Show Room and are awaiting delivery to Kirstin and I have to say they are some of my favorite equine images I shot in 2017!  

Sarah and Lena, Equestrian Senior Portraits

Senior portraits are an important part of your senior year, so making sure that those images represent YOU should be an essential part of the planning process.  For equestrian seniors that means including that favorite horse or horses in your session and it also should include hiring an equine photographer.  For Sarah and her family, including Sarah's horse Bright Little Lena into her session, meant that they would also remember Sarah's love of horses during her high school career.  Sarah and Lena's session took place at the picturesque Peak Performance Horses located in North St. Augustine, Florida.  I was absolutely in love with the golden light and the way it made the entire area glisten.  It was my first Florida session that really had a Autumn feeling!  Oh and the turkey action is on point!  If you look below you will actually see the turkeys made it into a couple of pictures...I mean who could resist right?  Anyway, take pictures with your horse and include them in life's important moments with an equine and equestrian photographer! 

For Families Who Share Their Lives With Horses. Horse Photography!

I have no way to describe how lucky I feel to get to photograph families who choose to share their lives with horses!  Recently I photographed Marilyn and part of her horse loving family with their two horses, Patsy & Buddy.  These beloved horses live a retired life on a gorgeous little farm at the end of a well worn dirt drive bordered by old oak trees covered in Spanish moss.  I got there early enough to help with grooming and tacking up and then we started out with a few black background portraits in their barn.  One of the best parts of equine & equestrian photography for me is spending time with people who treat their horses like valued members of the family.  The connection between horse and rider always ALWAYS comes through in the final images and knowing that families will have archival quality, equine artwork, to share for generations to come is a beautiful thing.  

Rachel & Winterhawk, Take Pictures With Your Horse!

I've photographed Rachel with her horse, Winterhawk, before and I have to say that it seems like their bond has gotten even stronger since the last time we had an equine/equestrian photography session!  This photography session took place at the Beautiful Star 4 Equestrian Center https://www.facebook.com/star4equestrian/ in St. Augustine, Florida and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.  With deer bounding around us, glistening water, Spanish moss hanging from the old oaks, and the most perfect sunlight glinting through the trees I was in horse photography heaven!  Check out these two and their bond captured in the images below and stop by their facebook page to see what Star 4 Equestrian Center is all about.  

Karen, Ike, Luke & Rebel: Horses in Need Find a Home

I recently had the awesome experience of meeting Karen and her horses on her gorgeous farm, Picalata Farms to provide equine and equestrian photography services.  The moment you pull in the front gates you know gorgeous backdrops are going to be easy to find.  Between the beautiful barn, pretty fence lines, grassy pastures and sparkling pond horses are found happily grazing.  We started with Karen and her long-time horse, Rebel who certainly didn't mind posing for the camera in his jingle bells!  After photographing Karen and Rebel we moved on to meet Ike and Luke, giant white Percheron brothers.  Luke and Ike were carriage horses out of Dayton, Ohio rescued by Last Chance Corral after experiencing abuse and neglect.  Luke and Ike have now found their forever home with Karen at Picalata Farms in St. Augustine, Florida.  For more information on Picalata Farms or Luke and Ike's story following their links above.  In the meantime check out just a small sampling of the equine and equestrian images I captured while on location!  Peace, love and rescue!  

Laurie & Poco, Equine & Equestrian Photography

The beach is always such a gorgeous place to enjoy an equine portrait session!  We dream about beautiful sunrise starbursts and silhouettes but the magic of the beach is that even on a gloomy foggy day, the beach always provides a gorgeous backdrop and horses make it even better!  I have to say that Poco made the list of most favorite horses to photograph this year!  He has the calmest personality and was virtually unflappable on the beach!  The winter months are my absolute favorite time to photograph horses and their people on the beach so let's get your horse photography session scheduled today!  

Alaina and Easy Breezy. Barn Days Are The Best Days!

As a former horse crazy kid turned horse crazy old lady, I know that days at the barn are pretty much everything.  So to have the opportunity to have an equine and equestrian photography session with your favorite lesson horse is pretty much a dream come true!  I met Alaina at Dream Catcher Stables several times before getting a chance to photograph her, so I was pretty excited to get to spend some time with her and Breezy with my camera.  The lush green landscape of the stable yard coupled with mid-day sun shining through the trees worked perfect to capture some precious connection moments between Alaina and Breezy.  Alaina is a member of the Dream Catcher Stables "Dream Team" and also an active 4-H member.  I look forward to watching where this young equestrian goes from here and hopefully photographing many more of her horse related achievements.  

Kailey, Matt & Shadow

Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph Kailey and her boyfriend Matt with Kailey's beautiful horse, Shadow.  It was one of those Florida days where we were dodging the rain and then enjoying glorious moments of sunshine...so basically a typical day in Florida!  Kailey and Matt have been together seven years and if there is ever a guy that understands a girls love for her horse, it's Matt!  These three were truly a joy to photograph!  

Kendall, Hope, & Baby Tucker

I'm not sure you could get any luckier than to have your favorite mare foal a beautiful colt less than a week before your scheduled equine photography session!  Kendall, Hope and her sweet foal Tucker were an absolute joy to photograph!  Not only was Kendall stunning in her black hat (can you tell I've got hat envy?), but Tucker was full of spunk!  He raced around his mother during the session causing all kinds of magical distractions and laughter.  It's safe to say we all fell instantly in love with this little guy.  To see more portraits of Kendall, Hope, and Tucker check out the Fast Horse Photography facebook page.  Thanks!  

2017 Black and White Spider Awards



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LOS ANGELES - Professional equine photographer Cara Taylor Swift (Fast Horse Photography) of the United States was presented with the 12th Annual Black and White Spider Awards Nominee title in the category of People at a prestigious Nomination & Winners PhotoShow streamed Saturday, October 14, 2017.

The live online gala was attended by over 11,000 photography fans around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the industry's most important event for black and white photography. 12th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from The Armory Show, New York; Christie's, London; McCann, Singapore; GQ, New York; Hot Docs Film Festival, Toronto; Y&R, Malaysia; Sharon Calahan, Pixar Animation Studios, Emeryville; Bloomsbury Auctions, London; and Donald Schneider Studios, Berlin who honored Spider Fellows with 672 coveted title awards and 1034 nominees in 31 categories.

"Spider Awards 2017 proves once again to be a great challenge for the jury to select the best images of the year. Every year this photographic competition increases its quality of content, reputation and prestige" said juror Andrea de Polo, Cultural Heritage Consultant at Fratelli Alinari Photo Archive in Florence. Curator and Arts Writer Paola Anselmi added "Congratulations to all the winners. A great deal of humanity and soul in this year's selection, maybe it is a sign of the times and a promise for future awards and photography in general."

"It's an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 8,121 entries we received this year" said Basil O'Brien, the awards Creative Director. "Cara's "A Gentle Hand," an exceptional image entered in the People category, represents black and white photography at its finest, and we're pleased to present her with the title of Nominee."

BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in black and white photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in black and white photography. Black & White Spider Awards

Brooke, James, & Ms. Tee

I just can't say enough about how adorable Brooke and Ms. Tee were together during their session.  Ms.  Tee is a barn favorite mare with all the kids at the Blue Ribbon Riding Academy and it was really wonderful getting to see how at ease and connected the two of them were together.  Little brother James, in his adorable bow tie, jumped in to a few pictures as well.  Seriously, can it get any sweeter?