Sterling Equine Bodywork

I recently had the opportunity to work with Amy from Sterling Equine Bodywork to create images for her website, blog, and social media content. It was such a joy to work with Amy and watch her at work!

Cheryl & Kid

A beautiful way to spend the day! Images captured at the Florida Agricultural Museum.

Bill and Twister, A Horse and Human Perfect Match.

I recently had the opportunity to photography Bill and his beautiful paint horse, Twister at the Florida Agricultural Museum and Princess Place Preserve. Bill and Twister couldn’t be any more of a perfect match and can often be found riding the old Florida trails together!

Dana and Whopper, Equestrian Senior Portraits

I just love when seniors include their horses in their senior portraits! These images were captured at Princess Place Preserve!

Garns/Cerasale Equine Family Session

I just love when families include their horses and dogs in their family photography sessions!

Florida Agricultural Museum, Cowgirls and Horses

Florida Agricultural Museum, Cowgirls and Horses

Florida Cracker Calf

I recently had the opportunity to host a stylized equine photography shoot at the Florida Agricultural Museum. The Florida Agricultural Museum was founded in 1983 to preserve Florida’s agricultural past and educate the public about agricultural issues in the State of Florida. The museum celebrates the history of the Florida Cracker heritage and is home to Cracker horses, cattle and sheep. As a matter of fact an adorable new calf had been born just a few days before I was scheduled to be onsite shooting!

Florida Agricultural Museum

One of my personal favorite parts of the Florida Agricultural Museum are the old buildings that have been relocated from across the state to become a working part of the museum. The 1940’s Caldwell Dairy Barn, the Mule Barn, the Bell Barn, and several other beautiful old and restored building provided an authentic rustic feel for my photography work.

The Florida Agricultural Museum will be just one featured part of an equine photography workshop that we will be hosting here in Florida with esteemed photographer, Phyllis Burchett of Phyllis Burchett Photography. Join photographers from across the United States at the one of a kind equine photography workshop complete with horses on the beach at sunrise and sunset and the historical “old Florida” backdrop highlighting the history of the Florida Cracker and Florida agriculture.

For more information about the St. Augustine, Horses on the Beach Workshop email


Photographing A Florida State NBHA Champion

Photographing A Florida State NBHA Champion

NBHA Barrel Racing Champion

Recently I had the amazing opportunity to photograph a Florida State NBHA Champion team, Tina and her horse, Stoney.  Now retired from professional barrel racing, Tina wanted to document this time in her life with her beloved horse and scheduled an equine and equestrian photography session with Fast Horse Photography! I've known Tina from our local barrel racing events with the St. Johns County Horse Council, so I was really excited to meet her horse!  

Taking Pictures With Your Horse

Tina has loved horses her entire life, but never owned one until she was 45 and purchased Stoney in 2004 when he was seven years old.  By October 2004 they were riding in barrel racing events all over Florida and won their first big jackpot in 2007! In June 2007 they entered the Florida State NBHA in Kissimmee, Florida in the Open and Senior Division and won 1st place in the Senior 3D Championship, winning a check, a saddle and a wild card to the World Championship. 

For the next several years Tina and Stoney continued to compete until they had a fall which resulted in a broken collarbone. That didn't stop Tina from riding, and her and Stoney can still be seen enjoying local Cracker Day events here in St. Johns County, Florida. 

I really enjoyed hearing their story, looking through old scrap books of their accomplishments, and just spending time on her pretty property hanging with her sweet horses. Stoney was a dreamboat of good manners and sweetness and Tina had some really fun ideas for us to capture!  

Barrel Racing Champion

I'm not sure there could be anything more special for equestrians than capturing the bond with their favorite horse!  As an equine and equestrian photographer I'm overjoyed when Florida horse owners choose Fast Horse Photography for their equine photography needs!

Cara Taylor Swift is an equine and equestrian photographer located in Saint Augustine, Florida and can be reached at 

Florida Barrel Racer

Florida Equine Photographer, St. Johns County Horse Council Drum Runners

Florida Horse Photographer

Saturday I had the opportunity to photograph the barrel racing portion of the St. Johns County Horse Council Drum Runners event held in Elkton, Florida.  This event always reminds me that Florida equestrians are the best!  Enjoy and purchase images here!  

Florida Equestrians

Cara Taylor Swift is an equine and equestrian photographer located in St. Augustine, Florida and can be reached at  



Photographing Families With Multiple Pets

Photographing Families With Multiple Pets

Photographing multiple pets together

I read a book many many years ago, and while I can't remember the name of the book, a quote from that book has never left me. It was something along the lines of..."Dogs are the silent witnesses of our lives." This was so powerful to me and I think of it often when I look at my two dogs...especially my old man dog who has been with me for the last 15 years. He has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of my life with his silent watchful eyes.  

Preparing for a photography session with multiple pets

Needless to say... 
when I pull up to a barn to start planning an equine photography session it's almost a given that I will be greeted by at least one...but more than likely several, barn dogs. Let's face it...if you love horses you most likely love dogs too! You may even have a few cats lurking about! So it's not uncommon that I get requests to include the family dog in equine and equestrian portrait sessions. Even more likely, is that I'll SUGGEST to YOU to include Fido or Fifi in the session! It's a very natural progression to want to include ALL of your 4-legged (and 2-legged of course) family members in your equine & equestrian portraits.

Photographing families with pets

Maybe you've dreamed about a big beautiful family portrait hanging on your walls, but have always worried that including your pets would just be too chaotic. Over time I've collected a few tips that I hope will make the process of photographing horses, dogs, and other furry family members go smoothly.  Remember this should be fun!

1. Safety!  Many barn dogs are already comfortable around horses and the horses they spend time around are used to seeing them.  However, if you want to include a pet that hasn't spent any significant time with your horse, practicing before the session can make a big difference and can ensure you are prepared for your pets comfort.  Have a separate handler for each pet as it's introduced to your horse. Watch for signs of fear and aggression and be prepared to separate the animals quickly if needed.  I always talk through pet dynamics during pre-session consultations and think through safe posing options when creating images that include multiple animals.  

Photographing multiple horses at one time

2. Extra hands are so helpful for these types of sessions.  I try really hard to bring along an assistant to most of my sessions when multiple animals are involved, however no one knows your animals like you do.  Having a handler for each animal is a great way to ensure that everyone stays safe and in hand when they aren't being photographed.  Talk to your photographer about who should be there to help on your session day.  

Photographing the bond between animals

3. Capture the bond.  If your pets have a connection with each other, allow them to show that off for the photographer! Also, don't force animals to interact if they don't seem comfortable doing so.  Images of connection are always best when they show genuine companionship between the subjects.   

4. Shoot in their world.  When having multiple animals photographed at the same time being able to photograph them in a place that they are most comfortable can really be helpful.  They may be less distracted by their surroundings and more willing to relax and show those sweet faces you love and want on your walls.  When thinking about session location, pet safety should be considered.  Is the location near a road or highway?  Are animals allowed at the location? Are permits and/or vaccinations required to have pets at the location? Are there going to be other animals not included in the session, on location, that should be put away prior to arrival?   

5.  Bring toys!  I mean why not?  Pets may be more willing to look in different directions with the aid of treats, toys, and noise makers.  There are a lot of great cell phone apps out there that can make animal noises and squeaky toy sounds that can be so useful for a session.  Talk to your photographer about what they suggest would be good to bring a long and certainly don't be surprised if you hear your photographer making all sorts of strange noises, like barking, meowing or smooching sounds!  It's what we do!  

I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to make your photography session with all your furry family members go as smoothly as possible for you, your equine photographer, and your pets! Cara Taylor Swift is an equine and equestrian photographer located in St. Augustine, Florida and can be reached at  

Florida Equine Photographer

Photographing Horses In Bad Weather

Photographing Horses In Bad Weather

photographing in bad weather

If you are a photographer, it's going to happen.  You will have to work in questionable weather.  Photographing horses and their people in Florida is no exception.  June has reminded me that even all the planning in the world can't keep the rain and gloom from happening when you really REALLY don't want it to happen.  I don't know about you, but as an equine photographer most of my work takes place outdoors, in covered arenas, or in barn settings.  This means that I'm almost always working in the elements that are presented to me on the day of the session.  

Gloomy day photography

Now this doesn't mean that we have to shoot in the rain.  Of course not!  When working with clients my pre-session consultations always include discussion around weather and the types of images that my client hopes to achieve.  So often we find ourselves rescheduling and planning for better weather.  However, there are days when that just isn't going to work.  Maybe we don't have many days left with a particular horse?  Maybe we are on a deadline and images must be captured for a project?  Or maybe I'm at an event and it's a rain or shine kind of thing?  Regardless, there are days when you just have to be prepared to shoot and create quality images at the same time!  

photographing horses in bad weather

I'm going to be crazy here and encourage you to embrace the "bad" weather!  Because that bad weather you are worrying about can actually be pretty amazing for two reasons:  One, you can plan to shoot pretty much any time of day without worrying about sticking to sunset and sunrise hours.  Two, and my personal favorite, it can create some AMAZING dramatic images with beautiful backgrounds, clouds, atmosphere and mood.  I can't tell you how many times I've been worried about a session only to have some amazing light rays peek out of the clouds making the entire worry totally worth it!  

Taking Pictures in Bad Weather

So before you get out there and start creating unique and weather-powerful images here are a few tips that I'd suggest you consider first.

1. Make sure your equipment is safe.  Use water resistant casing or covers if you have them available or have your assistant hold that umbrella over you.  My assistant is always on the spot with my umbrella before I even realize I need it!  A raincoat is handy as well because you can slip your cameras under it when you are walking between locations. Extra tip:  Bring something absorbent to wipe things down with.  I've found that the microfiber cloths aren't very absorbent and can just smear water around.  

Keep Your Camera Equipment Dry

2. Get off auto.  Sorry, but you will have to spend a little time thinking about your settings.  You want to use the light you have to your best advantage and that may require tweaking those settings and doing things a little differently than you normally might.  Also, water droplets look bigger and smaller depending on your aperture so keep that in mind when shooting for your desired look and how much clean up you want to do in post. 

Florida Horse Photographer

3. Talk to your clients about their horse tack.  You may want to switch up the tack that is being used or remove it completely to keep it dry.  Horse tack is expensive and your clients will appreciate your understanding of that.  

4. Look for a barn doorway or a run in shed to place your horse and rider under or to stand under while shooting in the elements.  This can be a great time to get those detail shots and capture images of tack, manes and close connection between the horse and rider.  

When all else fails it is totally OK to wait it out.  Grab a cup of coffee and a smart phone weather app and watch for those little breaks in the weather that will allow you to capture those equine images!  

Cara Taylor Swift is an equine and equestrian photographer located in St. Augustine, Florida and can be reached at  

Horse Photography

Florida Horse Photographer

Florida Horse Photographer Creates Images of Matt & Shadow

Guess what!  Guys look good with their horses too!  I recently had the opportunity to photograph Matt with a spunky little quarter horse named Shadow.  His girlfriend Kailey, who I've had the pleasure of photographing in the past, hopped into a few shots as well.  This couple is adorable and then you add in their beautiful Bay and BOOM the picture is complete!  Their equine & equestrian photography session took place in St. Augustine, Florida on a beautiful piece of property with a lily pad covered pond and sweeping oak trees.  It was a gorgeous evening!  

Cara Taylor Swift is an equine and equestrian photographer located in St. Augustine, Florida and can be reached at  

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.

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Contact: Fast Horse Photography
Telephone: 904.826.7991

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!  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

horse show photos.jpg

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.  

horse photographs.jpg

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.  

horse show judge photographs.jpg

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!  

horse show photographs.jpg

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 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. 

horse help.jpg

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.  

Buttermilk Frame 1.jpg

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.