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/.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
12TH ANNUAL BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS HONORS PHOTOGRAPHER CARA TAYLOR SWIFT FROM THE UNITED STATES
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
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?
I recently had a Saturday jam packed with cuteness and horses! Taylor and her favorite horse, Ms. Tee were the first session of the day. What a treat it was to see the way this little girl just loved this gentle mare! Taylor is a rides with the Blue Ribbon Riding Academy. Below are just a few of the images from their session! Enjoy!
Hosted by a fourth generation ranching family living a traditional ranching lifestyle, this workshop is easily one of my favorite trips I have been lucky enough to enjoy over the last couple of years. The ranch has a cow-calf operation and a Quarter Horse breeding program nestled into the beautiful Wyoming rugged ridges and mountain peaks. For a girl who has spent the majority of her life living in Florida I truly enjoy the landscape change and with the help of a Powderhorn Ranch hooded jacket I stayed just warm enough!
The Quarter Horses on the ranch are true ranch horses. I love watching them work moving horses and cattle across the vast landscape of the ranch and waiting patiently for their next job. I even got the opportunity to do a little trail riding on a couple of these impressive horses! The cowgirls on the ranch are some of the best horsewomen I've had the opportunity to meet. It's a real pleasure to get to watch them at work wrangling herds and spending hours in the saddle training their horses.
By far the best part of this experience was the time spent with fellow women equine photographers laughing and sharing in our mutual love of horses and photography. My time at the Powderhorn Ranch is remembered with joy, freedom from my everyday life, and time spent doing what I love. My creativity feels alive and renewed each time I visit. I can't wait to go back next year! The following picture of me was provided by Carien Schippers of ImagEquine, an amazing equine photographer who I admire!
To see more images from my time at the Powderhorn Ranch check out the Fast Horse Photography Facebook page. I update all the time!
So proud to have a Fast Horse Photography image on the cover of this month's SmartPak! This image was captured at the Powderhorn Women's Retreat held at the Powderhorn Ranch in Wyoming by the Equine Photographers Network. To see other images available for commercial or editorial use check them out on my Stock & Art page! Thanks!
Of course you have to have amazing pictures of your wedding day, but what about including your horse in images to remember this special time in your life? Or at least getting some great pictures with your horse before sending that wedding dress off to the cleaners. Melanie and Jerry said their vows in beautiful Savannah, GA but Melanie knew she also wanted to come back home and have an equine/equestrian photography session with her horse, Savannah. Savannah and Melanie were beautiful together and the beach made the perfect backdrop for gorgeous soft images. We even got some lovely images of Savannah playing in the surf! Melanie and Jerry have their images displayed on their wall in fine art metal and framed prints so they can remember this time in their life every day. So don't just wear that dress once, wear it for a second time when you take pictures with your horse!