The Arabian Horse photo shoot post process
I don’t really play with the images that I capture on a regular basis; I tend to keep them pretty much as I saw it through the lens. I like that and I usually tend to capture the emotions of what was going on for me during the shoot.
The appreciation of Mr. Tucker B’s performance during that photo shoot and our connection was a bit too distracted with all of the natural landscape surrounding him. He was pretty “snorty” and “showy” as we took the photos and I really love that about Arabians. He lives in a wonderful area with mature landscape and he knows it well as he is turned out in it almost every day, weather permitting. So he knew how to dart and weave his way around the trees and the shrubs and then stop to pose, sometimes in the shadows and sometimes in the light. When I shoot, I look for unique photos that really speak to me, encompassing what I am seeing in my lens about the horses personality and who they are after you have known them for years.
It’s not luck to portray emotions and connection revealed in a photo, it’s focus and vulnerability. And I don’t mean focus versus blurry in the photographic terminology. I mean present with the horse and focus on the horse and their energy as well as my own. Finding that connection! They show me who they are and as I look through my lens and click the shutter at the proper time I may be lucky to catch that. I download the photos and typically wait for a few days before sorting through the images. I allow the time spent with the horse to sink in and fill my heart and soul. Then I have a look at what I shot and make my way back toward what it was that I felt and reconnect with emotions that come up for me when I edit the photos.
I took a filter that I wanted to try and I took this photo that I find really represents the full personality of this horse and I brought them together. As an artist there can be a moment when you feel like you just followed your gut as you created this piece of photography in front of you and it feel like you almost weren’t in on it it’s just so in the moment of feeling it rather than thinking about it. I don’t always consider myself creative, although after working with this particular photo I can see that I am changing that for myself. I love the way it turned out. It felt right to me as soon as I was working with it. I feel that feeling of his heart and spirit every time I look at it all over again. That’s pretty special to me for sure.
If you recall from my earlier post about Arabian Horses, you can see how clean the final image was. No distractions – just clean lines and curves.
This is not the first time I have done this- not even the first time with an Arabian Horse. I recall another local photo shoot done here in Prescott, Arizona a few years ago. This white Arabian Horse, Sterling also charmed me with his personality and reached through the lens to make that emotional connection with me.
In Sterling’s case, I removed the distractions of the background and replaced it with black instead of white.
I guess I can’t really say that I don’t use this treatment on my photographs. As I sat to write this I realized how many images I have applied this method. I love taking away all the distractions and allow the viewer to truly experience the connection. Another wonderful Arabian Horse Photograph is a fan favorite I call Ethereal. This grey Arabian gelding called Nick is owned by my dear friend, Laurie. She introduced me to my first Arabian Horse back in 1977. Today is her birthday and I hope she enjoys seeing this photo in her Facebook feed. You can read all about when I photographed Ethereal on a ranch in the Coachella Valley.
I worked on the editing until it felt like the before and after image went together seamlessly and shone in one voice of the horses’ personality and my vision of him before me during the shoot. I am really happy that I was able to reach that spot and offer it to the viewer to engage with. It seems really straightforward as in it’s not a complicated photo but true to me and my brand – it is full of emotion.
Jody Miller is a professional photographer specializing in Horse Photography, Equine Photography, and Equestrian photography. Her work can be viewed online here in her gallery section, and she is also featured at these Arizona Galleries: Van Gogh’s Ear Gallery on Whiskey Row in Prescott, AZ and Coops Coffee House at Talking Rock Ranch. Several images are also available at the current exhibit, Click: Expose The West showing at The Phippen Western Art Museum