Art Piece

A Horse Sense of Art

Getting a horse to pose is impossibility for most people. Pasadena, California, is the home of the only lady in the world, an equestrian photographer, who can get them to pose, and her portraits are featured in celebrity homes. She has grown from the girl who borrowed a camera from Pasadena City College (PCC) to the woman who follows tracks and shows and boasts pictures of the Olympics in Montreal and British Princess Anne.

She graduated from Pasadena High School and then went to PCC for photography classes, for which she practiced on horses. After all she had been practically living in a saddle atEaton Canyon Riding Stables since she was 10 years old. On weekends, she would take her borrowed camera to snap pictures of stable horses for her homework. Her hobby transformed into a full-out career after her first photo sold, and she left behind music, art, and journalism.

Her first two mentors hired her after a horse show in Santa Barbara, and they made her focus and pose horses at shows, tracks, and state fairs all over the country thereafter. Another famous pair took her on, and they traveled all over California. Her mother takes care of business nowadays, while she shoots using her Swedish camera with German lens.

She catches them at just the right moment, when making a six-foot jump or nosing it to first place. Then again, her formal photos, of horses on all fours, are also refreshing. Some horses consider being photographed pleasurable. Just turn toward some horses with a camera and they immediately perk their ears or raise their heads. There are other horses that won’t move a muscle to help you.

Taking even a horse photo can be tricky. The photos most sold of hunters and jumpers are those mid-air with their legs bent at just the right angle. With their front hoofs in action and an over reaching hoof with their hind legs, Tennessee walkers look best. A low slide is the best angle for a stock horse, and high head and legs is the best angle for a saddle horse. An endangered South American species, for whom endless attempts are being made to multiply them, called the Peruvian Paso, is the subject of many of her most famous works. Their best angle is with their forelegs rolled toward the outside. With the aid of their riders in traditional white ponchos with elaboratebridles and saddles, they have become a photographer’s dream.

Through her work, she has met many celebrity horse enthusiasts. Photography has brought her face to face with royalty. After photographing Princess Anne at the Montreal Olympics, she found herself standing next to Her Highness, the Queen. She asked Queen Elizabeth how it felt to watch her daughter take the high jump, and she said it made her quite nervous. Not long ago for a change of career pace, the photographer, who in her spare time swims,back packs, bicycles, pans for gold and sometimes even rides a horse, took on an industrial job snapping pictures offorklifts.

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