I’m sure I have mentioned this before in an earlier post, but, as a photographer, I always like challenging myself. I’ve photographed animals before, but not very often. Photographing animals, particularly wildlife, is a whole genre and style of photography in itself. When I visited Alaska, I took a workshop where we learned effective tools for photographing landscapes and wildlife. At one point, the teacher showed us a photo that he had taken of a newly born eagle. He said that it took him 4 years to get that photo. It takes an incredible amount of patience and a bit of luck to get those kinds of photographs.
I don’t see myself backpacking through the woods with a heavy duty telephoto lens anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try to photograph animals when I can. Growing up, I lived in a neighborhood where people had horse property. I love horses and so I asked Chester’s owner if I could photograph her horse. Chester, the beautiful auburn horse, was easy going, but also very shy. He liked to stay close to his girlfriend, Velvet. I kept my goals for this shoot very simple because the space I was sharing with the horse was small and I wasn’t sure how Chester would respond to me. Because both horses had such sweet, inquisitive faces, I focused my camera on their eyes. I also looked for the connection between the two horses and between Chester and his owner.
I always come away from a shoot learning something new that I can apply to my photography. With every shoot, I have some sort of expectation of what I would like to come away with. However, sometimes when we arrive on the scene we need to adapt our expectations and goals. Chester and Velvet were actually very easy to photograph, but because they were more shy and laid back, I realized right away that this shoot was going to be more about the soulful expressions rather than capturing the physical movements of the horses. Bascically, a good photographer always makes the most of any situation. That might sound easy, but it’s not because adapting on the spot takes experience and confidence. However, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.