A few weeks ago I joined forces with the ever talented Staley Cook to capture May and I in the pasture. Staley has a history of making me look better than anyone else can, and so I knew that once May and I were ready to be photographed, she would be the one to do it. All in all it was a blast!
We spent the first half hour or so just hanging out with the horses, which prompted lots of curious licks and sniffs. At several points we were just calming ourselves down to be as relaxed as possible, and because of that, the overall experience turned into a mini therapy session. I think that because we took the time to really embrace our moment, the horses were easier to work with, and more fun to pose around. We were all (photographer, trainer/manager, and myself) able to morph into a mood and atmosphere that was just beautiful, and the afternoon drifted slowly into an evening that I won't ever forget.
And you know, I was really proud of my girl. She stayed in place longer than I ever thought she could or would. She posed, took treats, and allowed me to be in her personal space despite her being wildly confused by my hair and dress. Seeing how much we've progressed and how comfortable we're becoming around each other fills me with a kind of joy that I really can't explain. These images remind me that while we've come so far, we have so much further to go, and through it all we are going together.
This shoot stands as one of my all time favorites, and every time I look at them I just get overwhelmed with happiness. There's so much evolution that I can see within these images. I can see comfort, and familiarity, trust, and understanding. May behaved herself so well, and never showed any signs of discomfort or anxiety. That was a HUGE deal to me, as I spent weeks worrying over how she would react.
And as I saw myself through Staley's eyes, I became more comfortable with each click of the camera, which further eased everyone involved. My worry shifted into excitement, and I found my confidence once more, which gave May more confidence, too. There's nothing more unnerving than being a beacon in the middle of a field, surrounded by dozens of horses that want to play and investigate and could potentially hurt you. With the amazing help of Mandy (who was once more to the rescue), everything went off without a hitch, and we were able to capture the magic of the moment. These images reflect the relaxed environment perfectly!
My collaborations with others, be it in the modeling industry or in the equine world really mean more to me than I could ever articulate. There's something amazing about the general comfort and understanding that exists between us as we try to reach our goals. At the end of the day, I feel like we all walked out of the farm standing just a little taller, and happier, too.
And I am incredibly thankful for that.