My first private shoot in Kamloops was at Sun Meadows Equestrian Centre, with Jutta’s brand new foal. He was unnamed at the time, but has since gained the moniker of “Finnegan”. He was only a week old when I met him, but already so independent! He came over to investigate the camera promptly, and galloped around his paddock with no concern for his mother’s whereabouts, only returning to sample the milk bar at regular intervals. What a cutie!
Last weekend, on May 28th and 29th, I photographed a dressage and jumping clinic at the Pine Tree Riding Club in Barnhartvale, which I am realizing is a real hub for horse activity in the Kamloops area. There are many beautiful acreages out there as well as lovely residential areas, and in the middle of it all is the Pine Tree riding grounds (I have a feeling they were there first, and the houses ended up surrounding it!). Some participants were able to simply ride down the road to the grounds.
A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing the Children’s Wish Ride in Barnhartvale, just outside of Kamloops. “The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada works with the community to provide children living with life threatening illnesses the opportunity to realize their most heartfelt wish.” I would have participated, but my horses had not yet arrived from Alberta (they are here now though, and I am thrilled — I will share some photos of them soon). However, I was there at the end of the ride to take headshots of the many lovely horses who, along with their humans, helped to raise over $9,500 for the Children’s Wish Foundation — wow! I donated a private photography session as a silent auction item, as well as committing to donate 50% of the proceeds from the print sales of the photos I took at the ride.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks since I moved to Kamloops. I have been running around putting up posters, designing new promotional materials, and networking with local people and businesses. I’ve driven about an hour in each direction from the city, scoping out my new territory and getting the lay of the land (which varies from tree-covered to desert scrub). I will share some of the landscape photos I’ve captured in a upcoming post. For the moment, though I would like to show some photos from my visit to the Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association. From their recent spotlight on Social Fire:
“The Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association (KTRA) is a charitable non-profit that offers horseback riding to children and adults with a wide range of disabilities. KTRA’s riding lessons benefits the riders by using the motivating medium of horse care and riding to draw an individual’s attention to their strengths, successes and most importantly build self-confidence.”
In the past, I have volunteered with the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association, and it was a great experience to see the positive impact that the horses had on the riders. I encourage you to support your local therapeutic riding association, as the work they do truly makes a difference in the lives of their clients!
The horses in the programs must, of course, be very gentle, calm, and tolerant. I could tell that every horse I met had these qualities just by looking at them from a distance — you can tell by their kind eyes and relaxed stance.
Hello all — I write to you from my new home of Kamloops! I made the ten hour drive between yesterday and today, and was happy to see no snow and green grass when I arrived. The Crowsnest Pass continued to accumulate the white stuff in the last week, even daring so much as to let one last storm roll in while I was packing my truck. One moment it was clear out, the next it was a whiteout! As I crossed the border into BC, it cleared up… I’m thinking I’ve made the right decision in moving.
Another reason I couldn’t wait to get here was so I would have a chance to work on the photos I took of a sweet baby girl a few days ago. Emilee is the pride and joy of Jamie and Matt, who I went to high school with in the Crowsnest Pass. Matt couldn’t get away from work before I was to leave town, so we decided to do the shoot mostly of Emilee and save the family portraits for later when everyone can be together. I did manage to sneak Jamie into a few of them, though!
Our other guest star was their pup “Diesel”, who is the best big brother Emilee could ask for! He’s been very good with her since she was born nearly four months ago, and wanted me to know that he’s the man of the house when Matt isn’t around. When Jamie and Emilee were sitting on the bed, he didn’t hesitate to jump up and join in the fun! He’s not supposed to be on the bed though, so after one quick shot, we shoo’d him off. That lasted all of two minutes while we got some closeups of Emilee burying her face in the blankets, and then he was wiggling his way back into the photos. This time it was too adorable to resist and I just had to get a few shots of them together before breaking them up again to save Jamie’s duvet from accumulating too many dog hairs.
While many places in Alberta and British Columbia have been celebrating the disappearance of snow and the coming of warmer weather, the Crowsnest Pass hasn’t even got the memo that it’s spring yet. Only a week ago, we got another two feet of wet snow, on top of the three feet already in our yard. Our Airedale Terrier, Abby, has simply been walking over the fence and taking herself on walks lately! She also enjoys taking after the Red Squirrels in our yard, who tease her relentlessly with their high-pitched chattering and scurrying up trees at the last moment. Of course their favourite hide-out is the BIRD feeder, which the three of them quarrel endlessly over. It’s not uncommon to see them impersonating their cousin the Flying Squirrel by leaping off of the bird feeder when challenged by one of their peers. They have a network of tunnels under the snow, so escape is never a problem. Their energy is endless, and it’s a bit like having dinner theatre out the window.
I hope you enjoy the winter photos below, and the antics of some neurotic squirrels!
It may be April Fool’s Day, but this is no joke — the results of the 2011 Equine Ideal Photo Contest were announced today, and “Spellbound” won 1st place in the Professional division of the Horse Human Portrait Category! I also received an honourable mention for “Windswept” in the Horse at Liberty category. Prior to this, I only knew that I had placed in the categories, not what the actual order was. While another great image won out in the People’s Choice public vote (thank you anyway to everyone who took the time to vote!), I am very pleased to have captured the attention of the experienced judges who chose the top category images.
You can see my winning image here; click on any of the categories to the left to see the other winners.
I have just returned from a week of exploring and planning in Kamloops, British Columbia. For those who don’t know, I am moving out there shortly. I have been thinking about moving to BC for about two years now, and since all of my worldly possessions are already packed up and in storage from when I was in New Zealand for three months, there’s no time like the present! I’ve chosen Kamloops for its great weather with mild winters, which will enable me to shoot more year-round, as well as its central location and bustling horse community. It will be a challenge to re-establish my business all over again, but I am looking forward to the new experiences. I will plan return trips a few times a year, so for my Albertan clients reading, don’t hesitate to get in touch. To my past, present, and future clients alike, thank you for your support!
In February, I entered three photos in the Professional Category of a contest sponsored by the Equine Photographer’s Network. Two of them were selected as finalists, making the top ten of their categories (“Horse Human Portrait” and “The Horse at Liberty”). In addition to this, there is a People’s Choice Award for the public’s favourite image, so have a look and if mine is your favourite, I would love it if you could vote for it. Mine are in row ten, “Spellbound” and “Windswept”, but as you can only vote once in the Professional category, I am aiming for “Spellbound” to win. You can also vote once in the Amateur category, so if you haven’t had your fill of stunning images, head over there too!
“Windswept”: This hardy mare and foal were braving the gusty spring winds near Glenwood, Alberta last year.
Click here to see all the photos and vote.
Please be sure to confirm your vote via the email receipt (check your Junk mail if you don’t see it in your Inbox!)
One of my stopovers on my way home from New Zealand was in Los Angeles (the others were Tahiti, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, if you’re curious!). There, my travel partner Juli and I stayed with a friend of hers, Christine. Christine has a beautiful warmblood mare, Lea, so we went out to visit her and take some photos. This was my first horse & rider shoot of the new year, and I couldn’t have asked for better models! Christine had a perma-smile on her face, and who wouldn’t, being around a sweet mare like Lea? Besides that, the mare should teach equine posing classes! There was hardly a photo in which she didn’t have an earnest expression with her ears pricked, and she held each “pose” with plenty of time for me to capture the shots I wanted. I swear I could hear her saying, “Did you get my good side?” To add to the perfection, there were cherry trees (or almond trees perhaps?) in bloom, which made for a beautiful backdrop.