I had high hopes of putting together images from my favorite holiday cards, some of my favorite images from 2010 and other best of-type posts. And I might still, but in the meantime, here’s my animal epiphany of the year.
The horses I have photographed, until late last year, have always been props for kids. That has pretty much limited me to caring about open eyes and ears that are up and an interaction that reflects the child’s personality.
One of the things I love about photographing children is capturing who they are first and what they look like second. Photographing adults is different. Using myself as the example, I want a photographer to make me look amazing and then be sure to capture my personality.
In this image, I’ve taken a ribbon winning, gorgeous mare, and with the angle of the camera, shown her spunk, yes, but while simultaneously making her look like a donkey with a skinny neck and misshapen body. Cool image, maybe. But if I’m right, looks first. Personality second. I really failed here. And by the way, her owner would agree.
This is better. Handsome gelding, classic pose, ears up, neck looks neither to fat nor to thin. He doesn’t look unduly old. He doesn’t look tired. He does look sweet. Which he is. Looks first. Personality second.
By the way, I think that photographing dogs is more like photographing kids. Personality first. Looks second. This dog, shot at a similar angle to the “failed” image of the gelding above, is adorable. The owner didn’t look for flaws; maybe her neck looks a little heavy, her fur is puffed up from blowing in the wind and she looks a little tired from running around. But what her owner saw was her sweet, thoughtful, maybe even a little protective golden. Personality first. Looks second.