Hello there! You may be wondering who this “man behind the camera” is and why he’s relevant to anything on this blog. Well, the truth is, I am the man behind the camera. A city boy venturing into the equestrian world, camera in-hand.
Backtrack a little over a year ago and ask me how to pick a horse’s feet, tack up a horse, or set up a jump course and you would probably get a blank stare. Immediately followed by a prolonged “uhh…what?” If you asked me what a halter was my response would most likely be “an article of clothing.” Clearly I was very knowledgeable in the category.
Somewhere along my journey I met a wonderful girl who completely flipped my world upside-down. She just happened to be…an equestrian. *dramatic music* Normally when a guy starts dating a girl he must pass the best friend test. My test was a little different, her best friend had four legs, weighed about 1,500 pounds and could easily kill me if he didn’t like me. No pressure, right? Armed with a pocket full of peppermints, a few carrots, and an apple or two I think the meeting went well.
Growing up with a sibling who was allergic to everything under the sun meant that we never had any pets/animals. Needless to say I was a little nervous around Ax. Who am I kidding? I was terrified of him. It was like learning to run before I could walk. I guess when you’re thrown into the deep end of the pool you have no choice but to swim.
One day I was asked to take some pictures of Ax galloping through the snow in his paddock and to my surprise they came out pretty good. It was the first thing I was good at while at the barn. The only thing I could do right without having to worry about messing up. From that moment on, the camera traveled with us to the barn.
Of course only the good pictures make it to B&BS but there are easily thousands of pictures that didn’t make the cut (each ride produces hundreds of photos). My philosophy for getting the perfect shot is to take as many pictures as possible. One of them is bound to be decent! At first it was just a way to keep busy while at the barn but now I genuinely enjoy using the camera. I have no problem walking miles through a state park, running through an open field to get optimal lighting, or standing in a freezing show ring for hours just to watch her ride for five minutes. Her smile is my reward and it makes it all worth it.
As long as she’s around in her breeches and boat shoes, I’ll be right behind her with my camera.
-The man behind the camera, JGL