When I discovered the world of horses, my whole world changed. Up to that point I had been a teacher at our local community college and involved in competitive athletics. I studied human anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, sports psychology, nutrition, and human play as a graduate student at the University of Oregon. And then it happened; I went on vacation with my friend and rode a horse on the beaches of Kauai.
I came home, started taking riding lessons. That lead to me getting my first horse, which lead to my second horse, my third horse…. and that meant I needed to find a place for all of us to live together. My family and dogs moved from the city to a 77-acre grass seed farm just outside Eugene, Oregon. The property became a place to study photography with the same vigor I pursed my graduate school program.
What I knew about people began to transfer to what I learned about horses. My camera became a way for me to get to know the movement and spirit of my horses and their friends. I learned to feel their rhythm with my camera. What I have seen watching horses interact with each other and their environment continues to inspire me, as does the beauty with which they move. The power of their spirit is enticing. I am a student of motion; even a portrait requires catching a look in the horse’s eye or the movement of the ear to create the desired impression. The more I learned about photographing horses, the more I wanted to photograph the others who interacted with them. And as I roamed about my property with my camera in hand searching for a story to tell, my dogs were at my side. When the horses were not interested in participating in my practice sessions, the dogs stepped in to help.
Photos of animals and people tell stories that induce deep emotional responses within us ranging from reflections of yesterday to hopes for tomorrow. As a photographer, I my goal is to capture the elusive moments that demonstrate the essence of each individual personality whether at play, at work, relaxing, or interacting with others.
Photography for me is about giving people a piece of happiness.
To see more of my photography, check out my website Dashingtails.com