Friday, August 1, 2008

A Day in the Life of an Arabian Horse Breeder Photo Shoot - Part 4

Part 1

Let me start off with I have Johnny Johnston's permission to post my proofs here on my blog. So don't anyone worry I am in violation of his copyright.

Ok, before we get off in sixteen zillion other directions about photos and my Arabian horses, I like to share some of the other aspects of taking pictures with professional photographers............and particularly those with big name reputations like Johnny Johnston.

First off for me Johnny Johnston is such a legend in the industry having him photograph my horses at least once in my lifetime is a big deal. I've had a chance to meet the legend himself and understand more some of the things I've heard. I won't be wondering the rest of my life what it would be like if.............I now have a frame of reference and there's nothing wrong with that.

Also there is the fact that having his name appear on my horse's pictures actually gives my horses some credibility in this difficult to navigate industry. Not to mention that having the likes of Johnny Johnston tell others that I have some incredible horses sure can't hurt my aspirations to build by reputation as a breeder of outstanding horses. Rubbing elbows with Johnny Johnston gives me credibility and there can be other perks.

After photographing Storm, Johnny Johnston quizzed me about why I would ever want to sell such a beautiful horse. When I told him it was because I own 28 Arabian horses and they are all this same quality, he understood. Then he asked me about who I had helping me sell my horses. When he found out I didn't have help, he got on the phone and called a friend of his who just happens to be an agent who sells horses to Europe, the Middle East, South Africa and South America.

I have spoken with this agent and he's going to see if he can't help me to get some horses marketed. Currently he's waiting on pictures from the photo shoot. Nothing may come of this, but I won't know unless I try and making this contact sure can't hurt.

Johnny says the man is expensive but worth it. What I know is horses sold in those markets go for good prices. Getting what my horses are worth instead of having to practically give them away would definitely be a plus.

Then there were the times in between taking pictures where Johnny Johnston shared some of the stories of his life. He's known some horses personally that I have only heard about or seen in pictures. Getting to hear personal stories of some of these great horses is worth its weight in gold to me.

One horse in particular is the great Khemosabi. Johnny Johnston has photographed this great horse many many times. Johnny Johnston is one of those people with his own personal take on Khemosabi and his personality. I am really looking forward to hearing his comparison of my horse, Scandalous Reflection, and the great horse he personifies.

Johnny Johnston has already seen a glimpse of Reflection and is totally smitten by him. However, once the horse is turned loose for the camera, I expect the "real magic" will happen. If the photographer can't get the horse out of his mind now just because of his incredible eye, I can only imagine the huge fan Johnny Johnston will be by the time we are done.

If Reflection should strike Johnny Johnston the same way that he has affected other people who have known the great Khemosabi, this could give me a boost to building a reputation for Reflection. I can't imagine that someone who likes to talk as much as Johnny Johnston would not spread the word about this horse if the horse "speaks" to him of the great legend.

Then there were the lessons on the POS cameras of the others at the shoot. Johnny Johnston looked at each person's camera and showed them what setting to use to shoot their horses and all kinds of great things. I only regret that my camera is currently broken. It looks like I broke the LCD screen. But I can assure you after spending only one day with the man I have a much better understanding of my camera than I did before. Not that I have anything that will help me yet, but I have a starting point, which I sure didn't have before. It was point and shoot just as the name says. If it didn't work that way it didn't work. Now I have an idea of what features to look for in my manual and what I should expect. Now if I can just get a camera that works.

So all in all, this time spent with Johnny Johnston has been very interesting. It has had its up and its downs. The man may be eccentric but I'm pretty sure there are those who would say the same about me. I can deal with the bumps because none of us is perfect........and this trip has been worth it to me. I have found the man more enjoyable and helpful than frustrating and I guess for me it evens out. Not to mention that we have one thing in common and that would be our great passion about Arabian horses. It's not often I get to met anyone quite as outgoingly passionate on the subject as I am.

If I could go back I would do it all over again...........well, I guess I am going to go back although we've been cancelled for tomorrow and moved to Sunday hoping for clear skies. This time I will take my really cheap back up camera to see what Johnny can teach me. I'll hope that he can capture the picture I really want of me riding Legs and that Reflection steals his heart.

Also, I think I forgot to mention that Johnny Johnston is thinking he might come to my open house in Sept. I'm really hoping that he does because it would be interesting to see what kind of pictures he could take under those circumstances AND because he'd get to see ALL of my Arabian horses. I'm pretty sure if he's impressed with the three he has seen so far, that seeing all 28 of them would really blow him away. So stay's bound to be an adventure!

Here I more of the proofs from Storm's shoot. I think I got 40 pictures in all. I still need to print them out so I can look at them side by side to decide which I like best. The color of the horse in these pictures is probably pretty darn close to Storm's real color in case anyone is wondering.

Also I've gotten the some pictures of Chuck Kraft's work with Killer/Khriminal and I will post those tomorrow.

The Second Weekend

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  1. I actually like these proofs better than the day befores. Especially the second one.

  2. Of these proofs, I like 3 and 5 the best, for straight-on profiles.
    Storm is gorgeous overall and has an awesome tail! I hope you get the photos you are looking for that help promote your guys and your breeding program. You deserve it! :)

  3. Firtsly I admit that I know nothing about equine photography so this is just my personal preference. I love the head shots. Probably because of the contrast of the horse against the un-busy background.

    And of course he's a truly beautiful horse. If that's him being bored, what's he like when he's interested??????????

  4. You are right, everyone has their good and bad points, and will be viewed differently by people. Some people say I'm too loud whilst others say I'm quiet. Can't please 'em all!!

  5. Aaaah, Bad girl, you have all your fans jumping to your defense and indignant that sojmeone could treat you that way and then whack you hit us with the positive side LOL. Tut tut LOL.

    This would be truly exciting if he follows through and if something comes of his contact and him coming to the open house.

    Okay Johnny you got off the hook on this one but you better treat our MiKael right or you will have us all on your back in her defense.

    Hoping to go riding this afternoon if it doesnt get too hot. Got an inch of rain last night.

  6. Oh, how exciting!
    The approval from a "great" is something we all would only dream of! How exciting!!!
    And, YES, don't we do some pretty silly 'audition' our horses for just the right farrier. My husband thought I was nuts, saying "Oh, come don't need to pay that much" and "if he won't do them you can just find someone else!" I patiently explained why we do exactly what we do and wished sometimes that it was as simple as 'just find another one!'.
    Oh, by the way...I really do like the pics! I can see why he is great at what he does. These images do not show the bored, busy, indifferent youngster you spoke of!

  7. Well now...that makes all the difference in the world. Knowing that he actually took the time to talk to you a.n.d. loved your horses makes it easier to understand why you tolerated the yelling and such-LOL.

    No offense, but the Arabian world(and a few other breeds)sure have their fair share of "eccentric" people. Of course the QH world has its fair share of boring, uninteresting people. Personally, I have always preferred eccentric to boring. ;)

  8. Being an artist myself I can say that many are eccentric individuals - that is often what makes them great and um difficult. It seems like you are getting great pics of your horses as well as many other perks - It looks like this man is teaching you a lot. can't wait to see more pics of your glorious horses.

  9. I'm still on the view that you should have walked away. I would have. No amount of networking is worth letting anyone connected to the breed be viewed in that light. Sure everyone has their good and bad points. I do.

    I hear it all the time: Arabians and thier people are crazy (both), hard to train(horses), rude(people), dangerous (both), nothing special (both), deceptive (people), and I'll stay far, far away from them.

    But this breed is in enough trouble, its viewed horribly enough by non-Arabian people, that to let anyone treat you like that is supporting those views.

    If we want to change how the Arabian horse is looked at by people, we all need to take a stand and start somewhere. It's only acceptable if we let it be. It will only continue if we let it be.

    I saw no mention of an apology from him towards you. Had he acted like that with me and then apologized.. I might have let it slide.

    I'm glad you're making connections and I'm glad Johnny likes your horses. I've seen some of his pictures and he is good. His people skills need work. I'm not seeing good pics from this shoot, not his usual pics.

    What I'm seeing is a dime a dozen. I'm just seeing a horse. I am not seeing 'the' horse. They're just blah pics, no personality of the horse in those pics at all. Nothing to set him aside from the 5,000 others out there for sale. These pics, so far, don't show the individual, just a horse. They're flat and still dark, and still off.

    Hopefully, he'll be able to capture the essense of your horses tomorrow. Otherwise, they're just a pic of horse and there are millions of them out there. Good luck. I think I'd stick to my Nikon and my 5000 shots to get a good one.

  10. How exciting that he could give you some names of some dealers and that he might be coming to your open house. Even more exciting is his initial impression of Reflection. I hope the shoot goes well tomorrow. All the getting ready and waiting will be worth it.

  11. I cant make up my mind on which on I like best-- they are all lovely! I do love the one with you in it too- hope you frame and hang that one in your home.

    This is so exciting for you MiKael!!! Will keep fingers crossed and prayers going for you!!!

  12. I like #2 and #5... and, as you probably know, they will look better in print than they do on the screen!

    O.K.... hearing this side of the story I'll have to forgive the man. We are all a little eccentric, and if he loved your horses I can see giving a little and putting up with a little :)

  13. Yesterday we were ready to hurt the man for you and now you have painted a different picture for us! I'm glad he did take the time to talk with you and help you. Hoping that works out for you.

    I do like these pics better than yesterday's though.

    Keep us posted!

  14. I like 2 and 5 the best here though the background is a bit too dark to show off his color well.

  15. Sounds like you had a great session and Mr. Johnson must have had some great stories to tell.

    I hope that something comes of the contact he gave you to help market your horses - I think this is a GREAT idea, and it is great that he is coming with a recommendation. Downsizing a bit seems good for you at this time (only if you are comfortable with the buyers, of course). Then you'd have a wee bit more time to enjoy your horses - you work so hard!

    Let us know what happens, we all wish you the best.

    Please give us an update on the young lady that broke her leg - I'm so sorry that happened, and I hope that she is recovering and her horse is doing well.

    Hang in there. Can't wait to hear about today's photo session! Kay

  16. Love the action shots!
    I can not imagine working with a picky photographer! But I am glad you had the experience and the networking and contacts to market your horses.
    Say, I think you should round up some bloggers to take pics of your horses. I have seen some amateur horsey blogger photos out that are just simply amazing!!! ;)