Equine Photographers Retreat— Wellington, Florida

I’m so glad I took advantage of the opportunity to attend the first Equine Photographers Retreat in Florida in early March, right before the world turned upside down! I was able to visit my daughter and her husband for a few days and visit with my darling new granddaughter, Ivy!
I flew home on March 9th, which is a time we were aware the virus was out there but there was no quarantine yet or any panic.

But back to the retreat, I’m sure we’ve had more than enough conversations about the pandemic!

It was a full three days at a mansion near the horse capital of Wellington, Florida. I had never been there and it was a great location and the weather was lovely! Each attendee chose the courses they wanted to take with an array of well-known instructors.

I had a variety of classes from black backgrounds, social media, posing the horse and rider, high school seniors, and finding your creativity.
I got to learn from the amazing April Visel, Giana Terranova, Shelley Paulson, and many more! I also got to chat a little bit with equine photographers from around the country and the world! My first connection was with an amazing photographer and Gypsy Vanner breeder from Australia, Rachel Flynn. We arrived a day early and explored West Palm Beach a little bit.

On one of the evenings we drove almost two hours away to Fort Pierce, a lovely beach on the Florida coast. We were met there by a pretty Andalusian mare, Rhapsody. She was a bit unsure and hadn’t really been to the beach before. The model was Morgan Moore, a stunning Arabian horse breeder and very skilled horsewoman. She had never met the mare before and she did a great job. There were a couple mishaps and Morgan hurt her hand when the mare took off, as well as a fall or two in the water, but she was such a trooper and hung in there until the end.

You can’t tell from the pictures, but there were around 20 photographers all grouped together shooting at the same time! That takes a bit of getting used to, the hardest part is not being able to connect with or direct the model. I was still excited for the chance to photograph a horse in the ocean, and got some great shots!
I was hoping to attend a workshop with April in Solvang, California, in the fall but I’m not sure if that will be happening or not.
I am truly excited to recreate this look in the northern California ocean or northern Nevada lakes!

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Mother/Daughter Beauty Session- The Ultimate Experience

Laurie and Chanelle are two of the sweetest, kindest, and most beautiful ladies in Reno! Laurie owns Center Stage, which is a staging company, and Chanelle is a talented esthetician. Chanelle is amazing at hair and makeup too, so she was able to create these fabulous looks! This is such a great gift to give the mother, daughter, or grandmother in your life. When she has everything, this is something no one else can give, and means the world to her forever!
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Glamorous Horses!

If there was any breed to photograph in a glamour style, the Gypsy Vanner comes to the top of the list! Baby doll faces with soft and dark eyes, the longest dreamy manes and tails, and feathery legs. They all combine to make a truly stunning horse, and come in a variety of colors. This one is a gorgeous silver dapple mare, Yente. She is owned by Heavenly Grace Ranch in Yuba City, CA. We traveled there on a very smokey day to photograph some young models, but everyone canceled at the last minute. Since we had come some distance and stayed overnight in our trailer, the great owners of the ranch, Kelly and Pat, gathered up their young ranch hands, found some costumes and did their makeup and hair. For a spur of the moment session, I was pretty thrilled with the results! Alicia and Helen were great little models, as were Yente and Sequoia, the horse models.
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Romantic Ranch Wedding

Bride and Horse
Bride and Horse

I was a wedding photographer for a couple decades before I decided to completely focus on portraits, and spend my weekends camping and with my husband and animals!

But when my good friend Morgan announced her engagement, and told me about her plans for her wedding, I just had to be a part of it!  Her Paint gelding, Forest, has been in her life for over 10 years, since he was a yearling, and it was important to her that he play a role in her special day.  And he definitely didn’t disappoint, he was a total gentleman, and carried the beautiful bride sidesaddle across the pasture and to her waiting family at the ceremony.  We also got some lovely portraits as sunset fell upon the wedding day and the family ranch.  Of course, most of the photos I took didn’t include Forest, but I wanted to share the ones that did for this post!  It was worth making an exception to photograph this event, it turned out perfectly!  There was a threat of rain, and they would have been so disappointed to move everything indoors after they had worked for months to make the ranch an awesome venue, so thankfully it stayed dry and went off without a hitch!  Congratulations to Morgan and Colt!

Active Family poses in the park

I photographed this attractive and very active family during a school holiday week.  That was a rare time where they had fewer practices, games, and events!  Molly is the youngest– she performed in Miracle on 34th Street for many weeks in a row this winter!  She has also attended theater camp in New York City, is very active in dance, and loves to sing!  Nathan loves to play baseball, and has played on a traveling team for some time.  Kyra is an avid runner like her parents, and competes in cross country.  She is a senior at Reno High!

 

The kids

The Family

The Hunsberger parents are very busy too!  Kurt is an attorney practicing in Reno, and Dina writes grants among many other professional endeavors.  She is also an amazing yogi!

Another family pose