"PLEASE - CONSIDER ME A DREAM." - Franz Kafka
Dawn was just breaking in the Great Basin Desert. They first arrived one by one, appearing from within the fog, as if a beautiful thick white curtain was slowly parting. Eventually the sound of hooves broke the silence - the rest of the herd was coming down the mountain to water.
No matter how many times I've witnessed this, it still feels surreal.
This month I had the honor to be recognized twice by the Prix de la Photography competition in Paris - an Honorable Mention in the Professional Wild Life category for the series "Within Dust and Fog" and Bronze in the Professional Nature/Domestic Animals for the "Gatsby" series.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF CHALLENGE
When I first thought about creating fine art equine images in a studio setting, shooting a series like "Gatsby" was a goal. Finally events aligned to make the shoot a reality and he was perfect - this magnificent Friesian horse, surrounded by stands, strobes, and huge soft boxes gave everything he had.
Creating artistic images of different domestic breeds in a studio presents its own set of challenges. While in the wild, my goal is to capture images that document the freedom, relationships and resilience of the American mustangs - images that will transport you to a world most will never get to see. We are at nature's mercy - light, subject, circumstances in general - and so shooting in the wild requires much patience and commitment.
Creating fine art equine images in a "studio" requires a different set of skills. Patience is still a given, as we are working with animals who have minds of their own. But the challenges with light are different, requiring a thorough understanding of how artificial light works - not to mention understanding the unique behaviors of these magnificent creatures in order to bring out each horse's personality.
I'm truly honored to be recognized in these two categories amongst the other talented photographers by the Prix de la Photography. And knowing that people all over the world are able to see a bit of the American Wild Horses through my images is the big cherry on the ice cream sundae.
An equestrian for most of her life, Maria combines her passion for horses with her art and the desire to bring public awareness to the American wild horses. Maria Marriott Photography is a proud supporter of several non-profit organizations that tirelessly work to ensure the well-being of the American mustangs.