top of page

Failure and Enthusiasm - My Take On Wild Horse Photography


I’ll admit it…I procrastinate. A lot. I also get distracted easily. Although I have clear vision of what I’d like to achieve with my wild horse photography, I often feel overwhelmed, and even afraid, of digging into the next project fearing that it won’t be “good enough” - the well-known artist’s struggle.

Something else…I’m “a bit picky.” I’m not willing to release new images unless they meet “my standards”, which takes us back to procrastination.

Let’s be transparent here. As the new year starts, I’m reminded of this ongoing struggle as it sometimes can get in the way of accomplishing goals. Does it sound familiar? Doing anything well, including being a fine art photographer, requires hard work and determination - and a lot of failure in the process.

I like Winston Churchill’s quote that says...

“Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Setting my wild horse photography goals for 2023 required me to go back to what I must achieve with my artwork (I will have to devote another newsletter to what I perceive as the difference between a photograph and fine art photography). It has been useful going back to the beginning - revisiting what I’m passionate about and narrowing my focus to what is most important - reminding myself that building a body of great work not only takes time, but also that everything I do must be true to the vision of what I’m trying to create.

The list below may be interesting to some who are either struggling with the creative process or to many of you who have greatly honored me by displaying my art in your homes and businesses. So this year my focus will continue to be:

  • Technical perfection A great piece of photographic art requires a great image, which starts with the technical expertise to produce the image. In equine photography, for example, this means being able to capture a unique split second in time with the right lighting, composition, depth of field, and shutter speed, to mention a few. Having those elements aligned “in camera” will help produce very large images, often required by collectors (I think of the 9 foot canvas piece produced for a collector last year).

  • Simplicity Less is more and minimalism is the artistic lens through which I work. Nothing should distract from the story being told and the emotion being conveyed. Some of my pet peeves include shadows that aren’t intentional, or the stray bush that makes its way into an image. Simplicity is hard - harder than one perceives - especially with wild life, as you can’t control the environment or predict where a great shot will develop.

a white colt blends within the light tall grass

"You fill up the frame with feelings, energy, discovery, and risk, and leave room enough for someone else to get in there."

- Joe Meyerowitz

  • Emotion One of the most gratifying comments I hear from my collectors is that they are drawn to my work because of the clear emotion conveyed. What is art if it does not move you somehow? Every image that bears my signature must convey a strong level of emotion. For those who know me, you know I’m an emotional person and my art should be a reflection of who I am.

  • Stories: Behind the image there must be a story - or space for one to be created by the viewer. Having studied photojournalism in college, I gravitate toward visual stories.

  • Transformation Meaning that if a photograph is going to be art, it must have some element of transformation. This can be achieved through composition, use of light and color - or lack thereof, etc. And an image must be transformative for the viewer, helping them to see or look at something in a new or different way. Many see a photograph of wild horses and have an immediate visceral reaction (more on this in another newsletter?) But, my vision goes beyond a photo journalistic approach (simply documenting what I see); my images should be transformative, causing the viewer to see, feel, and think differently. To wonder.

Well, that was therapeutic…

I sincerely thank each of you who are helping me to grow in my artistic pursuits through your kind words, those who consistently support my work, and those who have helped me with new opportunities. Please know that you are valued.

If any of this resonates, I’d love to hear from you!

All the best in the New Year!


P.S. Please forward/share this with anyone you believe will enjoy it. Thank You!


two framed picture of wild horses standing agains a table


Open Wed - Sat

11am - 4pm or by appointment

3705 Taylor Road | Loomis, CA 95650

wild horse photographer Maria Marriott displays a large canvas of one of her photographhs

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.


bottom of page