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From Heart to Art: What Goes Into Crafting Timeless Equine Portraits


black brown domestic horse

Photo Credit: Maria Marriott Photography


“He knows when you’re happy. He knows when you’re comfortable. He knows when you’re confident. And he always knows when you have treats.” - Author Unknown


The Soul of Equine Beauty


Horses possess an undeniable claim on the human imagination. As an artist who has had the privilege of photographing them for many years, I am constantly reminded of the profound connection shared between horse and human and compelled in my photographic art to portray what I believe to be the most beautiful of creatures.

In this blog, I discuss the process of crafting timeless equine portraits - a realm where heart meets art - the personalities and spirit of our equine companions transformed from digital equine fine art images into physical artwork that will stand the test of time.

Equine Art: A Collision of Photography and Horses


My journey into the world of equine portraiture began with an early passion for art, photography and horses. Throughout my childhood in Brazil, I was surrounded by beautiful artwork that my father collected - paintings and photography from Brazilian artists as well as sculptures and glasswork from France, another country he loved. These works helped to shape my artistic tastes and love of beauty.


black and white domestic horse

Photo Credit: Maria Marriott Photography


When my passions for photography and horses eventually collided, I embarked on a journey that led me to explore how to create photographic art that stirs emotions and provokes thought. What I have discovered over several years is that many of my collectors who own horses prefer to decorate their homes, at least in part, with photographic artwork that features their own animals.

The Medium: A Convergence of Art and Soul


In my process, images are first captured digitally - usually taking my mobile studio to the client’s location. This is a carefully orchestrated process requiring studio lighting to create just the right effect necessary for high quality portraits.

After a portrait session, I spend many hours curating and editing the images. The final step is to create physical artwork - artistic pieces that do justice to the legacy of each horse and are as much at home in a gallery as in a living room.

When it comes to presenting such portraits, I believe the choice of medium is paramount. Metal and framed archival paper are my preferred mediums, each possessing the ability to transform an image into an artistic physical form.

For metal pieces, the process of dye sublimation on aluminum ensures that the inks become one with the metal, preserving the portrait's permanence and protecting it from the passage of time.

Alternatively, the framed fine art paper medium holds its own allure. Utilizing archival quality papers and inks, the portraits come to life with a depth and richness that demands attention. The use of acid-free materials in gallery framing further safeguards the artwork, ensuring it remains a faithful representation of your horse for generations.


The Intrinsic Worth


As an equine portrait artist, the true value of my work lies in the intangible emotions it evokes. As Cezanne said, “A work of art that isn’t based on feeling isn’t art at all.”

Having been a horse owner myself, I understand the depth of love and adoration that equestrians invest in their beloved companions - and the affection and trust received in return. Many times, this relationship has solidified as a multi-layered emotional journey over many years.


white domestic horse face close up

Photo Credit: Maria Marriott Photography


Really, it is impossible to put a price on the bond between horse and a human, the unspoken communication, the emotional healing… It is why I take so much care to faithfully portray the unique personality of each horse, drawing out the personality, the emotional chords, and stories from a years-long relationship of trust.

This is the intrinsic value of an artistically-conceived equine portrait: the narratives of a lifetime captured in a single unique moment.

“The results were simply stunning - Maria has a true gift for capturing and transferring both the grace and strength of a horse in photographic images with unimaginable clarity and detail. Her talent, experience and expertise were evident through the entire process - from the use of the lighting during the photo shoot, to the editing and the printing - she ensures that the final results are breathtaking." - Margaret K.

I love working with my commissioned portrait clients to create works of art that will not only memorialize your equine companion, but will make a statement about your artistic aesthetic. I’ve been honored by clients that have chosen to feature my work in their homes and offices throughout the world. And I would love to add you and your horse to this circle of friends and collectors.

I invite you to visit my portfolio of equine fine art portraits and read what past clients have said about my work. I also invite you to explore the hidden world of the American wild horses through the collections of fine art horse photographs in my online gallery.

Crafting timeless equine portraits is a labor of love stemming from my passion and desire to use my gifts to highlight the beauty of creation around us.


For more details on my commissioned equine portraits, feel free to reach out.

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