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Creating Lifelong Memories with Fine Art Horse Portraits

brown domestic horse

Photo Credit: Maria Marriott Photography

"You and your horse. His strength and beauty. Your knowledge and patience and determination and understanding and love. That’s what fuses the two of you into this marvelous partnership that makes you wonder… ‘What can heaven offer any better then what I have here on earth?’" - Monica Dickens

Over the past several years, I have had the distinct privilege and honor of photographing horses in equine portrait sessions and turning these moments into timeless works of art. Through a unique approach to equine portraits, I've discovered a way to encapsulate the personality, strength, and beauty of domestic horses into personal artistic statements.

A Glimpse into My Journey

Growing up surrounded by nature's splendor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I began riding at an early age and horses became integral to my life. Their elegance and strength, as well as the emotional healing horses can provide, left an indelible mark on me and fostered a deep appreciation. Over time, this affinity and my training in photojournalism led me into the world of equine photography, where I realized that, through the lens, I could capture emotions and tell stories

Equine Portraits: The Epitome of Expression

Equine portraits, technically and artistically executed, are capable of becoming a compelling narrative showcasing one’s personal taste.

The discipline of equine photography is fascinating. Each image is the representation of an absolutely unique moment in time, which will never be exactly duplicated. The challenge is in how to ensure that each image tells a story.

side profile of a brown horse

Photo Credit: Maria Marriott Photography

There are two primary techniques I use to infuse an image with a narrative: composition and lighting. Each horse naturally displays their unique personality at most times, but it is my job as a professional equine photographer to draw that out and focus the attention on it.

I often crop or frame an image in a certain way to draw attention to the uniqueness of a horse - their personality displayed in the eye and their strength through an elegant curve of the neck or body.

I know a portrait session has been successful when my clients tell me that the images perfectly capture the personality of their horses. This means I’ve infused both emotion and story into the images.

“Painting” with Light

I have accepted commissioned equine portrait work that runs the gamut. But one of my favorite treatments is photographing against a pure black or white background. And the reason for this approach - I want nothing to distract from the subject.

light falling on the face of a brown domestic horse

Photo Credit: Maria Marriott Photography

If we’ve nailed the light, and the background is not a distraction, the viewer is drawn to the elements that I’ve focused on to portray emotion and tell the story.

The Process: Creating Lasting Treasures

Turning high quality images into fine art horse portraits suitable for clients’ homes, or even a gallery, is the next step in a meticulous process that demands attention to detail and dedication to perfection. Two mediums that I frequently use to produce equine art pieces are metal and framed archival fine art paper.

For metal pieces, the process involves dye sublimation on aluminum. Unlike simply affixing a print to aluminum, this method infuses inks into an aluminum sheet through a process of heat transfer. The result is a piece that boasts permanence and protection, with vivid colors.

Framed fine art paper, on the other hand, embraces the classical elegance of the medium. We utilize archival papers and inks, producing most of our artwork in-house, ensuring that the final pieces will withstand the test of time. Use of museum-quality materials helps prevent fading, ensuring the portrait remains as vivid and sharp as the day it was created. A skilled framer then meticulously crafts the framing treatment using acid-free materials, putting the finishing touches on your equine artwork.

an equine portrait placed on living room wal

Photo Credit: Maria Marriott Photography

The Soul of Your Horse

Having been a horse owner, I understand the strong bond between horse and human companion. It's a bond that words struggle to capture, but through the lens, those emotions and personalities tell a story.

A recent California client, BJ LeMaster, explains, “Maria is not only a master of wild horse photography, her eye for the artistic, the outstanding, and the brilliant emotions in her portrait settings are absolutely second to none. Every single image she chooses for you is breathtaking. It is the soul of your horse."

Embrace the Journey

Just as no two horses are alike, no two equine portraits are the same. Each piece I create is a labor of love, a fusion of artistic vision and heartfelt emotion.

I encourage you to review my portfolio and consider embarking on this artistic journey with me by visiting


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