All portraits tell a story.
Here is the deal. This picture of a horse, it's not my specialty. I've never ridden a horse. I usually shoot people. On this day, I had received my first lens-a 50mm 1.8. I had been working with my kit lens (the one that comes with the camera), and I had begun my first course on how to shoot in manual mode. It blew my mind and I couldn't wait to practice.
I was taking my daughter swimming at a friend's house. They live in the country next to a house with horses. I took my camera and new lens hoping to get some decent practice with my new lens and training. When I walked over to the fence, I could see the animals were in the building, but I didn't know if they would come out. So I whistled and this guy stuck his head out.
I don't know why I love it so much. Maybe it was because he looked right at me. Maybe because it gave me confidence in my abilities. Maybe it was because he came out and walked right over to me and put his head over the fence so that I could pet him and feed him some grass. I was so in awe of him, I didn't realize that three other horses had come out. I didn't even see this shot until I came home and put everything on the computer.
This shot taught me framing, patience, and a lot of editing. If I still had the original (rookie mistake), I would show you the side by side. On the door to the left, you can see white feet. Another horse was on that side but I couldn't get him to face me. So I darkened that doorway as much as I could so you wouldn't be distracted by the animal behind. Also, I didn't think the picture would be as lovely with piles of poop. So I learned how to clean that up. Then, because the horse was my main focus, I needed to see him better. It was pretty dark in there so I had to learn how to lighten him up.
I wanted to thank the people who owned the horse for my experience with their beloved animal. I framed the picture and gave it to my friend to give to them. Come to find out, this horse is special to them. The owner's father owned a stable and had passed away sometime in the last year. They had spent a lot of time trying to find homes for 76 horses that he owned. And they kept a couple. This was one of them, he was one of their favorites. The best part-they want me to come out and take pictures of each of their horses. I can't wait!
When I decided I wanted to do portrait photography, it was because I loved telling these stories about people and their personalities. I didn't know, when I was taking the picture of this horse, the meaning he had to his owners. But there is a story everywhere!