photo by Sarah Parker photography
Art has always been a huge part of my life. Let me fill you in. My mother and both grandmothers, and one of my aunts are talented artists. Musical instruments, paints, pastels, pencils, papers, brushes on brushes have always been within reach. During high school, I loved to skip lunch and hang out in the art room where I used as much clay as they'd give me and make ceramic gifts for my family. I was president of the National Art Honors Society. Somehow, though, art was going to sit on the back burner for a few years as I went on to college.
Horses took center stage for most of my life, from before I can remember remembering I have lived horses. Mom says it started when I was an infant strapped in a car seat placed in front of an antique Chinese dressing screen depicting a scene of horses on hills. When I wasn't riding, I was drawing horses, playing with model horses, daydreaming of horses. I became aware of my enormous economic conundrum right before I left for college: if you have a career that can support horses, you probably won't have time for horses. So naturally, the career I chose was horses. Have you ever had a farm? Let me tell you...there is about zero time for anything other than hard work. Needless to say, a young new entrepreneur with a horse farm didn't have much time for art. I suppose you could even say when "art" went away for a bit, horses were my art. And truth be told, I always had a great camera or video camera and fell in love with photography a little bit at a time on that horse farm.
Flash forward to one of the hardest decisions of my life: choosing motherhood and all its hard(er) work and huge rewards over the farm. Business and motherhood had started to clash. Tears. I gave my business to a trusted friend and walked away from it to spend time with my children.
I don't regret it.
Children happened to be just what this artist needed to come back to life. These little ones have inspired woodworking, learning kids songs on my guitar, getting ready for ceramics again with the gateway drug, play-dough. They have insisted on my photography skills improving to the point that I can catch a 95mph smile in the middle of a temper tantrum.
At some point, I decided I needed to photograph other peoples' children...mine had had enough. At some point, I realized that my life spent with horses has given me a huge advantage in photographing the connection between horse and human, and capturing the millisecond of that expression that is so uniquely YOUR horse. At some point I discovered that I come alive and thoroughly enjoy photographing people being with their people, people celebrating an occasion or event. And I know now how much I treasure good photography. Photographs are our beautiful windows to the past, and I don't think you can put a price tag on that.
If you have read or even skimmed this far, I wish I could reach through the screen and give you this gold medal that I just made out of play dough. Just kidding. Sort of.