Spirit and grace in motion 68727_StaatsA year ago I was asked by a friend to photograph she and her horse.  On a sun-soaked evening we spent a couple of hours in the presence of a wonderful Arabian horse named Diamonds.  When I showed the images to my friend she was unable to decide which one image she wanted to use as a framed print.  Within a few weeks she asked me if I would help her put together a book of the images.  Over the past months we crafted a book that tells the story of the relationship between this horse and rider; from over 15 years ago when she got Diamonds, through the four seasons with photographs she had collected, to the present time and the images I took that summer evening.  We included the horse’s registration papers and the reminiscences that she has of their adventures over the years.  The book was printed in a 12×12″ size.  We used full-page photographs as well as groupings of small details, allowing the story to come alive on the pages.  Today I delivered the book to her.  Slowly she went through each page, lingering over the images and the many memories they have shared.  The book has allowed her to collect in one place and put to page this wonderful story that she can now share with her friends and treasure for years.  As the sun was filtering through the trees, I made this image by panning as they rode by, capturing their fluidity and grace.  We included the photograph in the book with a quote by Sharon Ralls Lemon that sums up this horse and rider’s relationship — “The essential joy of being with horses is that is brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.”

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