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A day in the world of Horses

A portrait of people behind Polo


 

 

Back in June I got the opportunity to work with a great group of people. It was a Polo Club based in the heart of Berkshire. It was nothing like I had ever expected. This place was not the normal polo club. It was like ten clubs all in one place.

With over 40 horses in the farm, they provided horses to many professional players, clubs and schools. You had the horses divided into all these categories: The best horses would be used by the owner, Mariano, and his two sons, Segundo and Tani. They would be hired out only to the best players as they were too strong for lower lever players. These horses would play the match for you, that’s how good they were. At the time of exercising them, only the most experienced grooms would ride them.

Then you had the ones most players could hire, which were brilliant nevertheless but at the same time were more relaxed and not so nervous to handle.

And last but not least, they had the “school horses”. They were the semi retired polo ponies which were great to get up to speed with your riding and polo skills.

During the day there would always be time for a “mate” and everyone would sit down and pass this traditional Argentine tea around and share their stories. it was the time to look at the white board with a schedule that was hand written by Mariano. He would come to the farm every day and organise the day on this board with clinical accuracy. from what horse had to exercise, to which one went where, medicines, specific food rations depending on performance, vet visits and check which one needed new shoes.

The team was great, these chaps would be up working from as early as 4:00 AM and you would see them still finishing things off at 11:00 PM. As time went by I realised how involved and diverse the work was. Each horse had a different character, fitness, habits. you had to know the horse you were getting on. It wasn’t just a matter of getting on and ride. Put the wrong bit on them and you would be in for a surprise.

Whenever I had time, I would be with my camera in hand to witness this world, which is so different from the every day job.

During one of these chats we usually had, Mariano rightly said ” This is not a job, this is a way of life”. If you think of it as a job, you won’t last a week on it.

The images I managed to get reflect the beauty of these magnificent creatures, the work that each person does on an every day basis, and the lovely relationship these chaps have with what they call “their horses”. From the farrier to the vet, players and grooms, they all have given me not just amazing portraits, but also an incredible insight and learning curve into the life of a Polo Club and hopefully some new friendships.

Portrait Photo Shoot

Portrait Photo Session

A few days ago I had the chance to do a portrait shoot for this lovely couple. They only had one day available for this and the forecast was promising rain and more rain. With that in mind I prepared myself and my equipment to stay as dry as I possibly could. Yes, I was shooting regardless the weather.

I found a beautiful location in Hambleden, a small and very old village next to Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. I got a call letting me know they were running half an hour late. By the time of the call, it was raining heavily and I was thinking options, optimistically looking at the skies and hoping for help. It took them about 45 minutes to arrive, but it stopped raining 10 minutes before they got here.

The skies opened up almost by magic and we stuck to the original plan and locations. We managed to shoot all the images we wanted to do and as we were packing up, it started to rain again and it did not stop until the following day. I guess it was meant to be and the timing couldn’t have been any better. And we had fun too.

 

It’s all about ART

You can find it and make art out of anything. Here are just a few images from my Art section. Some are finished projects, some are ongoing and new projects. You never know exactly how it starts until you see that one image and you develop from there. Landscapes, cityscapes and some lovely portraits. New project coming up. Some of you will soon hear from me.

 

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Corporate Portraits . UK Photography

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I had the chance to get to shoot a more natural kind of Corporate Portrait with this client. They wanted me to combine the natural light from the London skyline with a clean cut image of themselves. They were really happy with the results

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These Corporate images were taken for Supranatural Hotels. They wanted a neutral background adding some character with the lighting.

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These Corporate shots were taken in Central London for Private Equity Africa Magazine, who were writing an article on some great Corporate Buyout. Amazing what one can achieve when they just give you 15 minutes to set up and shoot.