As I get to know people and their stories, I sometimes just have the desire to photograph them. Julia was one of those people – and luckily she was game and agreed to pose for a mini session with me. To be honest, I would have wished for better circumstances: The afternoon sun was high and bright and the light harsh, we only had about 15 minutes, and Ruby, Julia’s equine partner for the session, was not excited about the prospect of posing at all. Despite everything, we managed to create a few moments of magic.
I think we all know this feeling when we meet a stranger and just click with them. When I met Julia, this was exactly what happened. Julia works and lives at the Banti-Cow Ranch, that amazing paradise which I introduced in my last blog. She is living the secret dream that so many of us that lost their heart to horses have, spending every day riding and caring for the horses.
Julia spent her teenage years losing he heart to a number of horses, hacking across the fields, chasing the sunsets and spending wonderful moments with them just to have them sold from underneath her. I think most us equestrians know this kind of pain. Julia did what most horsey girls do when they have their heart broken and grow up: She went into a career that was reliable and stable but had to put horses on the back burner for a while.
It was not until she was introduced to Pat Parelli, natural horsemanship and western riding that she felt she had found her place in the horse world. She gave up her job in a dermatologist's practice to chase her dream and she is definitely a cowgirl at heart: She works hard, but always with a smile on her face and her laid back attitude works wonders on both horses and the children that she looks after during the holiday camps. My boyfriend also only had the best to say about her as a thorough but understanding riding instructor during our stay.
Julia does not have a horse of her own yet so she chose one of her favourite ranch horses. Her equine partner for the session was a beautiful bay American Quarter Horse mare called Ruby. Ruby is as calm as Quarter Horses come, but unfortunately for us that means she wasn’t fazed by any of the tricks in my repertoire. As I was jumping up and down, stomping my feet, squealing like a squeaky toy and doing my best impressions of a whinny – much to Julia’s amusement - Ruby was just chilling with her head down and her ears to the side. Julia reassured me that it’s just who Ruby is, so it was just fitting for her to look like this in the photos as well.
Julia was actually the one to first show me the location by the little lake where I also took Henrike for her headshots. She loves it as much as I do, so of course we headed there again. I had a train to catch back to Berlin the same afternoon, which means we only got about ten minutes of real shooting time. I would have loved to give Julia the full ‘Anni’s Looking Glass experience’ but considering the limited time frame, we are both extremely happy with the results. We even managed to get Julia’s dog, the adorable little Bucks to pose for one group shot!
Hopefully, I will get a chance to spend some more time photographing Julia and providing her with the whole service when she has a horse of her own some day!