First, I would like to thank everyone for sending in their questions as my interaction with my fans is an integral part of my business.
Second, I received over 330 questions over the past 10 days. I did not expect that great of a response, WOW, THANK YOU!!!
With that being said, I decided to put out a "Top 20" list instead of a top 10 list. Here are the Top 20 questions that I got asked the most, in the exact order.
1. Where will you travel?
I am open to travelling anywhere (travel expenses are covered by the client obviously) where my services are desired.
2. What's been my biggest challenge so far as an Equestrian Video & Stills Photographer?
Writing my business plan, it was not easy to say the least. This took at least three months to get it down and finalized. Some decisions were unbelievably difficult to make and took me weeks, if not months to make a decision.
3. We all make mistakes in life. What's been the biggest mistake that you have made in life?
Not getting into horses, photography or videography when I was a kid or even as a teenager. Even though this was not a mistake I made by choice but rather by me having other interests in life. Regardless I'd do anything to go back even five years.
4. Seeing how I've photographed weddings before, would I consider doing it professionally again?
No, however I would make an exception if it was a wedding ceremony held on a farm with horses involved.
Photographing weddings was a lot of fun back in the day when I did them, but times have changed and it's not something that I would consider doing again mainly because it's not where my heart is at. I still receive inquiries about shooting weddings but I politely decline because I want to solely focus on Equestrian. I also receive inquiries on photographing models, sporting events, kids birthday parties, grad ceremonies, but again, I want to solely focus on Equestrian. This is what I want my "bread and butter" to be.
Also the industry for wedding photographer's has become flooded over the past decade as weddings is still one of the top three fields in demand for photographers. I LOVE COMPETITION and I am every bit of a competitor as anyone else is but it seems every third photographer that you see or meet these days is a "wedding photographer" and I would much rather work in a less glamorous and low key field like horses. My passion is horses, not weddings.
5. What's the #1 cause of blurry photos?
Well it could be a few things, I mean all it could be is a dirty lens! Or it could be a bad copy of your lens (also known as "lens variation", we can get into this another day because this is a whole other topic to explore!).
It first depends on the type of shot that is being taken. If it's a subject in motion, then too slow of a shutter speed would most definitely cause a blurry photo. Also, if a lens wasn't stabilized well enough, it would also cause blurry photos especially at the telephoto end. There are certain techniques to get really good at stabilizing both yourself and your lens when taking photos, it of course becomes more difficult as you use a longer lens. Nothing beats using a tripod.
If it's a static subject, then not focusing on the spot that you would like can most definitely be a cause for blurry photos. This is why it's incredibly important to learn and know the different AF (auto focus) modes in your camera and which AF mode to use in any given situation.
Also not setting your exposure correctly could cause blurry photos. Under exposed photos kills fine details and also dynamic range in your photos. This is why I always suggest to properly set the exposure for any type of photo that you are about to take before actually taking the photo. Set yourself up for success by putting yourself in the best situation possible.
6. Who is your favorite horseman or horsewoman?
Buck Brannaman when he was around
7. Who designed your logo and what's the story behind it?
I designed my logo. It took me quite some time to get it completed as it had many revisions. When I first started creating it, I looked at hundreds and hundreds of logos in the Equine industry and don't get me wrong, I've seen some stunning logos but I wanted mine to be different but yet still original. I decided on using a hoof pick because it's part of every horse lovers grooming kit...afterall, "No hoof, no horse" and it's unique because I have yet to see a logo with a hoof pick incorporated into it. I much prefer clean and simple logos with a striking but yet effective design. This is why I kept it black and white to make it more bold to the human eye while still flowing softly.
8. What's been your favourite type of Show & event to photograph so far and why?
I've enjoyed them all but I would say Gymkhana has been my favorite so far. I love the speed and the tight turns of barrel racing and the captivating smiles on kids faces when pole bending. Showmanship is the one part of Gymkhana that I haven't shot a lot of but even then it's still intriguing to me as it carries a lot of Equine Portraiture traits into the equation.
9. Where are you from?
Born and raised in Calgary, AB.
10. What's the one event that you have yet to shoot but am eager to wait your first opportunity?
Extreme Cowboy Challenge/racing
11. Will you be running a workshop in the future to teach and help people just learning photography?
Absolutely yes! I love working with others and assisting them in reaching their goals. My goal is to run these on an on-going basis, the frequency would depend on the time of year.
12. Why a blog?
Great question! In today's day and age, you need to have either a blog or a vlog and originally I wasn't going to have either but over the span of 6 months I was convinced by others to start a blog. I do enjoy reading "certain" blogs, however I don't particular enjoy writing them mainly because I am not a good writer as writing is my biggest weakness. However, because writing is such a critical aspect of any business (no matter the size), I had to get better regardless and what better way than through writing my own blog?
As far as a vlog goes, well this wasn't going to happen because video editing requires an insane amount of time and I just don't have that time. Besides I would much rather put my time towards other things like doing what I do best, capturing moments for others. Vlogging is an interesting way of marketing yourself, I am not a huge fan of it, but I see why it's become so insanely popular in the past five or six years. Also I don't particularly enjoy talking about myself, so that is why you would never see me with a "daily" vlog, plus I don't like being on camera, I much prefer to be behind the camera. I am all about quality over quantity and that is why if I did ever have a vlog, that it definitely wouldn't be a "daily" one.
13. Spring is almost here, what is the one thing that you are looking forward to the most?
Green grass, gorgeous pastures and extended sunsets. I am very much looking forward to taking advantage of the additional hours of sunlight. Expect to see my Equine Portraiture sessions taken to a whole new level once Spring arrives.
14. Horses teach us something new all the time. What has your horse taught you?
My mare has taught me quite a few things but the three that stand out the most are:
1) She has taken my already great ability to control my feelings and emotions to a whole new level.
2) She has made me a much more observant person.
3) She has made be a more patient person.
15. What's the one thing that you would love to see happen for your equestrian career in 2018?
Well this is a secret and there is actually not one, not two but three goals that I am working unbelievably hard at for 2018. Whether they happen this year or not, or perhaps next year or in three or four years, regardless I am unbelievably determined to make all of them happen eventually.
16. Do you have an assistant?
No I do not but this is in the works for the near future.
17. What's your favorite food?
18. What is your favorite breed?
I love them all but Appaloosas, American Paints, Arabians, Fjords and Clydesdale's are at the top.
19. What are your favorite Equestrian Sport Disciplines?
Gymkhana and Mounted Games. I also have a deep love for Cowboy challenge and Liberty work.
20. Were there any other professional photographers that you saw as a role model when learning photography?
No not really as I self taught myself on everything right from the start. However, there are a handful of professional photographers and videographers that I do follow today through Social Media but more so from an "Industry and Tech Trend" standpoint more than anything.