Decades have gone by since I began my journey as an equine photographer. I was often asked over the years, "why did I become a horse photographer.?" My stock answer was, "I have always loved horses and this led me to pursue a career in photography." As I look back now, there was a trail from, let's say birth, through early childhood that eventually set me on this path.
My parents received baby gifts when I was born and one was a comical statue of a pinto pony. It came to be named Nay Nay. It was my childhood treasure. I do not recall being exposed to horses as a young child except for pictures in books and that famous red flying Pegasus that graced gas station signs. So off I went to elementary school and art classes for potential painters. Maybe it was the second grade, art class, we did finger painting. My color was blue and where I got the idea, who knows,l but my first horse was a blue Pegasus. Thus began my obsession with all things horses. All through school I drew horses in art class.
And then you become an adult and your childhood dreams recede but are not forgotten. My dream had been to work with or around horses and have one of my own. I grew up in a different time and had parents that did not support my dreams. It took many years, but eventually, I returned to school, an art school, and got my degree in photography, interned with a major newspaper and then worked in the photo department of another before going off on my own.
Over the years prior to becoming a photographer, I read every horse publication I could find and studied the photographs. Two events happened, Secretariat won the Triple Crown and the book "Such Is The Real Nature Of Horses" by Robert Vavra inspired me to return to school and learn how to take marvelous photographs. Learning the technical with film cameras, developing negatives, printing in black and white opened a new world. and then we learned color. What you learn in school is only part of the education Learning about horses, clients, location shooting, the weather and the ups and downs of business is the greater challenge.
And the goals I set at that time; were a horse of my own, going to Claiborne Farm in Kentucky with the hope they would let me photograph Secretariat, and a successful business and travel.
As it turned out the horse of my dreams and then another graced my life until they passed away at great ages. My beautiful mares taught me about horses more so then any book. Their story is for another day. I did go to Claiborne Farm and took photos of that king of horses, Secretariat. Was my business a great success hard to say, but along the way, there were many wonderful horses and people and places . Photography and horses opened many doors,not just the animals, but different cultures too. Photojournalism has greatly influenced my approach to photography. Images that tell little stories fascinate me but so does doing good portraits, conformation and action too. More of my work acan be found at equinephotogrpahy..com . Most notably vertical images,
My mother kept Nay Nay and the blue Pegasus and then one day years later returned them to me. They are in my home, Nay Nay in the breakfront with other statures, and the blue Pegasus sits atop a tall chest of drawers. They are reminders of were it "all began." This site is dedicated to my mares Fancy and Summer.
Darlene's beloved two mares were with her until the end of their lives and as a devoted caretaker; she feels her close relationship with these truly unique creatures inspired her to reveal their inner natures through imagery. As an artist and life-long
equine enthusiast, Darlene creates images that speak to the soul and truly capture the essence and spirit of the horse.
Darlene Wohlart PhotographyOcala, Florida, United States 34470
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