Mane attraction: Horses eye their big chance for photographic immortality

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The fun image of Mozart, which began the series Horsetyle. Photo: Wiebke Haas
The fun image of Mozart, which began the series Horsetyle. © Wiebke Haas

What photographer doesn’t enjoy a wealth of style, panache and sassiness in their models?

German photographer Wiebke Haas is a life-long horse lover, and her project Horsestyle reflects not only her eye for detail, but her love for these animals.

“There is nothing better for me than living and working with the animals on a daily basis,” she says.

“Through animal photography, I combine two of my great passions: Creativity and working with four-legged friends.”

Horsestyle was recently recognised in the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards with a third placing in the Natural World & Wildlife section under the professional category.

“When people ask me why I’m photographing horses. I usually respond with, ‘Because I adore their beauty and magnificent grace!’

Linus shows off his flowing locks. Photo: Wiebke Haas
Linus shows off his flowing locks. © Wiebke Haas

“But there is another reason as well. Horses can be hilarious and darn funny!”

The first image in the Horsestyle series was taken in 2011, of a beautiful Haflinger stallion named Mozart.

“During the photo session I recognized his whirling mane which I wanted to draw attention to.”

She got him to show his mane by tickling his ears.

“It’s my greatest passion to tease out nearly human expressions from my horse models,” she explains. “So I searched for other horses with impressive manes for a photo series.

“It was really fun to work with such different horsey characters.

“The most difficult part,” she says, “was to keep the horses straight to the camera. Most time they wanted to move their head to the side or downward.”

Good horse-handling skills and a steady offering of treats were essential to the project’s success.

Haas says she places highest priority on a great face and “harmonic choreography” of the hair.

More of Haas’s Horsestyle images can be found on her website, here.

The dark and mysterious Pirate. Photo: Wiebke Haas
The dark and mysterious Pirate. © Wiebke Haas
The sassy Polly. Photo: Wiebke Haas
The sassy Polly. © Wiebke Haas
Sammy Deluxe lives up to his name. Photo: Wiebke Haas
Sammy Deluxe lives up to his name. © Wiebke Haas

 

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