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January 2021

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Happy New Year First name / Friend! I hope your holiday season was restful. We laid low for Christmas and enjoyed the freshly fallen snow on our farm. I said farewell to 2020 by photographing a herd of draft and draft cross horses in the snow for my stock photo library.


It's that time of year when we reflect on the past year and make plans for the new one. I have to say that even though 2020 wasn't what I was expecting, but it was still full of blessings. My mentorship, Pegasus, was definitely the highlight of my year with months of online group coaching and 1:1 mentoring that lead up to a wonderful retreat where we took lots of photos, ate ourselves silly, and laughed and laughed! 😂


I'm not big on New Year's Resolutions because I'm always very aware that life is unpredictable (which 2020 proved!). So instead of making BIG goals this year, I am thinking more about habit change and setting smaller, more attainable goals throughout the year.

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My 7 Day Rise Up! Photo Challenge was so much fun and built such a strong, supportive community of photographers that I decided to extend it to a 52 Week Challenge! Each week, myself or fellow Challenge host, Jessica Robinson are posting a theme and participants have a week to create and share their photo for that theme. Participants have been great to give feedback on one another's images and we are all learning new things!


Some of the themes so far have been “Red,” “Warm,” and this week is the always fun, “Self Portrait"! You can join the challenge anytime by going to


Quick Tip - Pre-Shoot Checklist

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Picture this…you wake up to find that Jack Frost has been busy flocking all the trees and surfaces with a thick coat of frost. You brush your horses, grab your camera, and head out into the pasture to photograph your wild beasts as they frolic in the snow. Then you notice focus doesn't seem to be working and look down to find your focus mode is set to ONE SHOT. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! 😫😖😣🤬


Obviously, this happened to me on Saturday and I am SO disappointed because there are many beautiful images that are not in focus. Thankfully, I live here, these are my horses and this happens a few times each winter. 😉


Why this happened is I took for granted that my camera was set up properly when I headed out to shoot. I am not even sure how it got set to ONE SHOT because I always use SERVO (Continuous focus) and use back button focus, which allows me to either lock focus or track focus without changing modes. 


That said, I'm not going to take things for granted in the future and will be following this quick checklist before heading out for any photo shoots, even ones in my back yard.


Pre-Shoot Checklist

  1. Format Cards - before you do this, make sure you have downloaded all the images from them AND have a backup.
  2. Charge Batteries - make sure you have enough batteries charged and ready to be used. This is especially important if you are doing photography in the winter (if you live where it's cold) as batteries don't last as long.
  3. Make sure you have a memory card in the camera and additional cards with you. I may or may not have forgotten to put a memory card in my camera once this fall. 🙈 Thankfully, I always shoot to 2 cards, so I was covered. See why I need this list?
  4. Check that your lens is set to AF.
  5. Check that your lens is clean.
  6. Make sure you are shooting in RAW format to at least one card.
  7. Check you Focus Mode - 'nuf said. 🙄
  8. Check your white balance setting.

What I'm Reading and Listening To…


“To understand how horses really think and why they use the patterns they do, we first need to stretch ourselves outside of our own box of beliefs. Horse Speak is an honest attempt to authentically interact with horses in a manner similar to how they interact with each other…”

Sharon Wilsie, Horses in Translation




Horses in Translation - Essential Lessons in Horse Speak: Learn to "Listen" and "Talk" in Their Language and Horse Speak: An Equine-Human Translation Guide - Conversations with Horses in Their Language.


These two books from Sharon Wilsie are re-shaping the way I look at horse-human interaction. In these books, she teaches readers not only how to read the body language of the horse, but also speak it back to them! The first time I practiced some of what I was learning on Fritzie, I saw her eyes LIGHT UP! I was finally listening to her and speaking back to her in a way she could understand!


From a photography standpoint, I am already seeing how knowing the specifics of reading horse body language will be very helpful in how I shape a photo session. I believe most people underestimate how stressful a photo session is for the horse for many reasons and I make a point to be careful that the session is a positive experience not just for my client, but for their horse as well. What I'm learning from Sharon is going to be invaluable for that!




I didn't leave the house much in the past month, and most of my podcast listening happens in the car, so rather than share specific podcast episodes I listened to, I want to share some of my favorite podcasts instead! 






What's Coming Up?


The 2021 Wings Mentorship starts today! I am so excited to be working with a great group of photographers to help lay a foundation for creativity, consistency and community!


The Pegasus Mentorship for advanced photographers will open for applications in mid-March!


If a mentorship doesn't fit for you right now, keep in mind I always offer 1:1 video mentoring to anyone who would like help with their photography and business. 


If you’re interested in learning more about my mentoring and educational opportunities, visit



Until next time…






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