The Stable Studio

It was almost evening, so I decided to take a few artistic photos on a black background, using studio lights. I had been at Villa Abbatis Equestrian Center for two days and I had become friends with most of the animals at the farm.

I closed one of the two entrances of the stable. I arranged the black background and prepared the studio umbrella and the flashes. I needed only a model to photograph. All the horses were carefully looking at me from their stalls. The goats, at least, were dying of curiosity. They were either at the window, to see everything that was going on out there, or up on two feet on their stall grill, to monitor me.

We brought our first model. Captain Jack, a gorgeous sport horse that won dressage competitions in Romania. He got a little scared of the umbrella, but still behaved himself and lifted one of his legs every time he was begging for a carrot. But he was taller than my black background, so we had to put him back in the stall. We took Demi out, a loving and gentle riding pony.

Everything was set and we were about to start our photo session with her when someone wanted to open the stable door. We desperately shouted to use the other entrance. It was too late. My photo background had changed its position. We made again the necessary settings, we arranged the horse and we were ready when…the two dogs came in, chasing the cat. They almost pulled down my flashes.

We got rid of them. Everything was set again. But Demi wouldn’t hold her ears straight. She was standing still, as asked, but her ears didn’t look good in photos. We tried to catch her attention with food, making noise with a metal and with some plastics. Nothing worked.

We decided to bring the goats, her stall roommates. She got interested. However, the goats were everything but obedient. My improvised studio was a total mess. I hardly obtained a few good shots with Demi between the heads of two goats that were fighting to become stars.

When, finally, I finished and was arranging my gear, I saw the dog in Demi’s stall. He had stolen the housekeeper’s slipper and was chewing it happily. Life at the farm.

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Magda Munteanu