Kelly Allen is a 16 year-old, self-taught equine photographer from Palmerston North. Her favourite horse breed is the Warmblood, she loves Pita Pit and her favourite singer is Selena Gomez. When she isn’t photographing horses, you’ll find her outdoors hiking, camping or at the beach. She is one of our talented team of three photographers.
Make sure you check her out on Instagram: @EqSnapshot
How long have you been photographing horses?
Since I was 14.
How did you get started?
I had just bought my first camera and coincidentally there was a horse show on that day, so I went out and photographed a few show jumpers.
Where did you learn photography and photo editing?
I’m self-taught, so I played around and worked out what worked best for me. With the editing side of things, at school I was introduced to the image manipulation program Gimp which I then downloaded at home to use on my photographs.
What kind of camera do you use?
I use a Panasonic Lumix lz40, but I’m hoping to buy a DSLR camera in the near future.
How long have you been riding for?
I’ve been riding for about nine years now. I don’t own a horse, but I ride a Standardbred named Mouse and an appaloosa named Poi-Poi. I mostly hack.
Why do you enjoy photographing horses?
I think they’re fun subjects to take photos of. There are many different ways to photograph them, for example you can capture great shots while they’re roaming in their paddocks, or when they’re in the midst of the action at a show.
What is the most difficult thing about equine photography?
Timing! For me, it is definitely timing! I only say this as I have a compact camera that doesn’t have sports mode, so I have to study the movement of the horse for when it’s best to press the button.
Where do you get inspiration?
Instagram! I absolutely love Instagram because my feed is FULL of equine inspiration! I personally like equine photographers such as @inthesaddle_thruthelens, @dappledstallion and @pony.prodigy. The photos are incredibly unique because they play with different angles, lighting and themes compared to traditional photographers.
What are your other interests aside from horse riding and photography?
I love the outdoors! When I’m not riding I enjoy camping, hiking, or being at the beach. I especially love being outdoors when there are a few adrenaline activities to participate in!
What is your favourite event to photograph?
Show jumping! But I really want to start photographing games. I watched them at Horse of the Year and I think they would make for some interesting shots.
What events will you be attending (to take photos) in the near future?
Hopefully Horse of the Year! If not then I will probably be going to local shows out at Manfield (Feilding) and Tielcey Park.
Do you think you will study photography at high school or university?
At the moment I have kept my photography as a hobby and it will probably stay that way. I usually find enjoyment in learning outside of high school, as I find that it is less restricted for my love of photography.
What tips would you give aspiring photographers?
Ensure your subject has a plain background with good lighting (the camera facing away from the sun). Also make sure the subject you photograph interests you! There’s no point in taking photos of something that bores you. A big part of photography is showing people your perspective on a subject that you’re passionate about.
See a selection of Kelly’s favourite photos below!