Have you ever experience love at first sight? Alas, I have not – as much as I love Ollie I did not fall in love with him until we’d known each other for a while (I’d call it more of a heavy like). You know, been on a few dates and exchanged a few kisses. But every now and then you hear about it, about someone who fell in love with another being (be it person, horse, dog, etc.) and just knew in that first meeting that it was love. That’s how Taylor described her relationship with Clarissa – she just knew they were meant to be. I photographed them together at Magnolia Creek Stables in Pittstown, NJ. They have the most beautiful story – I’ll let Taylor tell it in her own words.
“I found Clarissa through Petfinder.com with absolutely no intentions of actually owning a horse, which directed me to LCR’s [Last Chance Ranch’s] website. Last Chance Ranch rehabilitated Clarissa for several months along with the use of an Anderson sling. I was able to schedule an appointment to see Clarissa after I had completed online paperwork and all of my references had been checked out. It was an extremely thorough process that is greatly appreciated to assure that their animals are properly placed in the best of homes. I saw Clarissa for the first time on July 8th , which is also my birthday. As soon as I saw her, I knew that she was coming home with me. She was like nothing I have ever rode before, which still applies to this day. So a week later I picked her up on July 15th and she has been a dream come true. It’s the connection of a lifetime that I never knew existed until her.”
Clarissa’s show name is “Against All Odds” – which I think is beautifully, perfectly fitting. When you think about it, the odds of these two finding each other, this perfect match – it really is against all odds. But they’re living proof that you can beat the odds!
Needless to say, it was an absolute honor to be able to make these portraits with Taylor and Clarissa. There was a lot of commotion at Magnolia Creek Stables that day – multiple lawnmowers driving around, people wielding hedge trimmers and blowers, paddocks full of baby horses galloping and bucking and whinnying, and Taylor guided Clarissa calmly through the entire session. If you scroll down through the highlights from the shoot, you can even see Taylor’s tattoo of Clarissa on her left leg! Now that, my friends, is commitment! Thank you again, Taylor, for sharing your story with me and for working with me to create these portraits for you.