Last year, a group of equestrian photographers, including my mentor Shelley Paulson, created a project called The Equestrians of Color Project, to amplify the voices of equestrians of color that want to share their stories. As stated on the project’s website, the goal of this project is to raise awareness and support diversity within the equestrian world by linking the artistry of photographers with horse lovers of color ready to share their story.
As a photographer ally, my goal is to photograph equestrians with their horses, in their element, and use my creative visual media (photographs) as an aid in amplifying their voices. I’m honored and grateful to be a part of this project, and even more honored and grateful to my dear friend Maya for sharing her story with us and allowing me to capture these images of her with her lease horse, PacMan.
When I asked Maya if she wanted to participate in the Equestrians of Color Project, she was enthusiastic, and then asked me “Is it okay if I wear my kimono for some of the pictures?” Um, YES! Maya’s gorgeous yukata, her summer kimono, is featured in many of the images from her session. Maya and I have been friends for quite a few years, and generally, when we’re together, we’re in messy barn clothes! I photographed Maya with her lease horse back in 2017, so if she looks familiar, that’s why! So it was really special to be able to see Maya putting on and wearing her kimono for these portraits.
Please head over to Maya & PacMan’s blog post at The Equestrians of Color Project to read her story, in her own words, and explore the website to read the stories of many other equestrians of color who have shared their stories and portraits.
Maya & PacMan | The Equestrians of Color Project
I can’t help but share a few favorites here, so please enjoy this sneak peek from Maya’s shoot with PacMan at Timberlane Horse Center in Titusville, NJ!