My first ever show under my OWN name...
I went into 2021 not wanting to ever photograph a show under my own name. At that point I had intern shot at a Tennessee Quarter Horse show once and definitely liked being at shows but wasn't fully sold on the idea of it. I could already tell that photographing a show required a lot more effort and planning between travel, hiring out, booking hotels, managing staff, endless customer service, and every little detail in between. It was intimidating and nothing like what goes into a portrait session... And at the time really didn't want any part of it for my business.
Throughout the spring, though, I picked up a few more second shooter gigs. Like I said, I liked being at shows. Mostly because I missed showing myself! I did at least start to warm up to the idea of offering my services as a second shooter for other photographers. I had picked up on my timing pretty quick anyway and being a second shooter seemed like the perfect gig: photographing gorgeous horses and traveling!
However, at a certain point in early spring of 2021 I started to fantasize the idea that if the Connecticut Quarter Horse Association was ever looking for a photographer, I would jump on the opportunity... sure enough, THREE DAYS after I mentally filed that idea away for the future I was sent a post on Facebook that CQHA was in fact looking for a photographer for their June show. Ironic, isn't it?
Maybe you're scratching your head at this point and thinking, "why CQHA? Doesn't she live in Nashville." Well, my love of Quarter Horses started when I first attended a CQHA show just to watch for the day back in 2009. It seemed fitting that it be my first ever outing under my own name as a horse show photographer just a mere 12 years later.
The weeks leading up to the show were crazy busy with ensuring I had everything I needed to make the weekend run smooth, still work my daytime job, work for other photographers, and shoot portrait sessions. All that craziness paid off though... I COULD NOT have asked for a smoother first show. The venue was not as scary to light as I thought it'd be, my booth turned out exactly how I envisioned it would, everyone was so nice and welcoming, and I received SO many compliments on my photos. All the compliments and admiration I receive mean the world to me since when I shoot for other photographers the compliments very rarely go to the actual person that shot the photo but rather to the person's who's name is on the photo.
I obviously couldn't have gotten through my first show alone. My booth staff, Eliza Cardwell and Chrissy Rampelli, ran my booth like total pros. Everything stayed so organized and they made sure I was well taken care of as I was shooting all day. These ladies made my life so much easier and are truly angels!
The 2021 Connecticut Classic show was well worth the craziness that lead up to it. The show management team of Marge and Andy Tanner ran an incredibly smooth of fun show for all! I am so grateful to have been given their trust and this opportunity to use their show (which wasn't a small one) as my first show ever under my own name...
Miranda Taylor Photography.