Photographer Mark Brumell has just completed a very unusual job for a very unusual client.
The task? To photograph horses in the dark. The client? Personal-development company Mawds Leigh, which runs a course where participants gain self-confidence by interacting with horses.
Mawds Leigh says of its Equine Facilitated Programme, ‘For individuals with mental and emotional disorders, the positive benefits of getting a horse to carry out commands are often profound.
‘Anyone with communication, leadership problems, emotional or mental-health issues and very low self-esteem usually has a very short attention span, but in a very short space of time they can learn to focus on the horse for long periods while grooming, leading or playing with the horse, when usually they can’t concentrate for long enough in any other disciplain in their life.’
To promote this course, Brumell, who was commissioned by ad agency Caspia Communications, decided to take a series of photographs of horses in the dark. Caspia says, ‘It was important… That the photography for the marketing of this programme reflected the depth and sensitivity of the course rather than simply being equine portraits.’
Brumell says, ‘It took a good 30 minutes before the horses trusted me and then they came in close, allowing me to photograph them for about two hours.’
He adds, ‘The horses were not actually afraid of the flash but only the presence of me and the gear – the camera and the flash equipment itself.
‘Just horse and air, no other subject matter and as graphic as possible.’