Alli and her Horses Dora and Buddy

Alli and I board our horses together and this is the second time she has agreed to be in front of my camera during a mentoring session. I find one of the best ways for me to teach is to shoot alongside the person I am mentoring, and I like to be able to create beautiful photos for my willing models. 🙂

You may have heard the quote, “All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.” Well, Alli embodies this (though she is more “young woman” than “little girl” these days). We photographed her with her old horse Buddy (the tan colored Paint), and her new horse Dora (the black Paint). I don’t know Buddy very well, but Dora has been at our barn for about a year. She’s always been a nice horse, but her heart has come alive since she became Alli’s horse. She is visibly happy and, as I sound like a broken record, you will see the sweet bond they share. Dora is getting that remarkable chance to be loved in a way that is changing her. It’s beautiful to watch. Alli and Dora have been competing in shows this summer and doing very well.

Alli is saying goodbye to Buddy this week. He is going to be retired to a new home in Iowa. I am so happy to have been able to photograph them together before he left.



I like how the marking on the corner of Dora’s mouth makes it look like she’s smiling. 🙂




Matching eyes? So cool!






















Alli’s sister joined in for a few photos. Dora doesn’t look like she mind’s being covered in kisses. 🙂






  1. tracy robertson

    August 10, 2011

    wonderful pictures! lovely use of light!! well done! xx

  2. Maddi Miller

    August 10, 2011

    Thank you for sharing, Shelley! Alli is such an incredibly sweet person, these pictures certainly embody that. Happy to see some photos of Buddy before he moves, too. 🙂

    Alli – you go girl, didn’t know you were such a model! I’ll have to find you if you swing by the September show at Red Horse.

  3. Lindsey

    August 10, 2011

    These are beautiful Shelley! The way you use light is brilliant. Pretty young woman & I love her two horses– hope Buddy enjoys his new retirement home– Iowa is a good place!! 🙂

  4. Deb Hilger

    August 10, 2011

    Fabulous. Your work is so beautiful I am almost moved to tears. Everything is so artistic from the frame to the light to the subjects. You are a true artist w/a camera Shelley. Thanks for sharing and giving me something wonderful to study today. P.S.Dora is a lucky horse indeed.

  5. Dennis Bullock

    August 10, 2011

    So wonderful Shelley!

  6. Equine Abby

    August 22, 2011

    Beautiful photos and beautiful horses.

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