suzanne sturgill artist statment

For me horses are as essential as the air I breath, as vital as my own heart beat. Their spirited, dark eyes capture me; their strength and gentle nature fascinate me; their grace, intelligence and playfulness bond me to them as surely as the sun, wind, and rain bond me to life.

Ever since I was a small child, horses of all kinds have galloped through my life and dreams, sparking magic in my soul. I've raised, ridden, and shown horses for as long as I can remember,
and devoted the last three decades to photographing them professionally.

When the sun glances off a wild toss of the head and the light glitters across a stallion's rippling muscles, my heart pounds with excitement. In this moment, I enter the arena of horse essence and my camera shutter fires instinctually.

If I want to capture a mare's magnetic personality, or the proud and sexy flair of a powerful stallion, I've learned to underplay my directions to the handler and let the horse show me who he is. I listen to the rhythm of hoof beats and hearts. I anticipate the vibrant dance of form and function, the moment when a horse shows me his character and soul, his inner light and spirit.

When I photograph them, horses senses my love and joy in their presence. In turn, I sense the ones destined for greatness, from the stallions I've photographed as young colts, up to their national championships and top sire-of-the-year awards, to the fillies that have become champions and grace the producers hall of fame lists.

 Throughout it all - the light, the shadows, and the camera angles - I move with intuitive anticipation for that one moment when the horse and I merge into the grandeur of each other's souls.