Judy Bosco has been an equine photographer for a long time, however she has stayed part-time balancing a full-time job, family, husband and recently other life challenges to continue to pursue her love for photography and horses. Listen and hear about her story on The Equine Photographers Podcast.
Judy’s website: http://www.judybosco.smugmug.com
Judy’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PhotographybyJudithMBosco
When did she start to love horses?
Her parents knew that she was horse crazy so they gave her horseback riding lessons when she was 9 years old for a summer. After that a friend of hers who had horses stabled at the same barn and she helped clean stalls, and they rode a lot together. She did lease a horse for one summer, but has never owned her own horse.
Where did the photography come in?
She met her future husband at a new local camera store that had opened in the area. She bought a Yashica film 35mm camera and some lenses and started to take black and white pictures. She would study the horse magazines to determine if her images were any good and how she could improve them.
Practice, practice, practice is how Judy learned back then. She shot in black and white and the “guy at the camera store helped her to process her first bunch of rolls of film.” She focused on hunter/jumper and english riding. He taught her to process her own black and white images.
She also acquired a Bronco 645 which uses 120 and 220 roll film. From there she did lots of small shows on spec, but today shooting on spec does not work to well.
She still does several hunter pace events and still enjoys those the most. In the film days, she would send her daughter to have film processed and bring them back to sell at the events.
She used to do a lot of horse shows then, but things have changed quite a bit now. There are a lot fewer shows these days, but today everything is digital and there are lots of “photographers” shooting all the shows. At the same time she sometimes gets complaints that there was not a photographer at a show. However if the participants are unwilling to support the photographers when they do come, what would they expect to happen? After shooting a couple of shows with few sales photographers give up and move on to other types of events.
Now, she does everything online using Smugmug. She still have several hunter pace events that she does. She puts up a booth with samples and business cards and there are information cards in the rider packets.
Sign-up here and win an 8×10 from today’s event
She gives away an 8×10 at each event or show she does. This is a way to gather up lots of email addresses where she can notify them when the event gallery is available for viewing and purchase. At the hunter pace events is that there are people who don’t do other types of shows and they may not have any pictures of themselves with their horses yet. This means lots of new sales at these events that can also lead to other business.
Now she is trying to figure out how to sell digital files effectively and profitably. Many just want the digital files today. Sometimes she sells a bunch of files on a thumb drive for people who want a lot of files.
Conformation pictures to sell or promote a horse
Discussion of the cell phone pictures that people are using today to promote the sale of their horses. They wonder why there are no buyers or why they have to lower their price so much to sell their horse, however the horse does not look good with a large head a very tiny bottom and does not look good.
I’ve been to workshops in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, all the way through 2013 she explained. She loved what she learned from Betty Cooper’s workshop one year learning a lot about posing horses with their people. Hands on learning seems so much more effective to learn things about posing and getting horses to look great rather than just various online general photography learning opportunities.
Learning how to turn the horse’s head or pose the person with the horse can be learned so much better when you are actually seeing it done before your eyes. Judy recommends going to equine photography workshops whenever possible. As you can see, she has attended a few.
Family and health issues have slowed things down a bit lately
She cared for her mom until she passed in 2014. Then she had a kidney stone and an infection. Then her heart was feeling odd. At a big show her blood pressure and pulse tanked and were very low. She ended up getting a pacemaker and feels great now. Now she has more energy and is looking to do more shooting in coming months. Taking care of yourself is important.
Trying out Team Penning & cutting shows recently
My D800 has been great for this indoor event of a different nature. It’s action like hunter pace and hunter/jumper, but it is something I have not done before with new challenges. It was lots of fun and she had some good sales. Trying something completely new and challenging can be a great way to learn and grow.
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Thanks from your host Peter DeMott.