Portraits of Horses and their people, Farm Calls, Horse Stock Images, Fine Art Horse Prints and Commercial Equine Photography.
In 2000, Carol Walker started her business Living Images by Carol Walker, specializing in horse photography. Carol’s images illuminate the relationship between horses and their people as well as showcase the beauty of horses with her stunning images of horses at liberty. Her commercial work includes catalog covers for leaders in the Equine industry. She has had numerous calendars published featuring her work and she markets her fine art prints from her website as well as in several locations on the Front Range of Colorado.
Living Images offers a wide range of products and services ranging from Portrait and Farm Call Services to offering her Horse Photography through Fine Art Prints and Stock Images.
• Influential in the wild horse sector of the equine photography business
• Always loved horses and started taking pictures when she was age 4 focused on nature photography first as an amateur
• Joined Equine Photographers Network
• Started with portraits of owners and their horses
• At nature photography conference someone asked her why she was not photographing wild horses
• Monthly visits to the wild horse herds
• Found out that they were going to be removed and got involved and wrote her first book “Wild Hoof Beats”
• Incomes streams have shifted from year to year / started with portraits / then got into stock / calendars / magazines for editorial / trade shows / fine art sales
• Did everything on her own until she hired an assistant several years ago
• Trade shows and galleries and art shows (local art shows), but has pulled out of most of the trade shows
• Be careful that any show you sign up for has enough people
• Sales at trades shows varied a lot. Difficult to predict what was going to sell from one year to the next. Greeting cards always sold
• Uses http://www.zazzle.com
• Sometimes does better at non-horse shows for selling art prints / decor prints of wild horses or horses at liberty
• What sells in the middle of the country is different from what people will spend on the east or west cost
• Etsy Store is working great. Website orders are going gangbusters – drop ship images as the orders come in.
• First book sold about 8,000 books self published so far
• Horse photography book about 7,000 +
• Galloping to freedom is her next book. The story of the journey of a herd of wild to living in a sanctuary. This book is sponsored.
• Sells best online, galleries where her work is visible. Bookstore sales are slower.
• Primedia sells her books and calendars as well.
• Also photographs horses at liberty “set up” photography for decor images. People are buying more “pretty horses” for large prints for decor.
• She has done workshops all over the world and gathers some of her images through that. Tony Stromburg workshops.
• Did a workshop in Dubai and got some wonderful pictures of arab stallions in the desert. She was the instructor and had 25 students who were people from Dubai. This is her second time.
• 70% fine art sales. Does about two workshops per year.
• Stock photography has gone down since she started. Many people who used to make a living in stock photography are now doing photography tours and workshops.
• She thinks that wild horses should not have names.
• Her wild horse advocacy helps her photography and her photography helps people to appreciate wild horses in nature.
• It works well to have a cause. Advocacy and art is a beautiful marriage. Other photographers may want to make connections through rescues and such.
• Suggestions or ideas for new photographers wanting to go the wild horse way. Getting known for a specialty is really important to getting known. Diverse sources of income, but target niche within horse photography.
• Facebook Page – 850,000 followers, 220,000 on hoofbeats Facebook page, about 50,000 on Living images -tries to post something EVERY DAY. WOW!
• Discussion of Instagram. Pictures of your process get eaten up by people on Instagram. She is not doing much with it yet, but sees that it is important.
• Photoshop or not Photoshop. She likes the images to look more natural and has a minimalist view. Likes black and white. Does not like sepia tones (personal preference). Importance of good photography and good lighting. Having a look to YOUR work is good. Being consistent with your personal style can brand you… That looks like Carol Walkers work.
• Start with a business plan – put your money first in your web site and then go from there. Start locally with art oriented. Still with Equine photographers Network and recommend it to new photographers she encounters.
• Workshop in the Black Hills in September – hopefully annually – Look for the new book Galloping to Freedom.
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