We try to do it all, all the time, and we do get around. However, sometimes we come up face-to-face with the bruising reality that we can only do so much and we certainly cannot be in two (or more) places at one time!
Therefore, we hark to certain photographers to fill in the blanks. Our ‘stable’ of tried and true shutterbugs includes:
Douglas Lees – no website (but he has email and a cell phone!)
Wish we had a photo of everyone together, but will dig out pix for each of them…
Jordan does more than take great photos – she’s adept at photoshop and has fixed some jpegs for us, thereby saving our ‘derriere’ on more than one deadline-demented occasion. She’s fun to shoot with, and doesn’t look as if she’s a wife and mother with two young girls who keep her running when she isn’t planted in front of her mac, editing pix. She’s always ready to pitch in when we send up our SOS, and her generosity knows no bounds. If she has it, she lets us use it. Based in Warrenton, VA, Jordan (who grew up riding) knows horses in many contexts: hunter/jumper, breeding and in hand, foxhunting, and her portraits are top drawer. Jordan is the official photographer of the Warrenton Horse Show. Also, for several years Jordan shot the pony breeding ring on Saturday (jumper side) at Upperville. She’s available for weddings and special occasions, indoors or al fresco. If yours truly ever gets married, it will be on horseback and Jordan will shoot us – making art out of memories…
Douglas Lees has carved his niche in sporting photography and his favorite subject for more than 40 years has been racing over fences. He won two Eclipse photo awards: the first in 1978, with a neanderthal film comera compared to today’s digital SLRs, and again in 2007. He also earned three Honorable Mentions and credits all of his honors to “luck and persistence.” Born and raised and still living in the Warrenton, VA area, Douglas shot three of his five Eclipse standouts at either the Virginia Gold Cup or the International Gold Cup Races at Great Meadow in The Plains. When we need something, even if it means trolling through print negative archives, Douglas does it. He also shoots foxhunting, fishing and pretty women, not necessarily in that order.
Michelle Dunn has been a kindred spirit and great friend since we first met in the press tent at the Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event in 2006. She’s been like a high-tech mother hen to this photographer in particular as we tackle that marathon called Rolex, and she too steps up to the plate when we need a photo. Based in Ontario (CAN), Michelle serves as the media person for the Royal Horse Show and Royal Winter Agricultural Fair each November. She’s also the primary photographer for Marty Bauman’s Classic Communications’ team at every Rolex. She’s one of the kindest-hearted members of the press, but she’s also no-nonsense: do not ever break a rule at Rolex or you’ll find yourself stripped of your numbered pinny – it’s for the safety of horse, rider and press, of course. Did we mention she’s like a high-tech mother hen? We got to see her for just a few minutes during the Alltech World Games when Michelle and Patrick bopped in during the second week for a couple days before heading back to Canada to celebrate their Thanksgiving. Michelle has saved our derriere more than once, and always has an encouraging word for us no matter how crazy-busy she might be.
We ran into this foxhunting enthusiast and crackerjack photographer in 2006 whilst gathering material for the Focus On Pennsylvania issue for Sidelines. We needed pix of all the disciplines and sports and two of Beth’s images remain in our mind as TKOs: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and a cubhunting photo of the Cheshire huntsman and hounds reflected in a pond. Since then, we have endured a photo-centric friendship that has been uber-enjoyable. Beth wasn’t sure if she liked us at all, however, after we got her roped into doing her Chasin’ blog for Sidelines (she credits Erin with being patient and kind, but we contributed similarly in the first frenzied days of blogger-itis while she figured out how the heck things worked – even though we were up to our ears in deadlines and had several more years in the deadline-dementia department). Beth too has always been beyond generous with her photos – whether shot at Rolex, Fair Hill, or any of the southern horse trials. She makes our job so much easier by being where we can’t – as much as we’d like to be there, but oh well, still dealing with the constraints of being human… Be sure to check out her blog, Chasin’.
Among our ‘reliables’ has been Brittany Hannah. Unfortunately, after graduating from college and encountering the realities of making her way in the world from her home in rural Georgia, Britt decided to head up to the Big Apple to try her photo- and videographic wings. We think she’s considering moving up there for a job… wow, better Britt than yours truly as we stopped doing big cities yonks ago. Our paths crossed at Rolex in 2006 when Britt was in her first year of college and we got along great from the git-go. She has been terrific to work with, lots of fun, and evolved into our “kid sister” to boot. No photo exists at this time that can be considered flattering, trust us! They’re all from Rolex where exhaustion rules, especially at the end. Yo, Britt, if you follow this blog, send me something with a NYC horse (live or statue) in the background – or get one taken when you get home, and I’ll insert it in this post – better later than never! Good luck, kiddo: drop us an email once in a while so we know how you’re doing…
This leads to talking about a photographer whose work we have admired for many years. He has no email (that we know of), shoots with a film Leica, and lives across the big puddle. Jim Meads is a tall, rangy Brit blessed with long legs and incredible stamina. He is about to make photographic history right here in the USA, in Virginia, in early December when he shoots his 500th unique hunt.
In 2009, on Saturday of the Virginia Hound Show, about 250 people attended the Virginia Foxhound Club’s buffet luncheon in the tent on the lawn in front of the mansion. Jim Meads received a lifetime achievement award for his photography of the chase around the world, as well as for being a key photographer for many years at Virginia and other hound shows.
There will be a reception for Jim in Upperville, VA on Dec 4th, the evening before his historic and unique 500th hunt. The reception offers heavy hors d’oeuvres, open bar, champagne toast, and a unique Meads poster. You can get in on the action by attending the reception for Jim in Upperville on Dec. 4th and also by riding to hounds with Loudoun West on Dec. 5th.
Please RSVP asap for the reception (it’s vital for the caterers to have an accurate headcount so they can provide ample refreshments), $20 per person, to Gia Anderson at Morven Park: (703) 777-2414. If you’d like to cap with Loudoun West ($100), all are welcome but please call Jt-MFH Donna Rogers at (540) 338-4031 and leave a message with your name and how many people in your group.
Sponsors include: Horse Country Saddlery (Warrenton, VA), the Museum of Hounds & Hunting NA, the Masters of Foxhounds Association, the Irish Draught Horse Society of North America, and the many friends of Jim Meads. Any other questions, please call Marion Maggiolo (540) 347-3141.