Cathrin Cammett Photography: Capturing Moments to be Treasured

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Cathrin Cammett Photography: Capturing Moments to be Treasured

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Jan. 26,2021
ProEquest

As equestrians, we’ve all been fortunate enough to experience those magical moments of connection with our horses. The world disappears and the only thing that matters is you and the horse. Some people call it flow or Zen. Cathrin Cammett, an equine photographer based in Southern California, captures those moments at horse shows and in portrait sessions throughout the west coast.

Looking through the galleries on her website and social media pages, you can understand where the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” comes from. Each of her photographs is a masterpiece that eloquently tells a story about the connection between the horse and human, and the emotional bond they share. 

 

Cathrin Cammett Photography: Capturing Moments to be Treasured

 

Cathrin Cammett Photography: Capturing Moments to be Treasured

 

The Early Years

Cathrin grew up as a horse crazy little girl and was gifted some riding lessons at a local stable. At age seven, her father decided to try and purchase a horse for Cathrin. She had a strong connection with her family, and a wisdom beyond her young years. “When he told me, I was overjoyed at the thought of having my own horse to love. I thanked him, but in my heart I knew it wasn't fair to my brothers or the family. We couldn't afford to own a horse and I knew it. I told him we shouldn't because it wouldn't be fair to our family’s well being, and that meant more to me than owning my own horse.”

That decision didn’t diminish her love of horses, as she continued through to high school. A photography class as a senior got Cathrin behind the lens. Although she really enjoyed the class, she was enrolling in college to become a veterinarian. Then, those plans were unexpectedly placed on hold for a year when her father became seriously ill, and she decided to delay college to help her family.

Cathrin worked three jobs during that year after graduating high school. “I felt if I wasn’t at school then I needed to work really hard, in addition to helping my family.” Two of those three jobs were photography related. She worked in the darkroom for a scientist at Syracuse University, developing photos for presentations. The second photography-related job was for a horse show photographer, “My first show was Winter Equestrian Festival, where I photographed during the day and did the darkroom work into the night,” she recalls.

A month later, James Parker, a well-known photographer in the hunter-jumper world, hired Cathrin. “I really enjoyed being at a horse show after I started working for James,” she says. “That’s where I developed my eye and became the photographer I am today. I told myself that the day I didn't want to go to work because I didn't enjoy it would be the day I would change my profession.”

Obviously, that never happened. Cathrin is still loving her profession and helping equestrians remember the moments and bonds shared with their horses and families. 

 

Cathrin Cammett Photography: Capturing Moments to be Treasured

 

The Art

“I’m always searching for the image that stops me,” Cathrin says. “I’m chasing the light, emotion, and beauty. If the image will stop me or I love it, then I've accomplished what I'm constantly searching for.” 

That discerning taste and search for the right image produces the exceptional results seen in her galleries. She loves the horses but admits it’s their majestic nature that draws her attention, and those are the moments she captures with her lens.

 

Cathrin Cammett Photography: Capturing Moments to be Treasured

 

One of her strategies for finding those images is to be as present as possible in the moment. The magic presents itself more readily when she’s present and then she can catch the moment. “Capturing the connection between a horse and rider; it's energy, it's being present to what's happening around you. If I don't feel something when capturing an image, emotion will be devoid in the image. Honestly, I'm happy being invisible, my ego is left at the door, and I let my images take the light. If I could make a living without signing my work, Facebook, Instagram, or a website, I would. This is often why in the past and present, I don't sign my work. I want the images to have their own energy.”

 

Cathrin Cammett Photography: Capturing Moments to be Treasured

 

Cathrin approaches all her shoots, whether at a horse show or a private shoot at a stable, the same way. She’s always searching for light, emotion, beauty, and joy. She offers guidance if clients need it so that they can capture the best photos possible. No matter what, she and her clients always have fun in the portrait sessions.

 

Advice for Amateur Photographers

We all have the opportunity to shoot photos of our horses and families everyday with our phones. Cathrin recommends that those interested in photography embrace a lifelong learning mindset. “The more I learn, I realize the training wheels of life get bigger. My advice is to just keep shooting. Discover your eye. Try shooting without viewing the image in the camera. Teach yourself to really see what you’re shooting.” 

Cathrin stresses that status as a professional photographer doesn’t mean the person is better than an amateur, and that talented people are capturing beautiful moments all the time. Professionals may have more experience and will look for different things that make up the image or the moment. Many amateur photographers will augment their personal collections with those from a professional because it offers that different perspective.

Cathrin Cammett Photography: Capturing Moments to be Treasured

 

At a horse show, Cathrin is hired to shoot for specific private clients, and capture their time in the ring and at the show. She curates these collections into ShowFolios, beautiful leather books that preserve the memories for her clients. Private clients often purchase the books for their portrait sessions as well, as it documents their bonds and families. The photos Cathrin takes that capture the essence of who we are, the love of our horses, and our sport elevate her photos to a higher level. The images capture what words are insufficient to convey.

 

Cathrin Cammett Photography: Capturing Moments to be Treasured

 

“For me, my photography is about the image alone. It's my clients’ moment. A capture in their lives to be treasured,” Cathrin says. “I'm the lucky one who gets to experience and take these images. The light and artistic moment is what keeps me going as a photographer. I'm always searching for more in the moment.”

Cathrin Cammett Photography: Capturing Moments to be Treasured

 

To view Cathrin’s photography, visit her on InstagramFacebook, or her website.

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