If you can’t tell here, I am on a roll with my Iowa sessions. This session was a special one one because it was for one of my childhood horse friends. Thanks to social media we have been able to stay in touch for many years. I of course reached out when I found out that I would be close to her during my trip. I knew her daughter was sharing the same passion her mom had for horses and was lucky enough to have ended up with a really nice older gelding named Gatsby.
My exact plans were up in the air some after I arrived- mainly due to weather conditions. We decided to meet in the evening and as soon as I pulled up to their barn- Valley Park Stables– I wasn’t certain we would even be able to take any photos. The sky was dark and there was no doubt it was going to rain at any point. It had been 18 years since we had seen one another and while of course our first instinct was just to talk about freak out about this moment we had to get to work quickly because of the weather!
Well, we tried for a few minutes but it started lighting badly so we resorted to going back inside to wait out the storm. I don’t know how because I literally thought we were doomed for the rest of the evening, but it rained and rained and rained and then the skies opened up and it was nice again! We snapped a few images of them together in the doorway and then headed back to a greener area. There was no plan to really do a full session- my friend (Jen) just wanted a few images of her and Gatsby together, so that’s what we captured.
In hindsight, it was a complete blessing and miracle that we even ended up taking these photos. A few weeks after I arrived back in NC, I found out Gatsby passed away from colic. I was so heartbroken for both Jen and her daughter Lily. I can only imagine as a parent how hard it would have been to have to share this news to her daughter and as a horse lover, how hard it is to lose the ones we care so greatly about. I know I will always be grateful that these photos ended up happening!
*And just a little blurb from my perspective.. I LOVE this image I used at the top of the post. Lily is just looking where she is going but Gatsby has his eye right on her.