Over the course of several thousands of years, humans have developed quite a special relationship with horses. The first horses were probably tamed somewhere in Central Asia somewhere between 3500 – 4000 B.C.E. Taming horses allowed man to travel much further and much faster than he could on his own, allowing humanity to spread to every corner of the globe. Horses are also great work animals thanks to their size and strength. They assisted us in lifting large, heavy stones to build sturdier buildings, and in lifting/transporting heavy loads of various commodities to help drive the engine of commerce.
To think, however, that horses are just large, brutish creatures valued solely for their physical attributes would be folly. In addition to their brawn, horses also pack some pretty serious brain power. They’ve been known to be able to solve simple math problems and understand a large repertoire of verbal commands. Additionally, they are also known to form strong attachments to their human handlers (if treated right). It’s no wonder then, that so many kids grow up fascinated by these gentle giants.
Weibke Hass is a German photographer and a self-described “horse girl” who says she couldn’t even imagine spending a day without being around them. After completing a three-year certification process to become a professional photographer, she struck out on her own and started taking pictures of horses. Her goal is to capture the unique personality of each of her subjects. She’s published three books of these incredible photographs, which have been admired around the world. Here are a few of our select favorites.
Haas has always had a deep love for horses and knew that whatever she ended up doing in life, it needed to involve them if she was to be truly happy.
After finishing school, she had two choices: take a dull office job that offers security and pays the bills, or turn her love of horses and photography into a career.
Clearly, she chose well.
After three years of studying photography, she started her own business. She takes most of her shots in the studio against a black background to really capture all the details of the horses.
She does do some shots outside too, in order to capture how the horses interact with more natural surroundings.
Ultimately though, the studio shots are definitely her preferred way to really showcase the majesty of these noble animals.
According to Haas, her intention is to “make the viewer look at an image over and over again.” Mission accomplished!
In order to get that perfect shot, Haas sometimes has to shoot over the course of 2-3 days before she gets the shot she envisioned. In that time, she gets more acquainted with her subjects – learning the unique quirks of their personalities so that she can showcase them on camera.
She says that figuring out how to direct and motivate a particular horse is very challenging, but simultaneously very fulfilling.
At just 24 years old, she’s already made a name for herself internationally. Looking at these gorgeous pictures, it’s not hard to see why.
Operating your own business and taking an uncertain career path is no joke, but Haas wouldn’t have it any other way …
… and neither would we!