People often ask me about the photo on my business card, so here’s the low-down on “Mr. Jones” or “Jonesy” as he is known to his friends, and how we got the shot.
Jonesy is a thoroughbred gelding who lives in Auckland New Zealand and is owned by Denny Zame. Denny’s daughter Shona broke Jonesy in and pre-trained him for racing but these days he’s headed more toward a sporthorse career.
Not only is he handsome but he’s a seriously beautiful soul. He’s one of those horses you immediately feel relaxed around. Not in a soppy way though – he still has a presence about him. ‘Noble’, is a good word for him I think.
6.30am on the Beach in Winter
Now forgive me because the shoot took place back in 2007 so I don’t remember every detail but what I do know is that it was VERY COLD. Not only was it winter, but we had to get up super early so we could be at the beach in time for sun up.
Thank goodness for Shona’s great sense of timing and geography because I was completely reliant on her to get us to the right spot at the right time and she nailed it. We were also particularly lucky with the weather because of course it was dark on the way out there and it wasn’t until we arrived that the true intentions of the weather gods became clear.
There were only four of us on the trip – Denny, his mate Ross, Shona and me, and two horses – Jonesy of course, plus his paddock mate Flicker who would play a key role in making the whole thing happen. The mood was very ‘up’ despite the cold and we were all keen to get started.
Here are a handful of photos as the day unfolded. And I should point out that considerable safety precautions were taken to ensure the horses and the public were not at risk in any way. Kids, don’t try this at home! Click the first photo to move through the gallery with captions.
This was one of my all time favourite shoots. Great people, great horses, the weather was perfect, and simply everything went according to plan. Huge thanks to Denny, Ross and Shona for a day I’ll remember when I’m a doddery old thing trying to take photos of my walker.
Oh wait, there was one mishap. We’d been encouraging Jonesy to get into the shallows, which as you can imagine was not that easy, and when I turned around my tripod was gone. To my horror, it was being swept out to sea!! All credit to Manfrotto tripods though as it’s still going strong to this day and not only has it been thoroughly drowned but I also ran over it in the car at the Easter Show in 2006 so all in all it’s done pretty well.