Emily Hancock

Many photographers focusing on equine or pet portraits endeavor to capture personality and establish a bond between animal and human, as their client will cherish the outcome(s) likely longer than they shall have with their beloved pet. Hancock’s work is no different, using subtle contact between the equine subjects and their owners in each portrait. This instantly causes the audience, typically the client, to see a relationship between the subjects and creates an emotional warmth to the photograph.


In addition to this, Emily uses a variety of locations within her shots. With equine based work, locations can be quite limited due to transporting the animals, and therefore typically the photographer will have to travel to their client. However, using familiar locations, such as the horses’ stable, can also have a large impact on tying an emotional response to a photograph when viewed by the correct audience (such as the horses’ owner). This effect can be achieved also by photographing in favorite riding spots, paddocks and other frequented locations, where memories can be linked to the image.


Additional work by Emily:


Emily Hancock Influenced Experiment


In response to Hancock’s work, I decided to replicate her technique of forming bonds using touch. A local stud approached me to capture photographs of their newborn foals, and I used this opportunity to capture images of the owners’ first physical interaction with one of the colts.

Since my favourite work of Emily’s is black and white, I decided to adopt this into my experiment, carefully adjusting each colour using the ‘Black & White’ tool in order to manipulate the tones within the photograph when reduced to greyscale. I sharpened the image slightly and cloned out the distracting horses in the background, before adding a subtle vignette. Overall, these effects drew the attention to the connection, both physical and emotional, between the equine and his owner, as well as reducing distraction both from colour and background.


This experiment was successful, as I feel the subtle touch resonates emotional ties as seen in Emily’s work, as well as having created a well composed and edited photograph. The soft, greyscale tones also had a positive impact on the delicate subject, enhancing the tones and textures seen in both the foal and the outreached hand.


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