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Behind the Shot

One of Australia’s top equestrian photographers, MICHELLE TERLATO travels the world capturing equestrian athletes in action. Each month she shares one of her favourite shots.

Rider: Australia’s Kevin McNab

Event: 2022 FEI World Eventing Championships at Pratoni, Italy, where Kevin competed with Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam as a member of the Australian Eventing Team.

Camera & Settings: Canon 1DX II, 300mm lens, ISO 200 f 2.8 1/500 sec.

Challenges: The challenge with big competitions like the World Championships is that there are many photographers and supporters all wanting to interact with the riders. With this shot it was just about patience. Waiting for the right quiet moment, for everyone to move away from Kevin, and for me to be far enough away to give him space, but close enough to see his face and capture his emotions.

Why is this shot special?: To me, this shot captures a gorgeous moment between dad and daughter.

It was just after Kevin’s dressage test on Don Quidam, which was excellent, so once he was out of the area he was literally swarmed by everyone wanting to congratulate him, including team members, coaches, grooms, owners, officials, and friends who surrounded the pair. The first few minutes were literally chaos. Pats for the horse, hugs and slaps on the back for Kevin.

Once the horse left with his groom the mood settled. As everyone dispersed it was time for Kevin to enjoy a special moment with his wife Emma (also an eventer who competed with the Australian team at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games), and the couple’s young daughters Annabelle and Charli, all of them there at Pratoni to support Kevin.

It was also a less intimidating time for Annabelle to just be with her dad, and to share a hug and a giggle.

While I liked the shot in colour, I felt it was a perfect candidate for black and white. So I tried it out and decided it took the image to another level. I’ve noticed that images capturing emotion often seem to have more depth in monochrome than they do in colour – and this one was no exception.

Michelle is available for event, commercial, and private shoots. Visit Michelle Terlato Photography to see more of her stunning work.