Since 2013 we are going to Portugal with Tony and we never get tired of it. This time we had to find many new locations. We wanted to give the people we are working with for so many years a break. Also, the number of photo workshops in Portugal has increased a lot. It’s almost an inflationary trend.
In a situation like this it is our job as organizers to find places where nobody has ever been or at least where not many photographers go to. Otherwise we end up seeing the same photo over and over again on facebook. Same horse, same place, same light, same background….. doesn’t work. Nobody wants this.
Susan and Anthony went to Portugal for scouting in November 2018 and came back with a couple of interesting new locations and breeders. We then had to find dates, set up a schedule, negotiate conditions, find accommodation, transport…..the usual procedure.
We decided to stay in Golega, the capital of horses in Portugal and have chosen the „Hotel Lusitano“, a remarkable service orientated 4-star hotel in town, with a charm that reminds one of a fading time when everything still seemed to be in place – an illusion of course. However, people liked the place a lot and the food is excellent. Hotel Lusitano was our base from where we drove to the photoshoots in the afternoons, while in the mornings Tony invited the participants into a very well equipped room in the basement of the hotel for editing.
The Lusitano horse is an outstanding beautiful creature – inside and outside. It is not too difficult to get good results when photographing a Lusitano stallion when he presents himself in total liberty in a bullfighting arena. Have a look at the pictures that speak for themselves.
It depends of course on the light, on the background, on the way, the horses are handled, on their level of energy and on their personality. We always try to avoid chasing them. Normally they kind of explode after they have been set free. But others are insecure about the situation and don’t know what to do. We try to get them into a playful mood, where they start a joyful interaction with the handler. Doesn’t always work though.
Portugal 2019 was a great experiencce. We had a wonderful group of very talented photographers from the US, the UK and South Africa. We will go to Portugal again. Next time with our All-Star Workshop in 2020. If you want to learn more about that one, check: