by American Stalls May 06, 2020
Did you miss our previous' Small Business Spotlight Series spotlights? If so, below are more spotlights on some of our favorite equine businesses and professionals:
1) Equivont – An Online Marketplace
2) Rose of Sharon Equestrian School – Therapeutic Riding Facility
3) StableStyle – Online resource for inspiration and dream barns.
There are two types of photos in the world of horses. The first type is a quick iPhone photo – whether it is of rolling hills, the barn, action shots of yourself at a competition, or simply a photo of your horse being a goofball.
The second type is a professional photograph.
The differences between an "amateur" photo and a professional photo go beyond just the photo quality and file. A high quality, professional equestrian photo captures details such as the human-horse bond, the variety of emotions, and other intricate details.
In this week's Small Business Spotlight Series feature, we're proud to feature one of our fellow clients, Bethany Pastorial who runs Bethany P Photography.
Bethany P Photography is more than just a photography business. During projects, Bethany becomes your creative director. She becomes who can take all your Pinterest boards, unicorn fantasies, and love you have for your horse and translate it into heartfelt, genuine photos. Bethany is the storyteller passionate about capturing your relationship with your horse.
We recently had a chance to sit down with Bethany to learn more about her journey, how she is handling COVID-19, and more!
Q: What is your background?
A: I was the stereotypical horse crazy girl growing up in the suburbs with Breyer models and a ton of Saddle Club books. Every time we passed a horse farm I’d press my nose to the car window - you can still catch me doing that!
I started riding lessons when I was 6 on the old grey Arabian mare and “the phase” has never left. From Arabians to cutting horses to the IHSA, I’ve hopped from English to western and back to English again. After college, I bought my first horse, Riptide. He’s my personal version of my favorite movie - The Black Stallion. We’ve shown all over the east coast in the Arabian breed circuit, but these days we’re a retired team doing what I call “backyard dressage.”
Photography has me on the road several weeks of the year so I enjoy pleasure riding my horses at home when I can on my farm in Missouri.
Q: Do you have any horses yourself? If so, what kind?
A: Yes! I have two horses - a 21 year old half Arabian gelding named Riptide and a 7 year old off track Thoroughbred named Morris.
This past November we purchased a 28 acre farm and turned a 30 x 50 cattle shed into a modest two stall barn. The day we brought the boys home fulfilled every childhood dream I had.
Q: How did your photography business begin?
A: I’d always loved horses and photography, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I put the two together when my horse, Riptide, foundered.
As I sat there icing his hooves, I scrolled through my phone at all the photos I had of him - selfies with his goofy nose on my shoulder, videos from our riding lessons, photos bought at horse shows. None of them really represented what it was like to love this horse, so the first thing I did when we were out of the woods was schedule a photo shoot. I realized no one should have to feel that way about a horse they love, so I married my two passions into Bethany P Photography.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your business and profession?
A: Every client - whether a private owner or a business - has an incredible story to tell and every story is completely different. I love the creative challenge of bringing that story to life. When my clients get excited looking at the back of my camera, it brings me the biggest sense of fulfillment because I know I’m nailing their vision.
I’m so humbled when someone decides I’m the right person to tell their story because as a horse lover myself I 100% understand the emotions that come with it.
Q: How has COVID-19 affected Bethany P Photography so far?
A: It’s certainly an anxious time to be a creative sole member entrepreneur right now, especially since my business relies very heavily on meeting someone face to face.
Several sessions have had to be rescheduled or placed on hold until it’s safe to travel as I take clients all over the country. So COVID-19 has made an impact on my business’s schedule for sure.
But one positive outcome from COVID-19 has been the influx of online communication which has never before been so frequent of candid. I’m not a fan of the term “social distancing” as I feel it’s really more “physical distancing,” and there are still plenty of opportunities to connect with others outside the four walls of our homes.
So while my business has certainly pumped the brakes on what is normally a busy season, I’ve tried to remain positive and continue talking to my clients and audiences - keeping the lines of communication open and honest while sharing in the common plight we’re all in.
Q: What tip would you give other businesses similar to Bethany P Photography (i.e. professional photographers, branding and marketing agencies, etc) during these tough times?
A: Stay positive and continue communicating with your audience. As creatives within the industry, we’re really supplying others with a distraction during tough times. Being that positive element will not only support your community but also position yourself as a leader when we emerge from this storm.
Just remember, it will be over one day, and we will return to the world with cameras in hand ready to capture the joy of returning to the ring, spending time with our four legged friends, and the industry’s road to recovery.
You can learn more about what is the heart and soul of Bethany P Photography in the video below: