I e-met Erin a few months ago when she asked to interview me about NickerDoodles for her website. Erin graciously has a page on her site dedicated to equine related businesses – how wonderful! Of course I was flattered to have been asked, and the entire experience was a delight.
The first time I saw one of Erin’s images I was a fan. She has a terrific eye for catching that special, tender moment between owner and horse. I love the romantic quality of Erin’s work and her eye for composition. A great photo of you with your horse is a lifetime treasure! I’m very happy to have Erin as one of MY ART PEEPS!
Describe your work – stylistically, medium, and or philosophically
I like to think my work is clean and dreamy. That’s what I aim for anyway! My main goal is to show the emotion and bond between horse and owner in a beautiful way!
What is your creative process?
I like to get to know my customers a little before the session and learn about their horse. The night before the session I’ll peruse the internet and my favorite photography blogs to get my creative juices flowing, but during the session I just let it move organically. The horse usually tells us what we need to be doing/what he’ll tolerate. Whether that’s sitting in the grass while he grazes or walking along a fence line so he can see his buddies.
When did you know art would be your path in life?
I always wanted to be creative in whatever career I would end up in. And my “dream job” changed several times throughout college and my first year after. It wasn’t until a year ago that I knew I wanted to focus solely on equine photography.
What is your greatest success to date and what do you hope to accomplish in the future?
My greatest accomplishment would have to be my first wall print order. A customer ordered a 20×30 print and I was ecstatic! In the future, I would like to make this my full time job. Spending everyday with ponies and cameras would be wonderful!
In what way do you hope people will respond to your work?
I hope that people feel some sort of emotion when they see my work. I don’t want people to see my pictures and think “Oh, that’s nice”. I want them to think “That horse and girl really love each other!”
What, if any, struggles or life challenges impact your work and productivity?
I think the biggest struggle that impacts my work is self-doubt. When it’s a slow time or lead goes dead, I get in my head and think there’s no way this will turn into a full time job. I’ve learned to push through it and remind myself that it’s not going to happen overnight, and that’s ok!
What’s your favorite compliment and your most painful “slam” overheard about your work?
I don’t know if I have one favorite compliment, but anytime my husband (videographer) or dad (photographer) are genuinely impressed with an image of mine it means a lot to me because they know what they’re talking about.
My most painful slam was probably when I submitted “outtakes” to Horse Nation, and they showed the outtake with a good image from the session and someone commented that some of the outtakes were better than the “good” images. I don’t know if they meant it negatively or not, but it hurt…bad. Haha.
What advise do you have to offer other artists?
Keep going, and don’t let your inner bully stop you. I recently read a quote from Joy the Baker on The Everygirl: “You’re not the kind of girl who settles. Keep not settling.” It’s such great advice!
What’s your favorite color?
I’ve always thought myself as a green kinda girl, but lately I’ve been loving coral and gold.
If you’re not working on your art – what are you doing?
My day job as a graphic designer or spending time with my husband and our two dogs, two cats, and my horse Fresno.
Contact Information for Erin Wheeler
Email Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin’s site is: erinmichellewheeler.com