[Personal] Dissecting the Photographer

Updated: Sep 21, 2018

If I had one word to explain myself as, it would be "adaptable." Odd word to explain someone, right? For me, however, I find that it fits perfectly! I began moving and traveling at the ripe age of 3 months old, when I moved from Alaska to Nebraska. I was put into horseback riding lessons as a very young girl, and although it was something my parents thought I'd grow out of...I never did! Each day, as they watched me so close to the horse's hoof as I was cleaning it out, they would get more and more anxious about letting me continue. They thought for sure when I was told to muck out the stalls that I would say "No!" and leave. Not quite!

I continued my passion for horses until I was 8 years old, and my family and I moved to Turkey (right?!). There aren't many opportunities to train in horseback riding in Turkey, so I unfortunately had to stop. That's when I picked up my father's old Canon Rebel XT. Anywhere my family traveled, I would take pictures no matter what the subject was! I didn't have the eye that is needed for photography at the age of 8, but I certainly had the passion, and I ran with it!

When I moved to England at the age of 10, there were more opportunities for horseback riding, however they were often quite expensive. I was able to ride every now and then, but never consistently. Through this time, I also explored a lot with the camera. With the mossy buildings, foggy graveyards, and beautiful scenery, I always had a muse. Photography began not only gave me a new passion, it began shaping the way I look at life. How one thing will look different under a different perspective, the importance of light around you, and the value of timing. These not only helped my eye for photography, but it also helped me through some tough times. The camera began to be an extension of me..guiding me through my life.

Virginia was my next move with my family, where I began using my sister to model for me. There would be times where she would be more than happy to model, and others where I would have to bribe her with food! I began investing in my photography education, using resources online, as well as photographers in the community. I knew if I wanted photography to be a part of my life, that I would need to believe in myself enough to take the leap and spend money on it!

In June of 2017, I finally had the ability to buy my own camera. I used it while visiting my family in Arizona, I used it to take pictures of the beautiful campus of James Madison University. I began taking horseback riding lessons again, and began jumping at my favorite stable. I had the ability to delve into my passion with horses again after so long! Although the excitement of continuing my horse passion, my camera never left me, and I began taking pictures of the animals at the barn.

Over the summer of 2017, I began working at a ranch, where I was able to experience a different side of horses. I always had rode under English disciplines, and I had to make the transition to Western disciplines, which was interesting but so much fun! I taught lessons, I led trail rides, I gave many early mornings to have the ability to work at the ranch. I became part of the drill team for the ranch! It gives a whole new meaning to communication when you're expected to ride a horse with one hand on the reins, and the other carrying a flag above you while performing different complex patterns. It was exhausting, and stressful, yet one of the best experiences of my life. I have made many connections with photographers at the ranch (one of which took the lovely photo attached here!) and they were more than happy to help guide me to expand my knowledge about photography, as well as the photography business.

I moved independently in January 2018, and now reside in Boston, Massachusetts! I love life here, and I look forward to the wonderful adventures that I will be going on in the near future.

Of course, I'll have my camera with me, so I'll keep you guys updated!

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@2018 Adriana Rivera

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