The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before. In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find. Please DO NOT send me your work. I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist: Kevin Arnold

A Farrier’s Craft – Artist Statement from Kevin Arnold

I’ve always loved to shoot people engrossed in an activity. I like the raw emotion that I can capture. When I was younger I was drawn to shooting adventure sports for this very reason: there was always an opportunity to capture a variety of genuine human feelings. Whether determination, fear, joy, contemplation, exhaustion or something more ephemeral, I found that these emotions lived close to the surface when people were stretching themselves mentally and physically.

Over time I’ve become more interested in finding this emotion in other facets of life, as well. The key, for me, is that the person I’m shooting is fully invested in what they are doing. And no one is more devoted to his or her movement than a truly skilled craftsperson. You can see the depth of their expertise, their skill and the years they have invested in their craft not only on their face, but also in the efficiency of their body and the movement of their hands. I love the challenge of trying to capture that deeply instilled choreography in a photographic image.

My eldest daughter has been riding horses for many years, and we now own our own horses and barn. But I can still remember the first time I watched the farrier at work. At the time, I didn’t even know what a farrier was, and I was astounded at the timelessness of his craft. The horseshoes, the wooden bench and leather chaps, the tools, the kiln – the anvil! It’s Old World, having stood the test of centuries of technological revolutions. Working by hand with each horse to sculpt their feet and shape each shoe to complement their stance and gait is still the way to get the job done. It is a craft that is as needed today as ever, yet is refreshingly untouched by modern technology. Dave wears his experience in his hands and face, and I knew the first time I saw him at work that I would need to photograph him.

I did the shoot in the winter – it happen to be one of the coldest days – because I knew that the steam from the hot shoes and the horse’s breath would add a quality that just wouldn’t be there on a warm summer day. There is a sense of dedication and old world charm in the black and white moody imagery, that for me matches the farrier craft so well.

To see more of the personal project click here
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

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