About Susan

Merging timeless, elegance with a modern, playful twist

Just a woman with a desire to create beauty using a camera as my artist's brush.

Please join me on my creative exploration inspired by history, fashion, flora, and the fantastical.

Everything is an experiment in my work. I don’t go back to replicate; I push forward with new colors, textures, and concepts empowered by my imagination and technology. 

The equine is my primary muse. As a lifelong equestrian, I do my best to bring them to you in an unexpected way and yet still familiar. Sometimes quite abstract and yet still recognizable.

I hope you enjoy my work!

Susan McClafferty Bio-1.jpg

My Photography Studio

My collectible work is all done in a studio setting so I can completely control the background and lighting. Although the horses chosen as my muses are well trained and generally calm - they are still flight animals. Working with strobe lighting, and especially with gels, is a science and can be a technical challenge even with skilled human models. Add in a flight animal covered in fur and the challenge increases significantly.

 

For me, safety and happy horses are my priority on any shoot. I love the many expressions that horses offer which show their personalities but I will not shoot a fearful horse. The horse always comes first as I am a horsewoman before I am a photographer.

 

I am often inspired by in-studio fashion photography but those inspirations do not translate exactly to my work. I must account for extra-large models that are covered in fur, a handler or two that are in the shot, and often very high or low contrast situations such as black fur on a white or black background. I've yet to find the horse that will lower his chin, turn it slightly and hold that pose.

Andalusian Stallion in the Studio

Artistic Philosophy

I consider myself to be a modern photographic artist. I like to explore my beloved equines in the most unique way that I can and bring that to you in my collections. I am drawn to strong colors, textures, and patterns so these themes are often repeated in my work. I like genuine expressions from my horses so you won't always see the often forced, alert, ears up, posture favored by portrait photographers. Horses express themselves in so many more ways than that.

I do not do commissioned pieces for client horses at this time. I seek out the equine models I want to photograph with a specific vision in mind. My images are created as equine artwork to suit my own creative aesthetic so with each print you get a little piece of my heart. I aim to keep the number of editions of any image very low so that collectors can truly own something special and not a mass-market image. My photography is intended to be unusual and artistic so the photoshoots are generally experimental in nature. Sometimes I fail on my first attempt with a new concept but I always learn valuable lessons for the next time.

The goal is always to create art worthy of large printed installations and gallery shows.

Just A Few of My Beautiful Equine Models