07: Embracing a Collaborative and Abundance Mindset

Kim and Cara chat candidly with Carien Schippers, owner of Imagequine and founder of the Equine Photographers Network, about her career as an equine photographer and what motivated her to start a community of horse photographers that is today known as the Equine Photographers Network. Carien shares why she made a conscious decision to have an abundance mindset in the field of photography and how it has carried her through tough times in the industry. Carien speaks to the importance of using community to raise the standards for ALL by pulling others up with us. And finally, Carien acknowledges how she has embraced world changes throughout the years and how her business had to adapt in order to be sustainable.

Our Big 3 Takeaways

Having an abundance mindset makes everything better.

An abundance mindset focuses on being grateful and appreciative of what we have and believing that there is enough of what we each need out there for each of us. Opening ourselves up to greater creativity and increasing gratitude for what we have while building positive habits. It’s ok to celebrate the success of people around us, while still working towards our own goals!

Being part of a community will raise everyone’s level of success.

Through the Equine Photographers Network, Carien has created a growing network of equine photographers that can work together to encourage professional integrity and career development through education, community and professional growth, while promoting the work of each member in equestrian imaging markets.

The world changes around us and our business have to adapt if they are going to be sustainable.

industry grow, change and change some more. In order to have a successful and long career she has had to adapt in many different ways in order to create sustainability within her business. Sometimes it was easy and exciting… sometimes she did it kicking and screaming.

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Show Notes

Carien Schippers is a lifetime student of the horse. She excels in capturing the spirit and beauty of the equine and is in constant pursuit of finding fresh, unique and creative perspectives of her subject. Her work has been widely published in a variety of magazines, calendars, books and catalogs. Carien is the owner of imagequine which is her equine photography business and is the founder of the Equine Photographers Network which is a growing network of equine photographers working together to encourage professional integrity and career development through education, community and professional growth, while promoting members work in equestrian imaging markets around the world.


Mentioned in the episode:


Equine Photographer’s Network

Sherron Shepard

Terri Cage

Powderhorn Ranch
Diamond Land & Livestock

Kim Newman

Daily Horse Shots on Facebook


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Transcripts are autogenerated and may contain typographical and grammar errors. This transcript is copyright©2021 Kimberly Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. DO NOT COPY in whole or part without written permission.

Open the Transcript
Jaz 0:01
Welcome to The Business Animal podcast. saddle up for a gallop to the top of the animal industry, where you’ll learn how to tame your wild business beast with tips, techniques, and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts, Kim Beer, and Cara Taylor Swift.

Kimberly Beer 0:24
Hey there Business Animals. Cara and I have an amazing treat for you today on today’s episode of The Business Animal, we are bringing you an interview with one of our mentors and the founder of the Equine Photographers Network Carien Schippers. Now, both Cara and I are professionally going photographers, and we’re both members of Koreans organization. But Carien has been an industry leader in equine photography, and a innovator in this industry for many, many years. And she has a lot of wisdom to share around equine photography and also around entrepreneurship that’s going to apply to you whether you have an equine photography business or whether you have a pet sitting business or you’re in agribusiness, she has a lot to share around the positivity of being an entrepreneur and how to face some of the challenges that you may come up against. As you’re listening to the episode, Cara, I would love for you to listen for our big three takeaways from this episode. And those are having an abundance mindset makes everything better. Carien is a master at this, she is very giving of her knowledge and of her time and she also wants to create a world where people collaborate versus compete, which I think is an amazing an important piece in everything that we do. Number two, and the big three is being part of a community will raise everyone’s level of success. Carien has created a very cohesive and very again collaborative community in the Equine Photographers Network. And the way she’s done that and why she’s done that are really important points in today’s interview. And then finally, Carien is also going to give you some wisdom around how to kind of roll with the changes. So our third big three is the world changes around us and our businesses have to adapt if they’re going to be sustainable. And I think Koreans business is a testament to how that’s going to work. So without further ado, here is our interview with Carien Schippers. Enjoy.

Hi, I’m Kim Beer with Be More Business

and I’m Cara Taylor Swift with Fast Horse Photography. We are so excited to be here today you all we have our very first guest interview. This is our very first of what we hope to be many, but we’re excited to have Carien Schippers here with us today. I’m going to give you guys just a little bit of a rundown on Carien, and then I’m going to fan girl just a little bit right after so Carien Schippers is a lifetime student of the horse she excels in capturing the spirit and beauty of the equine and is in constant pursuit of finding fresh, unique and creative perspectives of her subject. Her work has been widely published in a variety of magazines, calendars, books, and catalogs. Carien is the owner of image equine, which is our equine photography business and is the founder of the Equine Photographers Network, which is a growing network of equine photographers working together to encourage professional integrity and career development through education, community and professional growth while promoting members work in equestrian imaging markets around the world. So that’s a lot to say right off the bat, but Carien is going to go in and she’s going to give us some more details. But I just have to say, Carien that you were the very first person when I started taking pictures of horses and really focusing that was really kind to me as a new photographer. And when I joined your Facebook group daily horse shots, you shared the first image that I ever had shared anywhere. And it was a little image of my pony that was kicking or bucking or something today, I look back and I’m like, it’s a terrible image, but you shared it. And I remember telling my husband I said I just got the EP net bump, because I had a whole bunch of new followers and I got so excited. And I just wanted to thank you first of all for being such a kind person and like one of the kindest people when I first got started, I’ll add to that you were the first equine photography, online education that I had I took your course and then your workshop at powderhorn was my very first horse focused workshop. So I’m gonna fangirl just a little bit today, but we’re super stoked to have you here.

Carien Schippers 4:24
Well, thank you, Cara. That’s so so nice and kind. It goes back to you because I really admire your work too. And I’ve enjoyed my time with you. That’s what it’s all about to me is building a community of equine photographers. I started out I sold my horse first horse photo in 1976. I was taking horseback riding lessons and I’d go and take photos of the lessons there and they use those photos to help their students their rights and wrongs. And from then on. It’s always been about horses and photography for me in the 80s and 90s. I was doing a lot of horse shows and at that time, the internet was coming along. And there were those Yahoo groups. Remember the Yahoo groups was was the original social media I think I remember it clearly it was probably in the 1990s. And I was driving home from all weekend horse show, I had had too much Mountain Dew, I blame it all on Mountain Dew. And I, I was the middle of the night, and I came home and I created Yahoo group for econ photographers, and this was probably in the late 1990s. But from that point on, it was amazing to me how many econ photographers they were out there, and how isolated we all were from each other. And the connection we made, it was like instant friendship with a lot of people that all we’re facing kind of the same challenges being female photographers, which you know, it’s mostly a male dominated profession, but with horses, it’s mostly women. So a lot of us, you know, kind of found each other. And it really I do call it a support group for equine photographers. And a lot of those initial members I’m still friends with it’s it’s really been pretty amazing the connections that I’ve made, but also have made for others to see people connecting with each other. It’s been a journey that I really couldn’t ever imagine that it would take me to some amazing places and people I’ve met and the things I’ve been able to do that I would never have done on my own. But the strength of the group, the strength of the numbers is, you know, I found that the need for it. And I’ve kind of gone where the need has taken me you initially asked me what the decision was, I don’t really ever remember being a decision, it was more just seeing the need and filling it and building it from there. To this day,

Cara Taylor Swift 6:41
I’m going to take you back a little bit because I definitely want us to dig deep into the Equine Photographers Network. But I want to know a little bit more about your wife. Tell us about why you became an equine photographer in the beginning. I remember reading about you a long time ago and hearing about how you started your business as a mom. And that really resonated with me because I had just had my son Easton, right before I started my business. And I had some real big reasons around that. So I’m just I would love to hear your why.

Carien Schippers 7:09
Boy, that’s a good one. I always remember taking pictures. And then I think it was around 13. And I don’t think I was at an active enough child to suit my mother. So she said, I’m gonna take you to riding lessons. And that was it. I don’t think she ever understood how well I think she did, because she saw how my life went after that. But after that point, it was always horses for me. So taking pictures of the horses was always natural. But I think with our photographers, it’s horses first and photography. Second for the women. For the men, it’s more, it’s the women in their lives that are involved with the horses. So they want to be involved. So they start taking pictures, when I started taking pictures at this table where they were riding lessons, I would go to the horse shows and take pictures there of the students in their classes. And then at that time, on Long Island back in the 70s and 80s, I was very active horse scene and those always things going on places to go and horse activities. And I’d be busy every weekend going to some kind of Horse Event taking pictures. And so it really grew from there. And when I got out of high school, I studied animal husbandry and I got a two year degree in that. And then I took a year off and worked at a horse farm. And it was not a really good situation at that time. And my parents again saw how unhappy I was there and said, Well, you know, you really love the photography, why don’t you then look into that. And so I ended up going to New England School of Photography in Boston for two years. And that really opened the whole world up to me, you know, color darkroom and four by five cameras and living in a city and the whole new type of group of people met my future husband, they’re still doing more shows every weekend and building the business from their 1984, after we were married, the first baby came along. And it’s really it is a business, if you’re married, that you can keep going and still raise a family because you know, I would be gone on weekends. And you know, we didn’t see each other much. But he would work all week and I would work on weekends. And it wasn’t a business that I could have done as a single mother. I don’t think I was earning enough. But it was a great second income and a way for me to stay home and raise the family. And we also have a farm. And so you know, there was always lots to do. You know, I don’t feel like I’ve ever had a real job. And I hope I never have to have that is awesome. So I’ve been very fortunate in that way. Yes. And having family support is huge.

Cara Taylor Swift 9:37
I think there’s a lot of small animal based business owners out there right now that you know, say to themselves, I left maybe a corporate business to go to work for myself so that I would have you know free time and make my own schedule. And I think the reality that most people see is that running your own business is more than a full time job a lot of times but you know, granted, there is flexibility and you know, as a mom myself being able to kind of set that schedule is huge. So I can relate to that. I think there’s a lot of people out there that can relate to that as well.

Carien Schippers 10:04
And I think when you work for yourself, you’re willing to do with a lot less to you realize how little you really do need, I think it’s a matter of priorities. And, you know, as I said, I’ve been really fortunate.

Kimberly Beer 10:14
Yeah, the entrepreneur is willing usually to give up an eight hour job to work 12 to 20. But you also get that benefit of being able to guide your life. And you said, you know, you can get by on too little, but you also learn to appreciate how much you actually have. And I think, for me, that’s been a big aspect of owning my own business is that I really get to appreciate everything in my day. And I know you live in the country on a farm, and you have goats and horses outside your door and having a corporate job, it’s not as easy to interact with the animals and wildlife and everything that you have in your world. So in the progression of your business, Corinne, you, you moved from being a photographer that’s working on weekends, and you gave us a little bit of insight into kind of how EP net got started. And I do believe if I go back, and look, I was a member of the Yahoo group a very long time ago, I met you, you were my also my first organization as a photographer that I joined. And I don’t think I really considered myself necessarily a professional photographer until I joined Equine Photographers Network. So when you made that decision, did you first see EP net as a business? Or was it just a way that you could connect with other people in the industry?

Carien Schippers 11:33
Well, I think as I saw a need at that time, there was no website of any type that was just for equine photographers. And I also was getting a lot of calls at that time for jobs that I couldn’t do. And the question would always be, well, can you recommend another photographer and I could never think of anybody, but I did have this group. So I said, Well, we need to build some kind of a place where image buyers or show managers or event organizers can go and find a photographer in their area. And it really was that simple. I wanted a directory type site that people could go to and find a photographer in their area to provide services for whatever around the world, basically. And I think when we originally built the site, I think we had 79 members at that time, which was pretty good. And those all came from that Yahoo group, because it was created from the discussions that we had in the Yahoo group was, would there be an interest in you guys having a directory based site where somebody could go and find you? And so do I want where the need was, and I think this as a business owner, you go where the need is, you see a need, and you try to fill it. And if I can’t fill it, I want to give you a name of somebody who can, the original site was three iterations ago. So now we’re working, we just launched now 20 years later, we’ve launched a brand new website, which I’m very excited about. And this website now has about 270 members. So we’ve grown we don’t have as many as we used to, because, you know, things have changed, photography’s changed, the economy’s changed, the world has changed. But we’re still here. And we’re definitely in it for the long haul. The website itself has developed from being the directory site to also having portfolios for our members, and having to membership levels so that we can welcome anybody that’s interested in equine photography, whether you’re just starting out and want to learn more about your equipment and never plan to go pro two pros that have been in business for decades, such as myself.

Cara Taylor Swift 13:36
I definitely when I was first, you know, starting in the equine photography business, when I found the website, I found like, I felt like I found a resource. I spent a lot of time on there studying the work of others learning about some of the other photographers that were out there, I attended courses you had at the time, I don’t know if the new site still has the archives, where you can go through and read past questions that people had. So I definitely considered it a resource when I was first starting in the business.

Carien Schippers 14:04
Yeah, well, you know, when we, when we created it, everybody was going from film to digital. And that was a big change in the whole photography world. And a lot of us were confused about our gear. And a lot of us want to have the fancy cameras, but don’t know how to work them all that well. So a lot of what we provide is a community that will help you if you post a question. We have some members that are really generous with their time that will help you answer your questions. And no matter how dumb you may think they are, you know, somebody else is probably reading that exact same question saying, Oh, yeah, I was curious about that, too. And I think that’s really important to me is to build a community that is generous and willing to share because I know there are some photographers out there that are not welcoming to young pros. You know, and I’ve heard a lot of bad experiences from starting out pros that have been treated really badly by older pros and I don’t you know, I don’t like to hear for me it’s kind of just paying it all forward and it comes back in so many different ways that you don’t even imagine

Cara Taylor Swift 15:06
I think that you’re segwaying really nicely into another piece that we wanted to talk to you about and that’s that you know the Equine Photographers Network has certainly done a great job of taking a group of diverse people you know who really may view each other as competition and turned it into an us for the most part and two helpful friends you know and people that i have made friends through this industry that i hope to be lifelong friends and as active members of the Equine Photographers Network we really attribute this to your abundance mindset and your encouragement to lift people up you know what are your thoughts around that idea of competition versus collaboration.

Carien Schippers 15:40
Well yeah you just nailed that because you can either have an abundance mindset or a scarcity mindset and i choose to go with the abundance and i literally made that conscious change in my own thinking and it just has changed everything for me because things start to flow to you you know once you give of yourself rather than trying to keep it all for yourself we see this at workshops where we have some really brilliant photographers like you and Kim and there’s a bunch of others that show up at powder horn and we just leave it all behind we’re just ourselves a bunch of crazy ladies getting together and having fun and we’re all shooting the same thing and we all come away with completely different work people need to work on their own style 10 years ago everybody was doing textured backgrounds and everything you saw was a texture background and it’s good to learn all that but you still have to learn your own style and what sets you apart so that a client is going to seek you out if your work looks like everybody else’s then there’s really no reason why they’re not going to just find the cheapest one of the bunch if you have a really good talent at something and you stand apart and your work is recognizable then you know it doesn’t matter what everybody else is doing creativity is something you can’t really teach i think you’d learn all the techniques so you can create that vision but i do think everybody is born creative and you know i’m the least technical person out there and i always kind of cringe when everybody feels like they need the latest camera because you really don’t you don’t need to spend all that money on the latest camera you can get you know a 10 year old camera and if you’re creative and you have the vision you can still make that image happen right

Cara Taylor Swift 17:18
I think that takes us to our next question about technology, Kim did you want to give her that one?

Kimberly Beer 17:23
Yeah let me talk about that so yeah Carien both Ckara and i feel like you’re very much an innovator in equine photography in the industry itself you have really gracefully handled changing technology sometimes we’ve had to drag you kicking and screaming into it a little bit but it’s always been graceful kicking and screaming in the photography profession so do you have any thoughts you’d like to share with business owners because honestly no matter what industry you’re in whether it’s photography whether it’s walking dogs even groomers i mean i don’t care where you are even in businesses that aren’t in the pet based industry we all have to deal with changing and shifting technology i mean there’s always something new to learn on facebook there’s new methods coming down new things becoming available and it just as the photography industry got hit really hard when we switched from film to digital and we all had to learn a new way of doing things how did you keep your positive mindset during that and how do you handle that so gracefully?

Carien Schippers 18:26
Well you know it all comes down to surrounding yourself with people who you know can you know balance you out i know what my weaknesses are like i will not do a background replacement because i just end up wanting to throw my computer out the window you know so i have friends like you and patti hosmer and you know i’ve had a bunch of people help me when i put the call out and this is what happens on ep net can someone help me with this and i always get a response and they do a wonderful job and i might pay him a little money or whatever i’ve just saved myself a bunch of time and headache and everybody’s happy so you know i say work to your strengths like i won’t print either i sent all my work out to be printed it used to be where you could go you know shoot shoot your show on film and drop off your film at the drugstore whatever and wait a day or two and get it all back and then have to sort through the negatives now we all sit around our computers and we do everything from beginning to end so it’s good to have resources that you can go to to help you when there’s things that you know you can’t do well there’s no rule anywhere that says you have to do what all right if you have a huge group of other talented photographers then reach out and say you know i need help with this and you’ll be surprised because someday you might be able to do the same for them and that’s part of being part of the community

Kimberly Beer 19:47
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I think that for all of us that come to events or participate in the social media what i think we love most of all is the fact that we all can collaborate and become friends i mean i know for me i’ve formed lifelong friendships from the community that you started and created and one of my favorite things if any year is sitting around the big table at powder horn with all the other photographers and talking and learning about what they’re doing and watching them edit and for me answering questions i love technology is a deep part of my passion in life give me a gadget and a button to push and i’m happy and i love helping other people push those buttons as well so it gives me the opportunity to be there and i always learn things because other people come up with challenges that i would have never thought of and then it gives me an opportunity to solve that and the laughter oh my word the laughter there are times that we laughed so hard at and it’s just so much fun it’s just such a joyful experience.

Carien Schippers 21:23
Well creativity should be joyful right yeah yeah it should if it’s upsetting or it makes us sad or angry then something’s not right i think that a lot of us are kind of especially when we’re starting out we’re insecure and we’re comparing ourselves to others and we second guess ourselves and we get discouraged and i see this with a lot of our younger members i literally take the time every day to leave kind comments on photos that i like and i only do with photos that i like if i you know they don’t do it for me i’ll pass on by and i try to keep everything positive because you know the talent we have is amazing and we don’t know what anybody else is going through if it’s no longer a joyful test we shouldn’t be doing it anymore so.

Cara Taylor Swift 22:06
That’s huge i mean and like i said when i started in this business six years ago and you were one of the very first people that did that you took your time and you commented on something of mine that and you were probably one of the first non family members to not be like you know cheering for me in the background but to have someone of your caliber that i considered you know an icon in the industry and someone that just to get to sit at a table next to you was an honor to leave a comment on one of my images or to send me a dm or something i mean it was the biggest deal ever so keep doing that because it does make a difference.

Carien Schippers 22:41
People seem to think they can only create images with fancy cameras I see some amazing work being taken by just cell phones so you know we can create with pinhole box if we wanted to if we were driven enough so we need to encourage people as much as possible images make the world a better place and horses have have some incredible power to people that don’t see horses you know the all they see is those photos and i hear that a lot and i think i also don’t hear it from a lot of people that have really been really influenced by just the community aspect of what we do online getting that positive feedback it can really change somebody’s day or somebody’s life when i’m feeling down it makes me feel better to go and leave positive feedback on somebody else’s work.

Cara Taylor Swift 23:25
That’s an amazing way to look at it do we want to Kim spin this back to the Equine Photographers Network now

Kimberly Beer 23:32
i do and i want to talk to you Carien you just went through a bout a year and a half to two year process of birthing an entire new website and and it’s I mean I know that there were lots of morning sickness pregnancy pain and giving birth to this thing was was a deal.

Carien Schippers 23:52
It’s an unruly child, yes.

Kimberly Beer 23:56
And now and now you have a toddler that you have to deal with I love how you call us herding cats because we are a little like herding cats your membership.

Carien Schippers 24:07
Yeah sometimes i get a little annoyed with you all one point i did want to make before we move on to EPNet is the fact that we are mainly women i’d say we’re probably a good 85-90% our members are all female which is just i think reflects you know the horse industry is mostly female but we also learn differently and we communicate differently and i think when we started doing our online courses we were very lucky to get Sharon Shepperd to work with us on the Photoshop courses and the fact that she’s a woman and people seem to really understand her teaching style is huge to me because my husband and i have this discussion all the time sometimes i feel like i’m talking to someone on a different planet certain things that we try to do and we just can’t communicate and we get along fine but there’s certain things that he tries to explain it and i’m like i’m not getting it I’m sorry it is definitely a male female thing so i think women supporting women and teaching women has helped a lot of our younger members kind of grow. I think it’s kind of a safe space for people to ask questions and not feel like they’re going to be ridiculed or anything like that. And if anything like that happens, I’m pretty quick to moderate as far as EPNet goes, it’s been a real challenge. And it’s been infuriating at times, because it’s the same with photography, you have a vision in your head, and you want to create it, and you just don’t know how to get there. And then you need to communicate it with an outside person who has really very little concept, you know, of your concept. So there’s a lot of explaining back and forth and redoing things and tearing things down. starting over again, I’m glad that we did it during the pandemic, because it made us really focus on just daily, uh, going out and working on it. But we have a very nice directory site now. And we’ve been live since February 1 with the new site and all the members are in there now hopefully trying to get their profile pages up and running, they get four images they can put in the directory listing. And then for the professional level members, we have portfolio offering, which is a very powerful system we’ve got going on very excited about we’ll have searchable keywords. And I think we’ve already got like 1200 images uploaded there. So the members are uploading photos. And it’s very exciting to see what people are uploading, you know, we have members from around the world. We’ve got members in all over the US and Canada, but also all over Europe. I think we’ve got one in Russia got some in Australia, they’re from all over the world. You know, we welcome everybody, you know, I’m excited for the future. I think this website’s gonna be a little more user friendly than the old one.

Cara Taylor Swift 26:38
It’s definitely a sleek new model. Why don’t you break down for us the website real quick. And just in terms of as a photographer, this is what your experience can be. And then if you’re someone that’s an animal based business seeking imagery, why don’t you kind of just real quick give us a rundown of what that can look like for both so that our listeners who’ve maybe never heard of the Equine Photographers Network can kind of know what we’re talking about in terms of that.

Carien Schippers 27:01
Yeah, the site itself is EquinePhotographers.org, we’re basically a directory based site where we can go and find a photographer. So if you’re a photographer, you’re welcome to join us we have three levels of membership. There’s the basic level, the general level and the professional level, if you want to just check us out, you can register for a three month free trial as a basic member, and that allows you into our Facebook community. And you also get some promotion there, you do not get a directory listing that’s for general and professional members, the general members get a directory listing and their profile page, the professional members get their directory listing and the portfolio option. And there’s lots of other benefits to which you can go to the join page and read all about that. If you’re an image buyer, or you’re looking for a photographer or you just love looking at photos, you can come visit us. And there’s all sorts of resources and articles you can read there. If you’re looking for a photographer, there’s an image or photographer request form. So you can put out a call that goes to our members with your information. And you can also search the portfolios if you’re looking for a specific kind of image.

Kimberly Beer 28:08
Well, I want to point out from a membership standpoint, EPNet is invaluable. It’s invaluable to me, it’s invaluable I know, to your other members as well, some of the benefits that you have on your join page are amazing. You get discounts on EP net events and courses at certain levels of membership. Corinne has gone out and found other businesses and connected things to support us in this if you go to some of the EP net events like the horse drive, I know you do a workshop around the great American Horse drive in Colorado, which I know sadly is canceled this year. But hopefully it’ll be back next year. And you’ll get goodies at that I love this swag bags when I go to that as well. There’s promotional stuff to help you there’s access to the community, which I know we’ve talked a lot about, and is probably the most valuable piece of this. And there’s just so much here that you can take advantage of and have a connection to to build your business to build your network to build your own community. And the cost of membership is not expensive at all, starts out at $35 a year for the basic and then goes up from there. So it’s very, very affordable. Even at the professional level. It’s extremely affordable for what especially for what you get out of it. The thing that I love about the new site, Carien is for people coming and looking for a photographer, you have so many wonderful choices and there’s so much talent on that directory page. And you’ve made it easy for people to see images and connect with those photographers. And then the portfolio images you can search by keyword. So if you’re looking for a specific image, you can go in there and search by keyword so you can find that image and find out what photographer took it and if it’s not quite the right fit, then you have that photographers contact information as an image buyer to be able to get with them and negotiate so you’ve got created this wonderful space for people who want to buy images for photographers that want to promote and connecting us together. And then also for horse lovers who want to come and just enjoy the beautiful images. There’s a lot of opportunity.

Carien Schippers 30:14
Yeah, and you know, we do have quite a number of members who are not pro and will never be Pro, but still enjoy photography so much. And talking to pros and getting tips on taking better pictures and joining us at workshops, you know, that that’s what makes a community so vibrant, is the diversity of our members. You know, I mean, how fun is it to see photos from Australia or Iceland or Russia? You know, I mean, 20 years ago, we couldn’t have dreamed of that. Yeah, I mean, it’s so inspiring to see what everybody else is doing and gives us ideas and you know, makes me want to go out and shoot and every so often we do the challenges or the shoots or like the soulstice project we have every year I just love to see what everybody’s doing on a certain day. You know, even if you aren’t if your horses standing out in the rain, you know, it’s not always pretty horse pictures, you know, so I always get that comment. Well, it’s raining today. I can’t take pictures. Of course you can take pictures, your camera works in the rain, just put plastic bag on and go and shoot. I’ve I’ve gotten my best pictures in the rain. What are you talking about? You don’t have to have son to take good pictures you crazy.

Kimberly Beer 31:14
Yeah, exactly, exactly. And I also noticed that you one other thing that I know EPNet actively promotes is photographers working with rescues and horses in need projects. And I think that’s a really important piece of what you do to give back. And then also to encourage all of the rest of us to give back to these animals that as you mentioned earlier, their magic, they change people’s lives just by seeing a photo of them. So having that connection.

Carien Schippers 31:43
Yeah, and you know, some people think that photography is all about pretty horse photos, and then they get upset when they see something that might offend them. For some reason, if a horse might be a little thin, or they’re not using the right kind of bit, and that’s not photography, to me, photography, to me is a evoking and emotion, it’s not always a positive emotion. Sometimes, you know, the most memorable images we see are the ones that break our heart, right. So if there’s a photo of a half starved horse, there’s no words in the world that are going to help somebody understand that it’s only going to take one image for people to feel something and maybe send some money to support a rescue. If enough people send $5 that could save the life of a horse. So just you know, that’s some real tangible results that we can see through our work, I have a number of rescue related causes that I work with every year. And there’s one locally here that I go to two or three times a year, and I help them with their calendar. And you know, I don’t get paid. But what I do do is I have a fine art site, you can sell prints through there, so I, I upload their photos there. And then I use that as a fundraiser, I’m able to send back portion of all profits to them. And, you know, I’ve written them some pretty nice checks. So you know, that works really well for the rescue. And then the rescue has images that really draw attention.

Cara Taylor Swift 33:03
There’s a big number of us two that are generating our incomes based on this animal. So it’s really nice to have an opportunity to give back in some way.

Carien Schippers 33:10
We have a lot of power that way as far as raising awareness. But we also have to be very careful with it. Because we don’t want people to turn away, I have images that I’ve never posted anywhere because I know that they’re too sensitive. I’ve taken photos of myself that at the time, I didn’t feel anything, but I’d go back later and look at them. And I and myself have an emotional response to my own photos, which I didn’t feel at the time. So you know, I It reminds me that those images are very powerful, we kind of have to be careful about how we do present them. But I don’t think we should hide all the bad stuff from the world either. I think we all need to give that blog, I think you can still illustrate something without being too graphic.

Cara Taylor Swift 33:48
You bring up a really important point a couple weeks ago, we talked about, you know, marketing images, for example, on the podcast, you wrote about imagery and how when you take a picture, you have an image that a lot of times people will forget what was written but they will remember the image for so much longer. And it really resonated with me and especially when you’re talking about this subject with the rescue and giving back and whatnot when I was you know, redoing my homework the other day, I remember reading that and it really stuck with me and made me think about that episode we just talked about Kim, where are we talking about marketing images and how a lot of times those images are your first impression for your business.

Kimberly Beer 34:24
It’s our job to tell that story and to tell it from our point of view so other people can attach to that.

Cara Taylor Swift 34:32
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Kimberly Beer 35:17
I do you want to talk about some of the opportunities people would have to be able to interact with these images that we’re discussing you have a Facebook group obviously for the EPNet members I know on Facebook that you have an opportunity for people who just are interested in beautiful images that maybe want to share their images and see other images and that’s called Daily Horse Shots can you tell us a little bit about that?

Carien Schippers 35:39
Yeah this is a really fun group that we have on facebook and we’ve got tons of members and it’s very active group we have a weekly theme every week there’s some amazing work that gets shared there and it’s just a great group to join to get some support and some motivation maybe some inspiration to go out and shoot see the world in a different way that you might you know get some ideas that you may not have thought of on your own.

Cara Taylor Swift 36:02
Now that Equine Photographers Network is on instagram officially did you want to share where folks can find you there

Carien Schippers 36:09
yes it’s Equine Photographers Network thanks for Kim Newman and Terri Cage who volunteer to take that over because Instagram just kind of i get lost on Instagram i’m there and i enjoy it for my personal is I kind of use it as a journal you know for my phone photos I just post my phone photos on there and i like to snap things when i’m traveling or my donkeys or you know my garden or whatever and then I go look at everybody else’s work but yeah Instagram you know we’re growing really quickly there and we feature a member every day it’s looking really good i think that came along about the same time as the new site so we’ve only been about a month and we’re over 1000 people already so that’s looking really good and I’m really appreciative that we have members that were volunteered to step up for that.

Cara Taylor Swift 36:53
That’s awesome so is there anywhere else that we want to make sure that people can find you we’ve got you on Facebook, Instagram the equinephotographers.org, is there anywhere else that we need to direct people to find you?

Carien Schippers 37:03
I do a little bit on Pinterest because I’ve got a thing about vintage images and i love seeing the vintage horse images so I haven’t done much lately but i’ve got a huge folder there that’s nothing but vintage horse images and it’s really fun to i just love seeing those old images they’ve got like civil war horses you know and it’s just amazing to me what photography has done you know where we’ve come even in my lifetime we did start on linkedin also usually we’ll go over there and post upcoming events you know like when we have a course or or workshop or something we do have a mailing list and we do a photo of the week every week which will send a members photo right to your email and also let you know what’s going on so if you’re not on social media definitely go over to ep net and sign up for our mailing list and that will let you know what’s going on right now we’ve got a snow project where we invite people to come share their snowy horse photos and deadline for that is the 15th so that’s coming right up i think that’s it for a social media.

Kimberly Beer 38:05
Since people listen to this kind of at all different times you run those kind of here and there you have different times different themes different things that they can participate in correct?

Carien Schippers 38:14
Yep Daily Horse Shots we come up with a new theme every Sunday and so we have a different theme every week you’re not required to post the theme but people get really serious about it and i think it’s been a good way to kind of get people thinking outside of what they normally shoot people tend to kind of get stuck in ruts they’re only shooting one thing but if you tell them to go shoot a panorama or shoot black and white or you know shoot a detail then all of a sudden they kind of see a different way in their photography so that’s kind of fun to see people growing that way and being a little more experimental with their work

Kimberly Beer 38:48
So Carien I know that there’s opportunities for learning so you have educational opportunities and retreats and photography workshops and obviously we want people to come to the Equine Photographers Network oregon find out about those opportunities but is there any of those upcoming classes or workshops and retreats that you would like to tell people about?

Carien Schippers 39:09
We do have Terri Cage has a couple of courses that are available on demand one is a black background course and the other one is all about social media and those are on demand so you can sign up for those anytime and then you get added to a facebook group where she has all sorts of different videos and she’s also planning on doing her horses and humans course again sometime in the near future I believe and then we have Powderhorn coming up in we’re gonna do it two times this year because we didn’t get to it at all last year August and October but those are both full with waiting lists.

Kimberly Beer 39:44
And Powderhorn for those of you who we’ve mentioned that a couple of times this is a retreat for women it is in Wyoming and Douglas, Wyoming and it’s on a beautiful ranch called the Powderhorn ranch and we gather and do photo shoots and do setups with models and horses and its real working life western photography, and it’s a blast, we have a really good time. And we do plan on being back there again in future years. So if it’s something that would be appealing to you go check out the website and take a look at what the opportunities are for that and, and other opportunities that are added along the way. And Terri Cage is also one of our guest experts on The Business Animal. And so check out her classes and just revisit the website pretty frequently. And you’ll find opportunities where you can engage. I know it’s been a crazy year and a pandemic. So it’s really hard to be able to get to get events, put together, but I do want people to know down the road, there’s a lot of opportunity for them to interact.

Carien Schippers 40:43
This has been a great year to be learning online, too. I think there’s been a lot of activity online with different courses and a lot of free offerings, which have been really amazing too. So the internet gives us really a lot of opportunities we never had before.

Kimberly Beer 40:58
Oh, Carien, I want to thank you so much for being our first interview. And hopefully we didn’t muck things up too badly

Carien Schippers 41:06
Yeah, I’m honored. Just make sure you had hit that record button before we started.

Kimberly Beer 41:11
I did.

I did. I did.

Carien Schippers 41:14
I can’t wait to see both of you in Wyoming. I

Kimberly Beer 41:17
know coming up in August. We’re ready to see you too. It’s gonna be a lot of fun to get back together again and have some new normal with everybody. So thanks a lot. Carien for hopping on with us today.

Carien Schippers 41:27
You’re welcome.

Jaz 41:28
Thanks for listening to this episode of The Business Animal. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. And if you learned something today, leave us a review. To learn more, find us at The Business animal.com we’d love to hear from you. Until next time, keep your business well trained with The Business Animal.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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