Trainer to the Stars (Equine Stars that is)

L O O K ….. PhyllisBurchettPhoto has a new BLOG Post and it’s all about us and her trip to New York!

In March I had the pleasure of heading to New York to photograph for Cari Swanson at Windrock Farm. My friend Suzanne joined me so we spent a day in the city being tourists before heading to Amenia to visit Cari. The last time I visited New York City was right after 9/11 St. Paul’s Chapel and Trinity Church was still adorned with flowers, cards and momentos to the fallen.

After September 11, 2001, St. Paul’s became the site of an extraordinary, round-the-clock relief ministry to rescue and recovery workers for nine months. Though the World Trade Center buildings collapsed just across the street, there was no damage to St. Paul’s, earning it the nickname “the little chapel that stood.”

After our brief visit to the big city we took the train up to Wassaic, New York where Cari picked us up and took us to her farm. What a beautiful drive, rolling hills and gorgeous countryside. 

Cari and part of her “tribe”. Five Icelandic Sheepdogs Storm, Loki, Röskur, Rune and Freyja

I met Cari years ago when she was working on a movie set that was filming at the Burge Plantation in Mansfield, Georgia.  Thanks to Facebook we’ve stayed in contact and when the opportunity arose I jumped at the chance to head to New York to work with Cari and her horses.  Cari Swanson is the owner of  Swanson Productions. They provide specialty horses for film, television and commercials including carriages and wranglers as well as instruction. Cari is a Horse trainer, Riding Instructor, Producer and Author.
Visit her website at

I wanted to shoot horses in the snow and boy did I get to! We had some gorgeous models that gladly showed their stuff for us under gorgeous blue skies the first day.

Paint Mares, Lily and Dreamer

Listo and Merlin, Lusitano Stallion and Gelding


The light was stunning, “Novelisto” owned by Ashley Slack Waller.

These two images were taken back to back but with the help of Photoshop we can make them look warm or cool. Which one do you like better?

I took lots and lots of images. Horses rearing and horses being goofy. All total the first day I think I shot over 2500 frames.

Lisa Oberman sent some of her beautiful custom tack for us to use. El Sueño Español check it out on Facebook.

This is the gorgeous Morgan Stallion, Rosevale Leggo owned by A Horse Drawn Affair.

We did portrait work with Blaze and Bond for promotional use too. These guys are veterans in the film business.

We even brought horses in the house!

Always trying to be creative, what can I do different with rearing horses? Cari had this great Carousel horse in her house so why not put it in a composite with Listo!

Cari is amazing with her horses, they respect her and respond to everything she asks willingly. Thank you Cari, we enjoyed our time at Windrock Farm and can’t wait to come back!

The horse knows….
He knows if you know….
He also knows if you don’t know.
~ Ray Hunt

Stay tuned plans are being discussed for a workshop at Cari’s farm for 2018.

On our way back to the city we stopped in Hudson, New York to photograph the Dr. Oliver Bronson House. This hidden gem is a challenge to be able to visit due to limited hours —- but if you love architecture and historic preservation, you won’t want to miss the experience. The house is centered around a grand spiral staircase that winds it’s way through the center of the house.

Well that was our world wind of a weekend of fabulous photographic opportunities, wonderful fellowship, yummy food and meeting new friends.

Thanks to all who made this trip possible!




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Happy New 2017!

Whether you are a professional or an amateur, I think we have all found ourselves in a rut at one time or another photographically.  A new year is a great time to explore ideas and inspiration to help spark creativity. So I ask….What is your goal for your photography this year? Personal projects are one of the best ways to grow as a photographer. Pushing yourself to try new things or seek out new subjects can only help you to grow photographically. Here are a couple of great photography challenge projects to consider this year:


Think beforehand about what you want to accomplish with your images and then go out and work toward that goal. MY GOAL is to create images with more impact so here are a few things to think about when you go out to create YOUR images:


PhyllisBurchett_BlackBear02_Wildlife PBurchett_20150218_0526_FB








Of course these are just a few of the things we can do to create more impact in our images. So I challenge you and I’d love to hear about your goals this year…but remember to keep calm and GO PRACTICE!

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It’s been too long!

Hello…how you doing?!?!

It’s been too long, way too long since my last blog post…..there is so much to tell you! I’m going to start this long overdue post with some how to information on panning. You may ask what is panning AND why would I want to do that?!?!

Panning is the horizontal movement of the camera as it scans a moving subject, proper panning implies motion.  No one can guarantee perfect pans, but with practice, patience and an understanding of the basics, you can create some beautiful, artistic images.  Panning is not about movement, it is movement. It’s the following of a moving subject along its plane of motion. Most often it’s a horizontal plane with the subject a horse, runner, bicyclist or a race car. But it can also be along a vertical plane; such as panning with a diver or surfer as they glide into the water.
It sounds easy right? Set your shutter speed to freeze motion or blur it, follow the action and click the shutter. Be sure to remember that it’s unlikely that your main subject will ever be completely sharp and in focus. This technique is about getting a relatively sharp subject in comparison to it’s background. Some blurring of your main subject will add to the feeling of motion in the shot.

All The White Horses

White Horses of the Camargue/F22 Shutter Speed 1/25 ISO 100

  1. Select a slightly slower shutter speed than you normally would. Start with 1/30 second and then play around with different settings. You may want to use Shutter Priority.
  2. Position yourself where there are no obstructions between you and the subject. Also, where you have a clean background if possible.
  3. As the subject approaches track it smoothly with your camera, if it’s a horse my focus point is on the eye. For best results you will want to set yourself up so that you’re parallel to the path of your object.
  4. Once you’ve released the shutter continue to pan with the subject, even after you’ve heard the shot is complete. This follow through will ensure the motion blur is smooth from start to finish in your image.
  5. Panning is most successful on a camera and lens with fast focusing.


Love the Shadow on this one! F22 Shutter Speed 1/25 ISO 100

These images were all taken in broad daylight so to slow my shutter speed I needed to use a lower ISO and small aperture.  If you’re going to try panning for the first time have fun with it and if at first you don’t succeed try, try again!  It can be a lot of fun but can also be quite frustrating (for me as well). Don’t just use this same technique all day – instead also shoot some shots at fast shutter speeds. This way you’ll end up with a variety of shots.  Hope you get a chance to try some panning, if so…..I’d love to see what you get, send me an email at with yours!

Running Horses in Snow

Winter Horse Photography Tour

Dates:  Friday, January 29th – Thursday, February 4th 2016
Red Reflet Ranch, Ten Sleep, Wyoming

 Judi Hagen and I would love to have you join us in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming for horses and Cowboys in the snow! 

It’s a new location, never photographed by other groups so your images will be the unique!

For more info:

Colorado Ladies Ride 2015

 I’m so excited to say that we just completed my first ever Colorado Ladies Ride/Photo Retreat in the beautiful Flat Top Wilderness of Colorado, where we stayed at the wonderful Wildskies Cabin owned by Lisa and Chip Bennett. Shana Devins of Someday Outfitters provided us with our fabulous backcountry guide, Diann Haynes and horses for the week. Our dinners were catered by Charlie and Christine Epp, who kept us well fed and very happy. A big thanks to Elise, Trudy, Alisa, Joy, Shannon, Wendy, Kelly and Dene for joining me this year! Stay tuned for more tours like this in 2016!!! 

2016 Dates for Iceland have been announced: 

June 24-30, 2016 Iceland Equine Photo Tour

For more info: 2016 Iceland Equine Photo Tour

AND for those who have asked….YES, there will be a Spring Workshop at Greer Farm in Hampton, Georgia. Dates to be announced later!

If you have any questions about my tours/workshop OR panning please don’t hesitate to contact me at Thanks and have a great day! Phyllis



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