Swedish photographer Miina Anahita is a master “folklore” photographer, meaning she uses her images to tell a story – usually one involving mystery, fairytales, horses and the spiritual unknown. She has been using this method for two years, having started her professional career four years ago. Where does she get her inspiration for such amazing images? Anahita told iHeartHorses:
“My inspiration comes from various locations in Sweden and Scandinavia, and from the very creatures and places that describe my inner vision. But it also comes from when I truly am the most authentic version of myself, when I explore and create what excites me. In my work, which takes weeks, months and years to plan and execute, I strive to express the special place in the imagination that so often is being pushed away by a life of standards, small boxes and definitions of who you are and are expected to be. In my pictures, I often portrait what I think has been missing in many fairy tales – strong and independent female characters.”
Amazingly, Anahita does not use special effects or Photoshop montages to create her amazing images, which she says comes from her “inner child.”
Fleur Sif Penter, owner of The Nightingales Farm, and her horse Sir Peter, a 12 year-old Irish Cob, are the models for this incredible shoot. Penter shares in Anahitas love for fantasy (she is currently writing a novel!) and loves to craft – making things for herself and her horses.
“[Peter] can do great many things but really excels at making me happy just by being there for me,” Penter says on her Facebook page.
These images are a perfect blend of Anahita and Penter, with incredible costumes made by the latter and of course the photographers a product of Anahita’s imagination. Anahita says:
“It’s always the equipage, lighting and then of course the nature that surrounds them that make each and every photo shoot so special, for this particular photo shoot it was the overall calmness, harmony and balance between the owner and her horse. They did some very hard tricks and high school exercises from the school of airs in the academic art of riding that require years to perfect, and it’s very hard to perform. The horse Sir Peter is very thoroughly trained and it’s just remarkable to see what these two actually do accomplish together, they have come so incredibly far in their training and friendship. Fleur always respects her horse to the fullest and that is something truly remarkable.”
When it comes to photographing horses, it can be a challenge. We asked Anahita for her tips to creating that perfect shot. She says:
“My biggest tip is to always strive to be the best version of yourself, find whatever genre within horse photography that excites you and then explore it. Never compare your work to anything or anyone besides your own previous work, otherwise you’ll never truly grow as a photographer. By all means, looks at other photographers work and get inspired, but do not take what you’ve seen and try to make a copy of it, because that particular image has already been taken! Create yourself and create your own type of horse photography instead. And give it time, practice makes perfect! You have to do some photo shoots over and over again! Photographing animals and especially horses requires patience and of course a big amount of both love and understanding for the species so just do your thing and believe in yourself! Get to know each individual for what they are and for what they have to offer, forget everything else. Find that unique movement that every single horse and/or equipage has to show you.”
For more amazing images and creativity, please visit Miina Anahita’s website, Facebook, and Instagram and Fluer Sif Penter’s Facebook and Instagram. The following images are reprinted with express permission from both Miina Anahita and Fluer Sif Penter.