We talk to Kelsy Taylor of Blue Sky Photography about her latest project, wherein she turns her lens toward the wild beauty of Oklahoma’s mustang population.
Tell us about the horses and where the photos were taken.
Oklahoma is home to thousands of wild horses that were gathered in other states. A lot of families with land have provided the horses with a place to run and be cared for. One of the largest areas for the horses is the Prairie National Wild Horse Refuge, established in 1989. It was the second of its kind and is absolutely beautiful. It’s made up of tens of thousands of acres. Most of my pictures are taken there.
What is it about the wild horses that inspired you to try to capture their essence on film?
There is something special about the wild horses here. They are resilient and curious, standing perfectly still one minute then galloping across the prairie the next. It’s exciting to be so close to them, knowing that they are such an important part of our heritage. I love their personalities and it’s challenging to try to capture that with my camera.
Why is it important to get these images and the story of the wild horses out there?
I think it’s very important to share the horses with others so they can be appreciated and remembered. There are so many that don’t even know that they are here in Oklahoma. For those who don’t live near the horses, they can still follow along with their stories through photography and learn more about them.
How long have you been interested in photography?
I’ve always been interested in photography and carry a camera everywhere. I had the opportunity to be mentored by a photographer here and continue to learn every day.
Do you ride horses yourself?
Yes, I love riding horses! When I was in college, I was a working student for a stable that rescued saddlebreds. It was such a good experience to help with the horses and participate in their schooling shows. One of my friends has a stable here in Oklahoma and I’m so thankful to continue to learn from her. I mainly ride western and am beginning to learn dressage.
If you could go anywhere and photograph anything, what would it be?
I would love to visit Chincoteague Island one day and photograph the wild horses there. The island sits off the coast of Virginia and Maryland. I think the setting would be beautiful with the sand dunes, water and town. The horses are so unique, have adapted to living around the people there, and have survived the strong storms that sometimes come through.