Heather Last – Horse Photographer Interview

Heather's WorkName
Heather Last

Website & places you can find my work online
There are several places people can purchase my images however of they would like to order directly from me they can use these two places. I encourage people to drop me an email if they would like to be added to my mailing list and they will be notified when I add new stuff as well.
Website: www.heatherlast.com
Etsy: DancingHorseStudio1

Where I am
I live in the small farming community of Marshville, NC.

Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I was born and raised in NC. My family was made up of many artistic types. My grandfather, aunt and uncle were photographers. My grandmother and mother were very musically talented and my mother has always had a passion for horses, along with drawing and painting them, and is now a breeder of welsh and welsh cross hunter ponies. It was inevitable that those genes were passed on as I was a horse crazy child from the get go.


I could always be found in the neighbors pasture with her horses or riding stick horses, running around neighing and galloping.

Later in high school, horses again were the center of my attention. I spent anytime I could at the barn or working for our trainer at shows. Although, I never really had the funds to show and dreamed of riding professionally, it was clearly evident that it only mattered to me to be in the presence of a horse.


I later started a family, very early in my life, and while life pulled me from the horses I loved so much, I became involved in showing and training dogs professionally and it soon became another passion of mine. It was during this time, that a photographer canceled on a breeder friend of mine, that I picked up the camera that I had been given as a gift, Canon AE-1, and took pictures for their advertisement in a national breed magazine. He was so impressed he encouraged me to do more with it. Even then, the passion for photgraphy was there but hadn’t hit me fully.

It wasn’t until after 9/11, that I heard someone on tv asking the audience who were shell shocked from the events. He asked them, ‘If you had to wake up tomorrow and work for free, what would you do?’ It resonated so deeply with me, it sent me on this quest. I knew the answer was something to do with animals so I picked up the camera again, trying to escape the pain of what had happened to our country. My escape was to focus on what was beautiful.


The day the first horse entered the viewfinder of my camera I found myself lost and breathless as this animal unfolded before me. I didn’t look back after that. I knew this was what I was suppose to do with my life.

When did you take your first picture?
Honestly, I cannot recall when the first was.

What kind of camera do you use?
I use Canon. Film and digital.

Is it all about horses, or do you photograph other subjects as well?
Oh, certainly. While nothing is safe from my view finder if it resonates with me, I especially love photographing women, children and florals outside of the horses.

Heather's Work

Who are your main influences?
Sally Mann, Patrick Demarchelier, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mark Sink, Georgia O’Keefe and my friend and mentor Paula Da Silva. These are just a few.

So many that inspire me from photographers, painters, fashion designers and musicians, they all have a heavy influence on my work.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever photographed?
Laughs…well I never think it strange because something obviously resonates with me to photograph it.

Do you have a favorite horse breed?
No, I would just have to say if it is a horse, I love it. I do have a fondness for greys though.


Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
Yes. I had several rescue mares, some PMU, that lived here as my companions and models. I spent many, many hours just following and sitting with them in the pasture.

Where were you the most inspired, but without a camera?
I would have to say it happens alot when I am driving. I either do not have the camera or cannot find a safe place to stop. This happened once in Virginia, the morning light started to spill out over this valley of horses, there was mist and a field full of horses. I will never forget that picture. I left quite a few VA commuters a bit flustered that day as I almost stopped in the road when I saw it and to no prevail could find nowhere to pull over.

Dancing in the Dust

What effect do you think the Internet will have on art and photography in general?
It has been wonderful for meeting and collaborating with artists from all over the world. I can say I have met lifelong friends who I have yet to meet, but who have become some of my dearest friends. We have shared our visions, our dreams, our failures and our successes. I think it has been beneficial that it enables new artist to have a venue and a place to showcase their art, where they may not have had that chance to do so in a traditional manner.

Now on the flipside of the coin. I think that people have forgotten to appreciate pieces in person, you know to slowly take it in and observe it.

Her Stage

Even as an artist the numbers of imagery that come into our vision can be overwhelming. It is sad to hear of all the gallery closings and to truly appreciate a piece of art is to slow down and take it all in. I think too that artist have been hurt by the depreciation of the value of their work with the huge influx of imagery and image thefts that occur by people grabbing images online.

Has it had an effect on yours?
Certainly. On both accounts as I have stated above.

Which one is your personal favorite image?
I would have to say the Dream series images. They are very personal to me.

Dream Series

What else are you passionate about?
Music, poetry, fashion, interior design, anything vintage and the plight of our American Mustangs, who are being rounded up in record numbers and complete herd areas being left empty of our American treasures.

Working on anything new?
I have several projects going. Some include combining mediums, a bit more hands on approach. I have started shooting more film and I am about to start shooting on two projects that have been developing in my mind over the past year or so, both involving women and horses. I also just finished a calender and plan to do some inspirational types books with images from my past.

Heather's Work

More to Come

Thanks to Heather for answering the interview and sharing her work. Be sure to check out her photography site periodically for updates about her latest works.

Also stay tuned for more interviews with horse artists and photographers. Are you a horse artist or do you know an equine artist you’d like to see featured? Add your name and website in the comments below or drop me a note to get involved.

3 Comments on “Heather Last – Horse Photographer Interview

  1. Karin Janin

    This is a wonderful interview. I love Heather’s photos and will check out her site. I am an amateur horse photographer and am loving it! What I think photography does is bring one into a state of AWE – it forces one to notice what hasn’t been noticed, to breathe, to appreciate. And, if one is at all creative, it can be such fun playing with the AWE moment photo to make it special. Thank you! Karin Janin

  2. Heather Last

    Thank you,Paige for taking the time to interview me. I am just seeing the interview. Thank you so very mych Karin and Gary for your very kind comments.

Comments are closed.