My name is KL Terace.
Website & Places you can find my work online
Flickr: Cowgirlzen Photo
Book of Photography: CowGirlZen Photography Volume I
Where I am
Currently we reside in Arizona- land of spiky plants, scorching deserts, tumble weeds, cowboys and cowgirls, wide open spaces, mountain majesties, open skies, monsoon storms, lightening storms and spectacular sunsets.
Arizona has been my home for almost 35 years now and she is as diverse and beautiful as a well breed horse and as creative as my Nikon camera.
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I was born in the heartland of Hoosier Country, Indiana in the early 60’s. As my father was a Marine we soon moved across country to California where he finished serving his country. Time moved on and we moved back and forth a couple of times between the west and the heartland.
I grew up with three brothers and one sister. I was the second child/first daughter. We all worked hard and two out of us five siblings inherited the creative/artistic bug from our mother. I inherited the love of horses, the west and the creative part of them both.
All of the family still lives within a few hours of each other. My parents run a cutting horse ranch down in Willcox, Arizona. It has been my fathers dream since he was a young boy to own and breed horses.
My mother is a writer and has published several periodicals and books. They raised all of us to be god-fearing and hard working (I began working at the age of 11 for my father…he owned an ice cream store…so was that really work?).
When I was 13 I had saved up enough money to buy my first horse
She was only a year old and needed lots of training. Eventually due to funds being so stretched I had to sell her back to the gentleman I bought her from.
A couple more years passed and at 16 I had saved up enough again to purchase a handsome buckskin. She was a powerful quarter horse to say the least. I had to board her a few miles down the road from where we lived. Due to circumstances at 18 I had to sell her and wouldn’t own another horse of my own until now.
Just recently I became a proud of owner of a grey mare. She will be moving up here soon and she will be staying at a ranch nearby where my partner and I do volunteer work. My partner and I do volunteer work of cleaning stalls, grooming horses and whatever else may need to be done around the ranch.
In exchange we are learning many things about what it takes to run a ranch and are hoping to work closely with the owner in helping troubled teens who are looking to turn their lives around.
As well, I work with about five different ranchers doing their equine photography for breeding, websites, sales and rodeo. My area currently stretches all over Southern Arizona. My goal is to work the entire western portion of the United States over the next five years.
When did you take your first picture?
I was pretty young when I took my first “photo”. My mom owned an old Kodak and I used to beg her to let me use it. I couldn’t afford the film, so she would just let me pretend to take pictures. I would take “snaps” of my siblings, flowers, sunsets, animals… about anything that I could see in that small square camera lens.
I recall though, my mom did hand me her Kodak loaded with film on a trip through Arizona in 1969. I took some shots of cacti and the tarantula my brother found on that trip. The photos were on black and white film.
What kind of camera did you use?
Back when I was still very wet behind the ears it was my mom’s Kodak. When I was in high school though I bought a Polaroid camera. Then, when I turned 19 I bought my first Nikon SLR… and it’s been love with Nikon ever since.
I have tried Canon, Pentax, Lecia, Olympus and a few others but I always come back to Nikon
They just feel right in my hand. Honestly though, it did take me awhile to even try the digital SLR world.
I loved the pure form of film and still do. There is something about that passion being on celluloid. Plus the scent of film…well…its kind of an aphrodisiac. LOL!
What made you first start photographing horses?
Life offers you opportunities when it sees or feels you’re ready for them. My serious photography began in the music industry. I worked during the 80’s as freelance photojournalist. I worked with 80’s rock groups like Poison, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Adam Ant, Missing Persons, Reo Speedwagon, Survivor, U2, Red Rockers, Tom Petty and many more.
I left that profession after a several years and began just shooting abandoned objects. Whether it was a house, a truck…whatever had once been loved and used…and now left. During that time I did some portrait work and weddings.
Then a few years ago life’s journey laid my passion for horses back in my lap. I have always had such a fascination with their behaviors and personalities. It has been a natural cycle of life to end up where I belong…I am at home with my cameras and my horses and the wide open.
Your favorite horse breed?
This seems to be ever changing. I don’t know if I could pick a favorite. They all are so human in nature…how does one pick a favorite?
I would say that I have a deep appreciation for all of them as they each function in such unique ways. I admire them all, but will always land with a good old western pleasure riding horse…maybe its in my nature to just take the rest of this life a bit slower.
Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
He isn’t my horse but there is one on the ranch I work for that is a Tennessee Walker…he kinda fascinates me. He has an ethereal persona is all I can really say. It shows up in the photos I’ve taken of him…and dangone it…there isn’t one photo of him I like either! LOL!
What is your camera of choice?
Nikon… when I am down in the dirt all my Nikons stand up to the test of the elements.
Where were you the most inspired, but without a camera?
We all have those moments frozen in our minds that we witness something…for me it was one snowy day. A small group of us had driven up a mountain and parked alongside the road.
The entrance to go back to a lake was completely snowed in. If we were going to go to the lake and see it frozen we needed to hike it. In knee, sometimes hip, deep snow we hiked for five miles…at the moment I lifted my head and gazed across the frozen waters it was a moment I can still see, smell, taste and feel to this day.
The area was pristine and unmarred by any track or trace of humankind. It was a moment that left you in awe. The camera of my mind still holds that photo from years ago.
What effect do you think the Internet will have on art and photography in general?
Everything has its plusses and minuses. It opens many doors- yet it over saturates as well. Who gets lost in the shuffle due to the mass indulgence? I wonder sometimes.
Has it had an effect on yours?
Well…it has, but not in the area that you might think. The biggest thing the internet has done for me is it has helped me learn from others. As well I have met so many wonderful and talented people. I’ve made some incredible friends- ones that I’ve become very close to over the years.
Business wise though, it’s nice to have a website and such- but you know if you aren’t good at what you do…well the internet isn’t going to save you.
Nothing will hide or reveal a great talent except the artists work speaking for itself.
Which one is your personal favorite image?
Each one of my works are my children. I don’t pick and choose.
I appreciate each one for what they are. Then look on to the next session with eagerness to see what will unfold. I believe many times it’s the circumstances and people I meet surrounding my photo shoots that make personal favorites for me.
In all my years as a photographer I have meet some very interesting people indeed.
What else are you passionate about?
Photography (I cannot live without a camera. If deserted on an island, give me a camera before food), Horses, Writing, Rodeo, Drawing/Painting, Country Living, Wildlife, Star Gazing, Reading, Music, Gardening, Cooking, Listening to a good yarn, Helping Young people, Learning, Politics, my husband who is biggest fan and the love of my life, my children who are my constant source of joy and faith and my God whom without… I would be nothing. All in all… just Life In General!
PS: Paige I want to thank you again for such a pleasant experience. I have many people to thank along the way if I may. Thank you – Mom and Dad, to all my brothers and my sister for always being there. Thank you to my husband, a source of love and devotion to allow me to be me – I love you like none other my cowboy. Thank you to each my children – loving you took place before I knew you…you all never cease to amaze me and ya’ll make me so proud. Thank you to all my friends who have put up with me, stood by me and still say…you like me – Debbie, Joan, Heather and Joel, Maricela, Mary, Ron, Martha, Sue, Michelle, Nina, Kim, Kacey, Wendy, Elsa, Frieda, Deanie, Pam, Kayla, Javier, Diane, Juanita, Diana, Lynne, Charlotte, Lou and Eddie and all the others who have always lifted me up to drive forward even when weak.
Collectively you’ve all been a part of my inspiration. Thank you.
More To Come
Thanks to KL for answering the interview and sharing her photography. Be sure to subscribe to her Photography Blog so you can keep up with her latest shots.
Also stay tuned for more interviews with horse artists and photographers.
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