As a child, I was always drawn to realistic, beautiful images of dogs, cats, and horses. I still have many of my books from childhood because of their beautiful illustrations such as Black Beauty, Lad:A Dog, and all books by Marquerite Henry illustrated by Wesley Dennis, the Blaze series written and illustrated by CW Anderson, and of course, any horse drawn by the amazing Sam Savitt. Alas, I, myself, could not draw. It was my fondest, biggest wish as a child but that talent was not to be mine. I had horses, ponies, dogs, cats and cows as my playmates every day of my youth. I rode daily through the fields of South Louisiana on my grey Quarterhorse gelding and there was not a piece of local farm land that we did not ride together for years. I still could not draw. One day in 1973 I was given an old second-hand Brownie film camera that had light leaks, so you had to keep tape on it for your images to be exposed even remotely well. The first photographs I ever took was of my horses. I still have those old photographs tucked away. They are not glorious images taken by a prodigy child photographer, they are snapshots, and I am fortunate they were exposed well and not blurry. I still have that camera. It sits on a prominent shelf in my living room and sometimes I look at it and think that I need to buy some film for it and go outside and shoot a little bit with it.
In 2005, I was again gifted with a camera. It was the third time I had been given a camera as a gift in my life, but this time I decided to learn how to use it. Its the year 2020, and I have worked hard to become a professional photographer. School, competitions, practice, and a lot of work, work, and work. I have worked as a wedding photographer, a child photographer, an event photographer, a landscape photographer and done well. I have won competitions, received national attention, and I still occasionally work in those areas when asked, but I decided this year, 2020, I wanted to just be a pet & animal photographer. As an owner and caretaker of six amazing dogs, two beautiful horses, and two great barn cats, it was a natural move for me. It fit my lifestyle as I have lived with animals all my life, have enjoyed good success in other photography fields; I like people, and they like me back.
Please, peruse this website, whether you love, dogs, cats, horses, or exotics..there is an image here somewhere amongst the pages and galleries that will make you smile. If you are in need or want of studio or location pet photography work, call, text, or email and let’s talk. I believe everyone should have photographs of special moments, people, animals, and places. It’s for this generation and the next.
Sarah L Ernst
PS Forty-seven years later I am still photographing my own horses and producing my only favorite portraits of myself !