Today’s guest blogger is Kevin Caldwell.
Let me open this up by saying that I am a relative novice to the art of wild mustang
photography. I’ve been a working pro for most of my life, but it wasn’t until May of 2019 that
the intrigue and passion to be with, and photograph these lovely animals began. I’d been
rambling around Inyo and Mono counties in California for quite a few years, and through some
friends I had been told about a fairly large herd that roamed a remote area out near the
I spent the better part of a day driving up and down the region’s many dirt roads, and finally
around four in the afternoon I spotted the herd. Not knowing how close I could get, I parked a
ways away, and hiked through the sage and rabbit brush until I got within range of my 70-200.
Much to my surprise, the first few shots I got were of this sweet, nursing foal, who quickly
developed an interest in me and what I was doing. This little guy with the big, beautiful eyes
turned into my very first equine muse, and he and his mom hung out with me for a good
At this point in time I was pretty clueless as to the inner workings of the herd, I had no idea
what a band was, and I even having a hard time figuring out who was a mare and who was a
stallion! Quick disclaimer; I’m still in the process of getting the terminology down!
There were a number of nursing foals in this herd, and I was a bit shocked at their curiosity
and desire to come closer and check me out. I tried to remain neutral and stay in one place,
but a few times these little ones and their moms made me nervous with how close they came.
None the less I was already in love, so I pulled back to about 70-100mm and kept on shooting
It’s one thing to be clueless, but it’s another to be ignorant, and I knew from the get go to have
a healthy respect for these mustangs. I have had the opportunity to photograph Monty
Roberts and his “join up” presentation a few times, so when one of the stallions approached
me straight on with his ears pricked, I knew it was time to turn around, drop my head, and let
him know who the boss was. Apparently the tactic worked, as his vigilance turned to simple
curiosity, and he gave me this mid-snack shot.
It was about this point in time that the young males got a bit rambunctious, and when the
sprints and challenges began I thought it best to retreat to safer ground. Just as I was getting
to my car, these two gave me what I thought were the last shots of the day.
As I was packing up for the day, a good part of the herd regrouped and headed west into some
rocky highlands. Turns out they later left me with one of my favorite shots of the day, as a
mare and her foal made their way across the top of a distant ridge line.
Suffice it to say I was hooked! These powerful and dangerous, yet gentle and soulful creatures
had captured my heart, and I was ready for more!
Would you like to write a guest post for Wild Mustangs Forever? I am looking for quality content to add to this site. Stories and photos about your time on the range, a moment that touched your soul. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.