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Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Dear Damien and Libania, It has been a delight getting to know you over the years, and an honor being your photographer. You are a marvelous couple, and so much fun to be around. I hope we have many visits in the future to your beautiful apartment and its view of cows! Come see us after your big South America tour. You'll always have a room in our house (but no views of cows, sorry.) Oh, and thank you so much for allowing Kitty to take part in your special day. She is still talking about being able to photograph her first wedding, and that it was in Switzerland! You gave her a very special experience, and I am indebted to you. Hugs and kisses, -Kris  photo grou001-002.jpg  photo grou003-004.jpg  photo grou005-006.jpg  photo grou007-008.jpg  photo grou009-010.jpg  photo grou011-012.jpg  photo grou013-014.jpg

Monday, September 14, 2015

Love and Horses

When Tyson and Severine invited me to Switzerland seven years ago to photograph their wedding, I had no idea how that event would effect my career or my life. Not only have I been given the gift of being able to photograph beautiful people in jaw-dropping scenery, but the friendships I have made there are truly precious to me. This summer marked the third time I've been able to visit with these people, whom I consider to be closer to family than friends. They are seriously some of the most hard-working, generous, and loving souls I know!
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I've known horses are a big part of Severine and Tyson's lifestyle, but it wasn't until this last visit that I actually got to bond with their magnificent equine babies. Severine is a therapist, and she allows her horses to take part in the healing process for others. I don't know why it surprised me, but I was blown away by their individuality and personalities. They are really just like people - intelligent souls occupying a physical body. I want to introduce you to these fantastic animals:

This is Didje. She had a sad history of abuse before Severine adopted her (in spite of the advise from many friends that she would never be able to live a docile life.) Well, don't tell Severine she can't do something unless you really want it done - she will out-stubborn anyone! Severine spent years re-training and loving Didje, and she saved her. Didje was the horse I got to groom and ride, and I'm telling you, I LOVE this Queen of Horses! She is truly a regal and magnificent soul, with a proud but gentle spirit.  photo 150818mercerat_0351.png
And that brings us to Didje's daughter, Dadjik. She is the baby of the family, and one gets the impression if she could wear diamonds, she totally would. She is young and energetic, and frankly a little moody - but that's all normal for any teen. Dadjik has the most beautiful poise and posture, which I'm sure she inherited from her mother. And she's a red-head, so… yeah.  photo 150818mercerat_0272.png
This is Garijo (Gary Jo in English). He can be shy, a bit anxious, and he definitely did not like being in front of the camera. I love this image of Severine soothing him (she truly is a horse-whisperer.) You can see so much emotion in his face - just like a child.  photo 150818mercerat_0314.png
And Diouc (Duke). Sweet, sweet Diouc was Severine's first love. He has been with her longer than Tyson has. He is getting pretty old, and lives life at a slower, wiser pace than the others. Diouc is fantastic with children, and he let my daughter learn to gallop bare-back on his shoulders (which may have been the highlight of her entire life so far.) We had to photograph him with the whole family because he's been with everyone from the beginning.  photo 150818mercerat_0412.png
And finally, Tyson's boy, Picasso. What a couple of jokers. These images made me laugh out loud when I was processing because they are pulling the exact same faces! The first impression Picasso gives is of his imposing size. He is a big horse! I'm already vertically challenged, but Picasso makes me feel like a dwarf. But he really loves the camera, and frankly hogs the attention at every opportunity.  photo 150818mercerat_0461.png
Caring for their horses is hard work - but working hard always has more benefits than costs, and I envy the connection T&S have with nature in their every-day lives. I love my home, but I miss these beautiful people and animals.  photo 001-002_2.jpg
PS How amazing is the loft S&T are working on in their beautiful home? We had rain for a couple days so we had to find an indoor alternative for the kids' portraits. This is the coziest place to hang out, and next time I visit, I'm really hoping the sauna is ready! :-)  photo 003-004_1.jpg

Friday, September 11, 2015

Santa is Coming!

I will have details about this year's limited-edition Encounters with Santa early October. Enroll in the email newsletter (see the sign-up in the sidebar to the right) and you will get the info first. I'm so excited to see the Jolly ole' Elf again!