By Clay Riness —
Photographer Mallory Beinborn, a native of La Crosse, grew up with a passion for horses—not surprising, since she grew up around them. Girls, it seems, love horses.
“I had this horse,” she says, “and one night when I was 10, I told my mother I was going to be a photographer. So, I went out and took these horrendous pictures of my horse, and that was kind of the end of it for some time.”
She went on to take photography classes in high school, she says, where she would spend lunch hours and other free time in the darkroom. While in college, she received a digital camera for Christmas, which was a step up. Since she was showing horses herself, she was also attending a lot of shows at which she would take pictures of her friends showing their horses. One day, a friend asked if Beinborn could photograph her wedding. That may have been a turning point.
“I figured I’d better get a better camera,” she says, laughing. “So, I upgraded to a Canon DSLR and that year I did two weddings … but people just loved their horse pictures, and it kind of blew up from there.” She started doing more horse work around the area. Then a friend called to tell her that a contracted photographer hadn’t shown up for a horse show in Winona and wondered if she could come and shoot the event. She recalls her friend, who was putting on the show, tossing a magazine filled with horse ads and pictures to her and simply saying, “Here, make ‘em look like this.”
Traditional horse photography at shows, she explains, was pretty basic … backdrop, to the point, one shot, on to the next horse. Beinborn, however, has always taken the time to interact with people and their horses, especially in their natural environments. The results of going that extra mile make for compelling and immersive portraits.
“A year later I went to Texas with my mom to the World Show,” she continues. “I shot a couple of people there, and ever since it’s been snowballing.”
These days, she’s doing a lot of work with commercial companies such as SmartPak, Purina, Nutrena and Merial, which offer equine products. She’s featured on the cover of Horse & Rider magazine every month. Perhaps one of her biggest scores is a three-year contract with Rodeo Houston, a 20-day rodeo, and one of the nation’s biggest. She shoots the rodeo each night with full access to the arena to capture images of events and competitors, averaging 3000 frames per night. Then, she returns to her room to sort and edit as many as 1200 final images and save them to a drive before resting up for the next day. On the following day, the images are transferred to a server where contestants can access them.
She also attends the 10-day Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas where she shoots for the prestigious magazine Cowboys & Indians. Her work can also be seen on the cover of country band Trick Pony’s release, “Pony Up.”
Contact Info: Mallory Beinborn
110 Creekside Court, Coon Valley, WI 54623
(608) 792-6046, ImpulsePhotographyMB@yahoo.com