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In September 2006 we photographed our first horse show and in September 2012 we photographed our last show; they were both the ASPC Pony Show at the Santa Cruz County Fair.

In the six years that Nelson Photography focused on horse show photography, we met lots of great people, made some lifelong friends, acquired our very own classic Shetland pony, and made some wonderful images.

After taking some time off to give it our full consideration, we have decided to focus our energies elsewhere, so we will no longer be photographing horse shows. We are sorry to say that we believe that show photographers have become an endangered species.

When we shoot a show, we arrive before the first class, and we stay until the last class—or until the light goes, whichever happens first. We shoot every participant in every class, and then we go home and edit hundreds, sometimes thousands, of images and post the proofs on our web site.

This business model worked well for us when we first started out in 2006. People liked our work and we got enough orders to keep going. However, in the past couple of years, things have changed. Our images are showing up on social media sites and on personal web sites, but no one is actually paying for them.

We love horse shows, and we love photography, but we are not willing to keep getting up at 5am for nothing.


We want to thank all of our customers who have purchased our images and told us how much they like our work. We want to thank the clubs and facilities that welcomed us at their events. We also want to thank all of you who took a minute out of your busy show day to stop by our booth and thank us for being there.

All of the images we have captured over the past six years ( 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012) will continue to be available on this web site, and we'll be happy to accommodate any orders for prints and digital files. You can download our order form (here with our new address), fill it out and mail it with your payment, or you can send e-mail to us. Or simply pick up the phone and call Mark at (510) 332-1275 to place an order.

Thanks to everyone who made the last six years so rewarding.

All the best,

Mark and Michele Nelson

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Last modified 16th August, 2013 My birthday present

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