PHOTOGRAPHER: KT Merry
BASED IN: Miami, FL
KNOWN FOR: Destination wedding photography
SHOOTS WITH: FUJIFILM X-Pro2 Camera, FUJINON XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens
Although KT Merry spends a lot of her time photographing people, the professional wedding and portrait photographer holds another subject dear to her heart: her love of horses. This love has remained present throughout most of her life and the wild mustang, in particular, has always captured her imagination. In the next chapter of our On the Road with the X-T30 adventure, KT Merry shares with us her trip to the High Sierra of Nevada and California to try and catch a glimpse of this shy animal.
After growing up in Northern Nevada and working on a ranch for more than five years, KT Merry’s experience with horses has seen her develop a real love for this majestic creature. “I’ve always had a deep respect and love for horses – especially the wild mustang,” KT tells us. “The mustangs of Nevada and California live in rugged and wild terrain, and thrive. It’s amazing to witness in person.”
KT’s fascination with this hardy beast has meant she has amassed an extraordinary body of personal work photographing them, which is why she recently decided to curate her personal archive. “When we created the series of wild mustang work, titled ‘Simply Wild,’ we also partnered with the which is a non-profit that works to protect wild horses and burros,” explains KT. “For me, it’s been incredibly rewarding to help create awareness and support these incredible icons.”
Her love for the wild mustang and commitment to educating others on its plight is why KT chose them for this project. “I hoped to share a glimpse of the beauty of these wild horses and the landscapes they call home,” she says, adding that she wants to use her photography as a means of communication. “Art is a conversation that creates connection and, at its best, positive change. If my work can help inspire support for wild horses and a connection with nature, I’ve succeeded.”
The shoot itself was not without its challenges. Cold and windy conditions made the horses particularly skittish, however, KT was impressed with the X-T30’s performance in the field. “It did great!” she smiles. “I was in knee-high boots wading through water and difficult terrain and its small size was a great complement to my medium format film camera. I loved how quick, quiet, and easy it was to use.”
In fact, the X-T30 played an important role in helping KT achieve her favorite photo in the set. “I love the shot of the horses all standing at attention in this rugged landscape and looking off to the left of the frame. The reeds they are in (and about two feet of water) have such a beautiful texture, almost like nature’s carpet,” she says, highlighting the X-T30’s compact design as a major factor. “The camera was so small, I was able to hold it lower without bending down and ending up in the water,” she explains.
KT believes simplicity is what makes a photograph timeless, which is why she favors strong composition and great light over heavy-handed processing. “I think with the advances of technology, it’s valuable to remember that just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should,” she explains. It is this reasoning that has made her such a fan of the X-T30. “I love how simple the camera is, it doesn’t invite you to overthink things. It also is so portable that you will likely be able to catch moments you otherwise would have missed as you left your camera at home. I think it’s perfect to keep on hand all the time for the things you might not expect,” she tells us.
KT has always been inspired by nature and this, combined with the power that photography has to connect with a person’s feelings, is what fuels her passion. “It’s always a wonder to me that I can take a photo somewhere, at some place in time and someone I’ve never met can be moved, inspired, or affected by it,” she explains. KT goes on to tell us how her photographs act as little souvenirs of the life she is living: “Like little stones and blooms I tuck into my pocket as I journey through life, photography has been my tool to connect me to other places and times. Documenting the world around me has become who I am as a person, my experience in life, and my contribution to the world.”
This feeling of responsibility as a professional photographer is a key reason why she holds nature photography in such high regard and has set up her passion project, Render Loyalty, which supports endangered species around the world. “I began combining my passions – photography and animals – to bring more awareness to issues people aren’t paying attention to and to ensure that those who can’t speak for themselves are spoken for,” she says, adding that it all comes down to education and empowerment, which is what she hopes her legacy will be.
“Just by taking an action to make the world better – no matter how small – is a success that will lead to more success,” she explains. “As humans, our largest challenge is our own minds and how we limit ourselves. Once we overcome our minds, the possibilities are endless and pave the way to a world that we will all want to live in for generations and generations to come.”
KT Merry is a FUJIFILM-compensated professional photographer.
To see more of KT’s work, visit her website.