Judging by Michelle Masters
Whether it’s a long-legged filly stretched out asleep in the sun or a frisky colt cavorting across the green grass of his pasture, there isn’t anything sweeter than a young foal. And of course, mom is never far away as mares are known for keeping a watchful eye on their babies! So, no Breyer collection is complete without their charming mare and foal sets. From the Proud Arabian mare and foal, coveted by collectors since the 1960s, to the iconic Misty and Stormy, to the most recent additions of Rhian and Cadell, Breyer sculptors have honored the beautiful bond between a mare and foal. Any horse lover lucky enough to see a new foal in person is sure to grab their camera in a hurry! This class was all about recreating those precious scenes of a sweet little foal and its loving mother. There were many wonderful entries in both classes, and I felt lucky to be able to see everyone’s creativity and how your love for Breyer’s mares and foals came to life in your photos. Now on to the winners!
It’s better to photograph models on bare dirt or even concrete rather than put them in “normal” grass. The grass is much too tall and obscures their legs, which makes it obvious that it’s a model and not the “real horse” look you’re going for. Here’s a tip: try to find a golf course that you can access (without getting into trouble or getting hit by a golf ball!). The super-short cut grass on the putting green makes for amazing footing for models. You’ll need to adjust the focus so that the background is blurred or set up your own background. If you can’t get to a golf course, you can use astro-turf or you may be able to find carpet that is meant for outdoor spaces and is the color of grass or dirt. Whatever you choose, remember that it should not be deeper than the model’s hooves. And while it’s tempting to set your models up on a log or in the middle of a large rock, that also takes away from the photo since it’s not something that real horses do. The best photos recreate the real horse world that inspires the model horse world!
Alawnia D., PA
This foal looks like he’s having so much fun! I’m sure it took several attempts, but the splashing water is perfect – it’s realistic and looks like he’s just put his left front foot into the water. The angle of the mare’s face makes it look like she might be wondering if this baby is always going to be so wild! This is a good example of how a simple concept can be a winner if you do it right!
Kaiden B., GA
Here we have a sweet mare ready to go for a ride while her baby just wants to chase butterflies! This may not be real grass, but it looks real and the length is appropriate for models. I like the attention to detail with the grooming kit and saddle/bridle. I might like to see a better-fitting halter, but this shows great effort and realism!
Nalani M., FL
Taking a photo of models on the beach is not as easy as this photographer makes it look. Putting some distance between the horses and the waves was a smart idea! I would like to be able to see the mare’s whole face, but this angle makes it look like the photographer was trying to snap a pic without disturbing these two cuties so it totally works!
Betz E., VA
This photo reminds me of the great artwork of Chris Cummings, who often paints scenes of horses in creeks. I think moving the models back a bit would have made this peaceful scene even better. Depending on how deep that creek is, you could make it less obvious that they’re walking on rocks, and you’d be able to see all of the foal. Still a very creative entry!
Emily B., VA
This lucky girl has her model horses out for play and has a curious mare and foal coming for some attention! I would like to see a more realistic fence, but the sandy footing is great. The positioning of the models is perfect as they do look like they’re being coaxed towards the girl, who obviously wants to pet them. It’s also fun to see the tiny mare and foal in the scene!
Lindsay P., NC
Big points here for creativity and attention to detail! This is a fantasy-type entry, of course – a very clever model horse “baby shower”. The fences and barns in the background, as well as the real silo, set a pastoral mood. Unfortunately, the camera focused on the chestnut horse in the back instead of the mares and foals in front and the grass is a bit high, but this is still an adorable scene!
Maya R., MS
Speaking of fantasy scenes, I love the idea here of showing the blue-toned unicorns in a bed of purple flowers. I might have liked to see what this would like zoomed in a bit with less of the background showing. Mother Nature has given us a lot to work with; we just have to adjust it a bit to make things work for our miniature world!
Branigan K., OK
This photo shows just how realistic Breyer models are – if you weren’t familiar with Breyer molds, you might mistake these two for a real mom and baby during a loving moment. The framing of the photo is lovely with the foal lit up and the mare nudging him gently. This is not a “matching” mare and foal set, and I appreciate the effort to use the best models for the scene - they make a cute pair!
Erika I., TN
I’m thinking that the photographer created the footing and water for these two because it’s just so perfect. The blurred background looks like a fog bank as these two greet the sunrise. The little guy looks like he’s trying to work up his courage to get in the water, and mom seems patient and encouraging. I might have shifted the camera angle to the right a bit so that you could see more of their reflection in the water because that’s a very cool aspect to this photo.
Daphne H., UT
Here we have a very simple idea that represents so much – the affection between a mare and foal is touching and adorable. Perhaps a background of greenery rather than stones would have been more serene and really made the models’ colors stand out, but the framing and focus on this pic is impeccable.
Mariah M., GA
These two are probably Breyer’s most authentic set with the mare leaning down to the foal, who seems to be taking his first steps. The mare’s sweet face as she nuzzles her baby for encouragement is so realistic that we might envy person in the background getting to witness this special moment. The realism of this photo makes the models look like real horses!
Amanda W., AR
This is a very attractive and realistic scene, totally to model scale and loaded with details. Creating these types of prop scenes are easier than you might think (they can even be fun to make!) and you can use it for many photos. This could only be improved by positioning the mare so that she’s looking directly at the foal. Otherwise, it’s a truly lovely scene!
Maddie K., FL
I’m sure this photographer had to be very patient to get a wave just the right size to some along, but it was worth it. You may also notice that this was shot on a cloudy day, which takes away any harsh shadows. The lighting is perfect to bring out the detail on the grey mare, but perhaps a bit dark for the foal. Their shadows in the water look cool, and if you look carefully, you might see hoof prints in the wet sand!
Kaleigh B., GA
I had to award an HM here as this is a really impressive place to take pictures and the choice of models works well, but the tall grass in the foreground is distracting. This foal is boldly leading the way, but I would have liked to see the mare and foal a little closer together. Trim the grass in the foreground, and this would make a beautiful calendar page for summer!
A big thank you to all of our participants - your prizes and ribbons will be mailed out soon!