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Crystal Walker

Born and raised in Colorado, I see myself as an up and coming photographer. Fascinated with a wide variety of interests in the field and challenged all aspects of photography— wild mustangs and the vast scenery of Colorado inspire me to create photographs that capture the spirit of what I see through my lens.

A good friend of mine gave me an idea on the topic of my first blog post and bio when she said "Why is photographing wild horses so important to you?” Well that is a great story - a perfect beginning to both!

I discovered my passion for photography at a young age when my father was still doing film photography of hill climb races and wildlife around Colorado.
Photography is a family affair as well as other interests such as hiking, camping, driving the scenic back country, music, movies, and being a rock hound. A dedicated animal lover, my personal goal is photograph all the wild horse herds throughout the country.

After being in a traumatic accident nearly 8 years ago, I was having a hard time finding something that I could do that helped me deal with that day in a positive therapeutic manner. About the same time, I found out about the treatment of the wild horses in the West.

I am a strong advocate for allowing the wild horses to remain free, and very passionate about preserving their heritage for others to enjoy.
My first wild horse photography adventure was with my father and a friend. We went to Wild Horse Mesa located not far outside of San Luis, Colorado near the Colorado/New Mexico border. Some of you may be familiar with these horses because of the work photographer Judy Barnes has been doing to protect them.

Since then I have been lucky enough to photograph wild horses at Wild Horse Mesa, Music Mesa, Rio Grande Mesa, Sand Wash Basin, Little Book Cliffs, East Douglas/Piceance, and Spring Creek. My biggest dream is to photograph the wild horses of the Pryor Mountains.

Photographing wild horses is important to me because I want to help raise awareness to their treatment by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Nothing is more inspiring than hearing their hooves beat on the ground, watching stallions interact, and seeing the love each mare has for their foal. I am passionate about sharing those moments with others through my photography.

I am one of the lucky ones - to watch these majestic beings run wild and free. You can't help but develop a bond and love for them. But at the same time it can be heart breaking when you have to say goodbye when they are put down due to age or round-up injuries that sometimes we cannot control.
Every state and every BLM Herd Management Area is different when it comes to issues that the wild horses may face. In the last few years that I have been going to photograph wild horses in Colorado, I have seen very few horses that were not healthy.

What I have seen are horses that were injured due to fights, prey injuries, and injuries due to horses getting into things that humans left behind on the range. It always amazes me what wild horses must overcome living life in the wild.

Since I am just beginning my photography career, the key is finding great equipment. Inside my camera bag I have a Nikon D5000, Nikon D2X, 70-300mm, 55-200mm, 50mm, and 18-55mm. My dream lens would be a 400mm or 500mm along with a macro lens.

My photography interests go beyond just wild horses and Colorado vistas. I also have an interest in learning portrait work. As a photographer-in-training, everything I have learned thus far has been through researching online, talking to other photographers, and reading books. My immediate educational goals are to attend various photography workshops to improve my skill level in both wildlife, scenic and portrait photography.
Professionally, I want to create those "aha!" shots that buyers will pay top dollar to own an image by Crystal Walker!!

Two top photographers who consistently create those "aha" images I most admire are: David R Stoeckein for his photographs of the cowboy way of life and Tamara Gooch for her photographs of wild mustangs.

The more I learn about photography the more I love it. No matter how experienced I become as a photographer, I will always be a student in the art of creating photographic images!

I invite you to join me on this journey!

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  • Salida, colorado, United States