Michele Clement’s Day at the Races:
“There are many times when I am working on several assignments – collaborating with Ad agencies to pitch new accounts, shooting a campaign for a product that necessitates a confidentiality agreement or creating major new directions in website design and promotion can require delicate handling. Information cannot be released until after a job is awarded and then shot and published, a portfolio of new work or a new website direction should make a splash and not leak out deflating your initial impact. It can be stressful to keep so much excitement contained when you have to wait to share. At those times, I have to move away a bit. For this reason, I decided to go to the races.
Here you will see my favorite shots from a day at Golden Gate Fields. My intern from Norway needed to shoot there for her final project. It happened to be on a day when she was usually in the studio, so I offered to take her if I could also get in. It was an early morning start, chilly for Spring. And the drive was a long one, picking her up at the opposite end of the city and then backtracking to the bridge. One of those times when you can’t help but grumble, “Why did I say I’d do this…” But afterwards, you always know why and you’ll do it again next time. Because it is horribly wonderful, in a way, to throw yourself into a situation that is completely foreign and unpredictable. I spend a lot of time planning and shooting in the studio and crave the unexpected at times. I was so rewarded that day.
The day began with the morning warm up on the race track, I then wandered back to the stables and watched the horses being hosed off and walked to cool down. There were rows of stalls with great beautiful heads peaking out, some noses in oat buckets, some eating hay. What amazing creatures they are. So large and powerful yet their eyes share so much expression and their noses are as soft as velvet.
I am always surprised anew when I see these photos. That’s why I wanted to share. This is the kind of work that some people see and say to me- You don’t do that! You do ____, and then they fill in with whatever they think you do. I love that part. It used to frustrate me, but now I think I understand. It’s kind of like seeing an actor in films where he/she is usually cast as a certain type of character. People can’t help but start to think that this same actor might be like that character in real life. Sounds silly , but it happens all the time.
That’s also why I like to ‘Get out of Dodge’, or at least the studio, for a while. I like to find environments rich with possibility in areas that I might not usually go. So I can be someone else for the day. Funny thing, that someone else is still me!” -Michele Clement