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Conversations with the Inspiring Bev Pettit

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bev Pettit.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Bev. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I discovered my love for the camera after moving from Arizona to Hong Kong in 1991. I spent six years there working for a large American Investment bank with a lot of time off thanks to American, British and Chinese holidays, which there were many of. This gave me ample opportunity to wander around the villages and back alleys of China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Thailand, and Malaysia with my Minolta film camera and as many rolls of film that I could carry in a backpack. Traveling by motorcycle, bicycle and local bus allowed me to experience first hand how the people lived and worked in large cities and small villages in these countries. Welcoming doors opened to me everywhere I went. Many of the locals had never seen a camera before let alone a woman on a motorcycle! After my time in Asia, I moved to London where I spent another three years working for the same large bank while photographing around Europe in my spare time.

Today, life is much different than it was during those adventuresome early years. I’ve forgone large cities or corporate jobs. My office is now the great outdoors where I spend my time searching for wild and domestic horses to photograph. I’m back in rural Arizona with my family and our gaggle of horses, cats and dogs, and of course, my cameras (which thankfully have progressed from film to digital) and where I live on a small ranch surrounded by nature and stunning landscapes.

My work has taken me to remote locations in Canada such as Sable Island, Nova Scotia, to Mexico, and to the far corners of Utah to photograph the large herds of Onaqui wild horses.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Getting into photography was a relatively smooth journey for me. With my background in fine art, taking up photography became pretty natural for me. The creative part is easy for me, but learning the technical was a bit of a challenge. My advice to others who are interested in fulfilling their entrepreneurial spirit is to believe in themselves and don’t give up. The road to success can be challenging at times and the temptation to take the easy path can be enticing. But if you really want to follow your heart, then stick to it! The old adage, “do what you love, and the money will follow” is worth remembering.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Bev Pettit Photography story. Tell us more about it.
Known mostly as a fine art equine photographer, I enjoy photographing horses of any discipline or breed. Horses are majestic animals. Each one has its own personality and characteristics. Through my camera lens, I have found beauty in horses in ways that I never thought existed. The way their mane furls in the wind, the musculature in their necks and legs, their thankful facial expressions shown when deserved patience is given to them so that they can understand our wishes. I try to convey this essence, this beauty, in all of the horses that I photograph, whether it be a high bred Lusitano, a war-scarred wild stallion running free on the prairies of our public lands, or one of our beloved back yard pets. They are all equal in my mind and eye.

My work is known for its artistic value and for my ability to bring out the individual personalities in horses. I love creating portraits of horses and horses with their owners to show the bonds between them. Interior design firms use my images to grace the walls of the suites in large hotel chains, restaurants, and offices throughout the United States. I also enjoy selling my fine art prints to private collectors worldwide. My equine and landscape images have won many awards thought out the world and my work has been recognized in prestigious art competitions here and abroad. I exhibit in fine art shows annually at the Phippen Museum in Prescott, Arizona and with the Dry Creek Arts Fellowship, Trappings of the American West annual show in Flagstaff, Arizona. My work has been published in many national magazines including Arizona Highways, Cowboys & Indians, Art Horse Magazine and many more.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
As in many industries, the male gender still leads the way. Photography is no different. In order to break through and make a name for yourself in the international sector, women need to work extra hard at promoting themselves and make the time to do so. It’s harder for women because we also have many other roles to play in our families and personal lives. Unless we want to devote all of our time to our work passions we need to forego raising families and enjoying time with them as well in my opinion. Though I devote a lot of time to my photography, I also have animals and a family to take care of. So, there’s a balance to strike indeed.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
The photo of me with the horse out in the field © Kent Keller

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