I had my eye on a lovely Gypsy Vanner boarded where I used to keep Billy, and I so much wanted to photograph him and do a display painting for my booth. I asked his owner if she minded, and she said she would love to have photographs (I was willing to give them to her, since my business is art, not photographs). She also said to make sure to unbraid his mane so he would look magnificent. She also offered to assist me. And said she might like to buy the painting after it was finished and asked the price.
So imagine my surprise on the appointed day when she showed up with a contract and asked me to pay $300 to photograph her horse! I did not realize that this horse is also a part-time business for her–she rents him out for weddings, event appearances, and the like. I guess because she was going to assist me she viewed me as a customer–someone who was renting her horse in order to take photographs.
Needless to say, this arrangement was not going to work out for me. There being few to none other Gypsy Vanners in the general vicinity, I opted to purchase a stock photo, and got a really lovely one for less than 1/10th of the $300 fee. The reason I haven’t bought stock photos as demo painting references before is that I like to know the horse I’m painting, and I like to have a story to go with that horse. I guess this horse will indeed have a story, it will just be a quite out-of-the-ordinary one!