“I like their beauty when you release them into pasture and I like listening to their hooves echoing as they start galloping … I don’t know where this love is coming from, since nobody in my family ever dealt with horses, but I do feel an incredible passion for these animals,” is how Nastja Pungračič gets all emotional when she starts talking about horses. With her it happens all the time, since horses won over her heart at a very young age.
Nastja Pungračič comes from Ptuj, Slovenia. She fell in love with the Primorska region when she was studying in Sežana. She currently lives in Koper with her boyfriend and is about to graduate from Photography at the Sežana college.
Miss. Pungračič has a very high opinion about her school: “The school has given me a lot, not just in terms of photography. It also changed my view of the world. When I enrolled, I didn’t know much about photography or equipment. If I only remember what kind of a portfolio I brought with me … But even my early photographs show that I had some sense of composition. You need to have at least some talent if you want to become a professional photographer.”
Nastja also learned the basics of design at the Sežana college and can now create her own logo, business cards, calendars, and other promotional materials. She can also design books and websites. She also set up her own web site where she publishes her photographs for sale, as well as reports and interviews from major equestrian competitions she is covering throughout Europe. Above all, she wants to work with one of the world’s famous magazine for horse lovers. In Slovenia, she is establishing herself as a horse sales catalogue photographer.
She recently attended a one-week workshop with a famous horse photographer Christiane Slawik in Tuscany. “The workshop was limited to twelve participants, so it was a great honor for me to even be accepted by Christiane. I want to work with the world’s best horse photographers and I want to cover the biggest equestrian competitions. I can learn the most this way,” said Nastja, who would once like to photograph at the Olympics. “I am highly interested in the equestrian sport, so I want to follow the best competitors,” she adds.
Her ambitious plans also include a book through which she will teach people how to photograph horses. She will write the book in English, since she wants to sell it worldwide, but it will also be translated in Slovene. In spite her young age she believes she has enough knowledge about this subject, since she started photographing horses at the age of eleven. “In all these years I have accumulated a wealth of experience that I want to share with young future photographers who are interested in horse photography. With my book I will also be addressing the more experienced photographers who are already photographing horses or the book might encourage them to do so,” says Nastja.
“I enrolled in the equestrian club, and every time I went riding, I brought my camera with me,” is how Nastja recalls her very beginnings. As she focused more on dressage trainings her camera was set aside for a while only to be picked up again after her studies forced her to give up the riding. “Overnight, I decided to buy a new camera and start shooting again,” she recalls. Since horses became her way of life, this was the only way to ensure that she was spending as much time around them as possible.
She wants to continue her riding career in the future. “I want to have my on horses and train with them,” says Nastja, but even then she wouldn’t put her camera away.
Photography: NASTJA PUNGRAČIČ, http://photography.
Translation into English: ROK SPROGAR, http://www.leanhigh.com/