I wanted to tell you a little bit about how I went about photographing our Angus Bulls "Alessandro," and "The Maker."
Both of these bulls were new to our farm. They were purchased from Fossil Creek Angus Bull Stud in North Otago, New Zealand.
I was pretty excited about these two new additions to our farm. I had heard they were quite handsome looking.
I got my camera ready, made sure the battery was charged, and got directions from my husband (the farmer), about the bulls' whereabouts, which paddock they were in etc. He told me their tag numbers as unfortunately they were in a paddock with a whole lot of other bulls.
As I headed to the paddock, I parked my car up close to the fence and jumped over and walked up to the bulls. They were all checking me out, very curious as to who I was, what I was up to and deciding if I was posed a threat to them.
I walked around between the bulls confidently looking for the two beautiful new beasts. The new bulls were easy to spot, as they were the largest ones there. As I was doing this I rang my husband (I had really hoped he was going to be there to assist me) and informed him I was there in the paddock about to take photos. My husband said on the phone that the bulls were "quiet" however I should probably hold a stick in my hand for protection, just in case....
Well, I had lost all confidence then! I started shaking, my heart started beating like crazy, trying to hold a large stick in one hand, and my heavy camera in the other. I walked up close to the bull, went click, saw him take a step towards me and thought stuff this! It was proving hard to take a photo without having two hands on the camera to keep steady, and I started to fear for my life. I quickly jumped the fence and went back to my car.
It is funny as I was feeling so confident before I was told to grab a stick for protection. I went into protection mode and started to think of the worst. I have seen the shear force these bulls have just simply scratching themselves on a gate, and I didn't want to be that gate.
When I got back to my car, I was so disappointed as I was really looking forward to capturing these new boys.
I sat for a moment and thought, no I have to go back out there. I am not going to be happy with what I got. I am going to risk it.
I grabbed my camera, took a deep breath and walked back out there. Again they all looked up at me, but (I think) they started to get used to me being there. Realising I wasn't a threat to them, they carried on with what they were doing but never taking their eyes off me as I crept closer and closer to get the shots I wanted. I ended up ditching the stick (because really, I am not sure what I was going to do with it anyway) and this allowed me to hold my camera still and quietly take the shots I wanted to take.
The more photos I took, the more confident I got. But I realise that you just never know what can happen or what these bulls will do.
Happy to say I survived and so pleased with my shots of Alessandro and The Maker.
If you have wondered if I have ever been in danger, well, I have had a cow charge after me while on a photoshoot for a magazine but that is another story.