Cherry blossoms provide the perfect backdrop for an equine photographer who grew up around horses and is now capturing the essence of their passionate character in a series of beautiful photos. Surrounding magnificent horses with delicate blooms in hues of pink and white gives them a dreamy appearance like fairytale images.
Jenna Vainionpää, 24, hails from Finland but currently makes her home and works in Sweden. She picked up photography as a teen, and fell in love with horses all over again six years later, when she went to her first horse show as a photographer.
Jenna told The Epoch Times, “I started to do ‘Under the Cherry Blossom’ photoshoots during spring 2019. The idea came from the inspiration that I found on the internet, mostly Instagram.”
“We had six models on the first day, and I had the pleasure to capture both pink blossoms and some unique white ones in the same place.”
“Something I like to work with is the eyes of a horse; they tell the complete story,” she said. “The nature around is just an effect that adds to the story … my biggest goal, and something I hope that people can feel with my photos, is the expression of a horse with a soul.”
The spectacular success of that first photo shoot with horses helped Jenna’s company grow, after which she did more creative editing.
“Harsh sunlight is always a struggle, especially with the pink flowers and where the horse can stand,” she said, “but with patience and hard work, you can solve a lot.”
Jenna revealed that there’s a lot more to photography than just showing up.
“During the planning of sessions, you always need to look up if it’s okay for either the city or the landlord when you bring in such a big animal. When you have permission, you can start putting pieces together. You need to look up nearby parking for the horse trailer and make it a safe trip from the parking to the location of choice.”
“In Sweden, most parks with cherry blossoms are close to schools, workplaces, or big roads, so it isn’t always a good time to visit … I always choose either late in the evening before sunset, or right after sunrise,” Jenna shared.
Jenna’s goal in her photoshoots is to capture the horse’s best side. After finding the optimum spot, she uses various props and experiments with different photo techniques to create a moment of magic.
Although the time for photo sessions averages one hour, editing varies widely. She said some photos can be finished in five minutes, while others take five hours, comparing these to fine wine that needs time to mature.
Full-time photographer, part-time service rep, Jenna became enamored with equine grace and beauty through getting to know her own family’s horse. She confided that having a good understanding of an animal and their needs is an important part of working with them.
“As an equine photographer, or for any animal, we need to have much more patience. We need to be able to read them and know how they work together with their owners. You need to be able to know when it’s time to stop, and what brings out the best from them,” Jenna explained.
“Whenever I visit a new place, I often have the thought of bringing a horse to the location.”
Jenna, who is also a landscape photographer, says she frequently thinks of horses as the last “puzzle piece.”
This Spring she wants to bring her favorite subject to new cherry blossoms and produce even more spontaneously beautiful photos.
“I have a new place, that I tried out once last year, that has wonderful pink tones and a lot of space for the horses to move,” she said.
“I also want to involve human models to add some feeling of trust, love, and teamwork.”
She urged others to cherish and appreciate nature as much as she does, saying: “Take time when you’re out in nature, and let your mind be creative!”
Buddhist legend claims that the sutras were transported to China on the back of a white horse. Cherries and Plum trees are also very important in China, as well as in Japan. These trees are the first trees to bloom after a harsh winter, heralding springtime, hope, and renewal.
Jenna’s magical cherry blossoms, which she has captured in 20 photo shoots at four separate locations since 2019, are shared on Instagram, which she uses to showcase her photography.