Memories Lie – Photographs Tell the Truth - Three Red Ponies

Memories Lie – Photographs Tell the Truth

The passing of time brings many things to our lives, some good, some bad. Even those things you know are inevitable, still bring heartbreaking sadness.

Long term readers of this blog may remember the many years we went through with very traumatic life threatening health issues my husband had, with Royal Flying Doctor trips to Perth, countless hospital admissions, including ICU and more times that he nearly didn’t make it than I care to remember. Four years ago he had major surgery to remove a tumour from his pancreas that saved his life and allowed him to regain some quality of life and allowed our family to lead a more ‘normal’ life than we had for well over a decade.

The older you get, the more aware you become of the passing of time and the changing seasons in your life. Earlier this year was a really difficult time. We are back in the medical environment with health issues, which in reality are never going to go away, our eldest moved out of home and 300km away to Perth and our youngest started TAFE in what would be year 12 if we hadn’t homeschooled him through high school.

Then at the end of March, our youngest daughters old pony, Raj, deteriorated rapidly and we had to make the decision to have him put to sleep.

Raj was 28 years old and even though we knew it was inevitable and had been preparing for it for the past few years, he was a big part of our family for so many years and loosing him was absolutely heartbreaking. Four months later and the tears flow as I write this. The pain of loosing him was amplified by the sense of finality at the realisation that our kids childhood was well and truly over and in my grief I could only look back over my kids lives and see how sad, stressed and traumatic it had been for them through so many years of health issues, not to mention the financial stress that long term serious health issues place on a family.

I could very easily have spent the rest of my life believing that my kids had unhappy childhoods.

But Raj died at the beginning of April and a few weeks ago I took a deep breath and started going through my photograph archives all the way back to 2010 when he came into our family. I wanted to print a collection of his photographs for my daughter in a custom made wooden box I had designed earlier this year. The thing about being a horse loving, photographer mother with a horsey kid is that nearly every single ride gets photographed.

That’s a lot of rides, a lot of photographs and looking through them was so incredibly painful. A reminder that grief dosen’t go away. I think that over time, you just get better at living with the grief. I’m not at that point in time yet.

But what I noticed in every set of photos – not just days or weeks or months – but years worth of photographs, was that my daughter was smiling in all of them.

Smiling, laughing, happy.

Keepsake wooden box horse photography

As I was going through these old photos, I realised the same was true for our son and eldest daughter with our other animals. Yes, they had to deal with things in their childhood that other kids didn’t, traumatic things that you would much prefer to shield your kids from. But it made them stronger. Independent. And maybe most importantly it made them determined to have fun and enjoy the good times in life even when the future is really uncertain.

I’m not sure that I would have realised that without these photographs, because with all the stress and trauma – I forgot. I forgot there were so many good times in between the bad ones. So many MORE good times than bad ones. Nothing anyone could have said to me, nothing I could have said to myself would have made me see the past differently. I forgot and my memories lied, but these photos reminded me of the real truth that I will treasure, always.

And the little one said

“I am old and I’m tired and I hurt too much. It’s time to let me go.”

RIP Raj pony.

Run free old man and know you were loved.

Digital Collection Box
Wood keepsake box of horse and pony photographs
Walnut keepsake box of horse and pony photographs

I am pleased to be able to offer my clients these beautiful custom made, walnut wood Treasure Box filled with proof prints of all the images from their session, along with the high resolution digital files and session slideshow on a matching custom walnut wood usb.

If you would like your own Treasure Box Digital Collection, you can book your portrait photography session for your family or special horse online here.

Join VIP News

Keep in touch for Three Red Ponies news, exclusive offers, helpful tips, competitions and model calls straight to your inbox.

horse good photo example

The best photos for your Horse or Pet Portrait Painting

One of the most important things for any artist is to have good quality reference photos to work from – the quality of the finished painting depends on it! While I can create a painting of ‘a’ horse or ‘a’ dog from an average photo – to create a painting of YOUR special horse or dog, I need to be able to clearly see the

Read More »
Black background studio horse photography

Chiarascuro – Black Background Horse Portraits

One of my favourite techniques in traditional oil paintings is chiarascuro, a classic technique developed by da Vinci, Caravaggio and Rembrandt who used high contrast shadows and light to create drama in their paintings. I don’t have the time (or the patience) required to create photo realistic oil paintings any more, but I am really enjoying playing with this technique again with my studio lighting

Read More »
Three Red Ponies Announcement

Three Red Ponies – Michelle Wrighton Photography

PRESS RELEASE 8 August 2019 I’d like to announce some exciting changes for my business, the big one being the new name and brand for my horse photography – Three Red Ponies. The change has come about for several reasons. I’m a fairly private person and have never liked using my own name – the only reason it is my ASIC registered business name is

Read More »

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

black horse and girl prepare for a photoshoot

8 Mistakes to Avoid when Planning a Photo Shoot with Your Horse

When you are investing in a professional photography session for your horse, its important to take some time to prepare for the session so that both you and your horse enjoy the experience together and you end up with beautiful artwork that you absolutely adore. All Three Red Ponies Photography clients receive a fully comprehensive Welcome Guide that covers everything

Read More »
Peel Horse and Pony Club photography

2007-2014 Archived Horse and Dog Event Photos

I have finally had time to go back through my archives and compile a list of horse and dog event photography from 2007-2014. This includes all portrait sessions and commercial photography sessions for this time period. I’m not planning to upload all these photos to the new photography website because a) there is unlikely to be much call for them

Read More »
Andalusian stallion black background grey horse photography

Three ways to create Black Background Horse Portrait Photography

I’ve had a few inquiries recently about the set-up required for the black background equine portraiture that I create, so I thought I would write a post to describe the various options and process involved with each. There are three ways that these black backgrounds are made: completely in photoshop, with artificial light or with a combination of natural light,

Read More »
Photography Workshop – Boyup Brook CRC

Photography Workshop – Boyup Brook CRC

In preparation for the ‘What’s Your Angle’ Photography Exhibition that I am honoured to have been asked to judge again this year, I will be doing a photography workshop at the Boyup Brook Community Resource Centre on Thursday 5th September 2019 from 1-3pm. If you are interested in attending, bookings are essential, email or phone 9765 1169 to register.

Read More »
showjumping horse Bunbury agricultural show

Equestrian Event Photography Website Update

All equestrian event photos since 2015 (with a list of archived events from 2007-2015) are available again at I’ve had a number of computer and website challenges for the past few weeks so to resolve the event photo website as quickly as possible at this busy time of year, I have renewed with zenfolio. This means all your saved

Read More »
Bay thoroughbred horse and sunset photograph

Best Time of Day for Horse Photography

Time of day is important for photographs The word Photography is derived from Greek words and literally means ‘drawing with light’. Without light, a photograph can’t be created at all, but the quality of the light is also vital to the quality of the finished photograph. This is particularly important with natural light sessions as the sun is only light

Read More »
Scroll to Top