The horse photographer from Manchester

PUBLISHED: 11:22 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:14 20 February 2013

Spirit of the horse

Spirit of the horse

A Manchester-based photographer has developed a distinctive style of photography and is making his mark in the world of horse racing.

You've heard of The Horse Whisperer, well meet the Horse Photographer. Manchester snapper Matthew Seed has combined a passion for horses and photography and developed a new range of glamorous portraits that has taken him all over the country.

In fact, Matthew's photography has won such acclaim that he was recently commissioned to picture footballer Michael Owen's racehorse in North Wales. He's also recently been commissioned to work with Team GBR, taking pictures of famous riders in the UK to help support and raise money for the team to go to the Olympics.

Matthew's taken his camera to capture horses in Alderley Edge, Nantwich, Chester and Knutsford. Although there are other photographers covering similar subjects Matthew's success seems to be from the way he engages with the animal, no doubt one of the reasons his website ( is top of internet search engines.

'I wanted to capture the spirit of the horse, says Matthew who also works in the fashion and advertising industry, taking on campaigns for the likes of Selfridges.

'Most horse photography seemed to me to be 'snaps' taken in a field, or event style shots which serve their purpose but don't capture the true spirit of the animal.

'Growing up our neighbours had horses and I'd often go round there in the hope of a ride or just simply to be around them,' he says.

'They are beautiful animals with a natural elegance and grace. I love spending time with them and always allow plenty of time for an equine photo shoot to try to understand the horse's personality.

'My approach is to engage the horse as much as possible. Very often I will stand by them and simply do nothing. It may sound bizarre but it is amazing what you can see. How often do we just spend time with a horse and do nothing?

In fact, one of my clients picked up on this saying the shoot was the most amazing afternoon of hanging out in the field, messing about and playing together. She said the pictures were definitely a special moment captured.

'I love to capture their eyes close-up. Horses' eyes are amazing when you get up close. I would say they communicate 80 per cent of the horse's personality.

'I also like it when I'm asked to photograph a horse if the owner allows me into their personal space to capture the relationship between them. When an owner spends time with their horse doing everyday things there are many moments of magic between them. It's my job to see how they connect, what brings them closer and capture that on camera. These are beautiful moments that fly by in a heartbeat but the results often reduce the owners to tears. That's when I know I've got it right!'

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