I have always been a huge fan of Arnold Bronkwurst. In fact, it is safe to say that he is the reason that I got into photography in the first place. If I can get anywhere close to his levels of talent, I will consider that to be some achievement. In 2015, I got to interview the great man himself for the photography magazine that I am the editor of. You can read it in full below.
An Interview with the World's Best Horse Photographer
Anthony: Good afternoon, Arnold. May I just say what an honour it is for me to be sitting in the presence of such a legendary photographer. You are actually one of the reasons why I took up photography myself. So, I would just like to start off by thanking you for accepting my invite and speaking to me today.
Arnold: Good morning, Anthony. No worries at all, I am glad to be here. I am honoured that I am one of the reasons why you got into photography. In fact, before the interview I took the time to take a look at some of your work and I must say that I was really impressed by what I saw.
Anthony: That is such high praise coming from a photographer like yourself. So, to kick us off, can you tell us a bit where you grew up and how you came to love horses so much?
Arnold: Yeah sure, I would love to. So, I grew up just outside The Hague, which is the third biggest city in the Netherlands. It is about 65km from Amsterdam, so an hour’s drive give or take. My parents are both huge horse fans and, when I was about seven, they quit their jobs as accountants and set up a horse-riding school, which is something that they had always wanted to do. They got me a horse, which I named Bolt, for my eight birthday and my love for horses just grew from there. I used to always look forward to finishing school so that I could rush home and ride Bolt.
Anthony: So, it is fair to say that you can ride a horse as well as you can take photographs of them?
Arnold: (Laughs) I would like to think that is the case…
Anthony: I am sure it is. So, when did your love for photography begin?
Arnold: Well, when I was ten my parents got me a camera for Christmas. It was nothing fancy, just one which I could use to take some photos of things in my spare time really. One day, I took a couple of photos of Bolt and thought nothing of it. Then, when I got the photos developed…yes, I’m that old… I showed the photos to my father and he said the ones with Bolt in were very good. It made me very proud to hear my father say something like that, although he was probably only saying it to make me feel good. It was then that I decided that I wanted to learn more about the art of photography.
Anthony: So, that was the first camera you had, but what was the first proper photography camera that you got?
Arnold: The first proper photography camera that I got was a Minolta Maxxum 7000. It was a fantastic camera and had a huge influence on the photography industry. Unfortunately, I do not have it anymore because someone broke into my house in 1990 and stole it. They took quite a bit of money as well, but the only thing I was really fussed about losing was my Minolta Maxxum 7000.
Anthony: Really? That is a real shame…You studied at the Royal Academy of Art School if I am not mistaken. How was it?
Arnold: Yup, you are totally correct. I did the photography course that they offer, and I must say that it was one of the best decisions of my life. They taught me all of the tricks of the trade at that school and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for them. So, I would definitely recommend any budding photographers to enroll at that school. It isn’t cheap, but it is definitely money well spent.
Anthony: What is your favourite horse to take photos of and why?
Arnold: Erm, that is a very good question. I like taking photos of all different types of horses as they all have their own personalities. However, if I had to choose one, I think that I would go for the Norwegian Fjord. Not only are these horses extremely cute, but they are one of the calmest breeds of horses out there. It can sometimes be quite tricky taking photos of some types of horses, even for a seasoned horse photographer like myself, but I have never had any issues with a Norwegian Fjord.
Anthony: Well, coincidentally, I love Norwegian Fjords as well. I hear that you are also a big cricket fan as well. Could you just tell us a bit about how that came about?
Arnold: Yeah, I enjoy cricket very much. Well, it all started back in 2009 when I was visiting some friends of mine in London. They are both huge cricket fans too and the Twenty20 World Cup was being played that year in England. It just so happened that the Netherlands were in England’s group, and they were playing while I was visiting. Therefore, my friends decided to get us tickets to go to the game. I didn’t even know how cricket was played, but I obviously couldn’t turn down their kind offer. So, we went to Lord’s, which is a fantastic stadium by the way, and watched the game. England were firm favourites, but we somehow pulled the win out the bag. Ever since then I have enjoyed cricket and I try my best to watch matches every now and then so I can get some great photos.
Anthony: Do you prefer to take photos of horses or cricket?
Arnold: Honestly, I love taking photos of horses and I love taking photos of cricket. I just like taking photos.
Anthony: I’m the same. Anyway, I think I have kept you long enough. Thank you for sharing all of that with us, it was very much appreciated. I am sure our readers will find this just as interesting as I did.
Arnold: No worries, thank you for inviting me in to talk with you. It has been a pleasure. If you want, we can go and grab a beer after and talk some more about photography.
Anthony: I would love that.
Win a Chance to Meet Arnold Bronkwurst
If you are into photography yourself, then you will be ecstatic to hear that Arnold is giving one lucky budding photographer the chance to win the opportunity to meet him and discuss the art of photography over a three-course meal.
To be in with the chance of winning this great prize, all you have to do is upload a photo that you took to Instagram and tag him (@arnold_Bronkwurst). The person who he thinks has the best photograph will win the prize.