Sally Brownbill

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Jules Tahan photographs Black Caviar and they both live to tell the tale.

– posted by Mel

“A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And no one (is scared of photographing a horse) of course
That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Black Caviar.”

OK I changed the lyrics but you get the picture.
And getting the picture is exactly what award winning photographer Jules Tahan was tasked with, when he was given the assignment to photograph the similarly award winning Black Caviar.

Easy yes? I mean it’s a horse, of course. The strapper brings it in. Jules fires off a few shots and off it goes to run, or roll or rear or whatever it is horses do.

But this, of course, as the song has told us ‘aint any ordinary horse. This is the horse many experts have suggested will one day be as entrenched in our folk lore as Phar Lap. He was the ‘Big Red’ - she is the ‘Big Black’ and this job could be a big break or a big nightmare depending on how big, big black’s reaction was to Jules’ presence...and his lights, his stands, his assistant, his camera, his props and his movements.

“All I could think” says Jules when I catch up with him to discuss the assignment, “is what would happen if she got a fright from the flash and bolted or worse injured herself in her desire to back away.”

Melbourne Photographer kills Black Caviar in attempt to get killer shot. Hmm, not really a headline on any photographer’s bucket list.

So how did Jules approach the shoot?

“Well I always do a heap of research before hand. I’m not really in to racing but of course I knew who Black Caviar was. I read up on horse photography and checked out some classic images that had been taken in the past. Then I formulated a rough plan in my mind.”

And the plan?

“Didn’t work” he laughs. “When I got in to the stable it looked a little different from what I had expected. Besides which Black Caviar herself had ideas about where she would stand and it wasn’t exactly in keeping with where I thought she would stand.”

A multi million dollar diva versus a photographer. Who won?

“Who do you think?” he smiles.

It’s true this horse really does never lose.

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