About the photographers
Bronwen has been photographing thoroughbreds professionally in Australia since 1995. She is widely regarded as the industry leader and has a reputation for consistently setting the benchmark for racetrack and stud farm imagery over the course of her career. Her shooting style continues to be watched by other photographers, some of whom attempt unsuccessfully to replicate her style, however her quality, consistency, experience and originality remain unsurpassed. Quite simply she is the best at what she does.
Bronwen became a fully accredited racetrack photographer in both NSW and Victoria in 1995 and her library of major Australian Group 1 winners and races dates back to 1992. In 2008 Bronwen began began photographing stallions at stud commercially for the major Hunter Valley stud farms. She has been entrustred with the precious stallion roster at John Messara's famed Arrowfield Stud since 2008.
In the Spring of 2010 Bronwen's work became closely linked with the now retired unbeaten world champion Black Caviar. Her library contains the most intimate and extensive set of images taken by any photographer or photographic agency of the horse the world affectionately knew as "Nelly". However to Bronwen the mare will always be called "The Famous Pony". Her work was heavily featured by Gerard Whateley in his highly successful book "Black Caviar - the Authorised Story". His "Illustrated Edition" of the book has a large number of her pieces and all editions featured Bronwen's famous images of the covers. During production Bronwen worked closely with Gerard and the team from HarperCollins/ABC Books and the book continues to enjoy tremendous success.
In 2013 Bronwen worked with Australia Post Philatelic after her headshot of Black Caviar was selected for use on their commemorative Black Caviar stamp and its associated products. The stamp was launched in Melbourne at the 2013 World Stamp Expo on 10 May 2013. In addition to the stamp Bronwen was selected to work with the Royal Australian Mint and ESP on a commemorative Black Caviar coin releases (see links for the Coins and the Stamp). The Black Caviar stamp joined Bronwen's image of Saintly winning the 1996 Melbourne Cup and Heath Ryan on Regardez Moi which have also been published by Australia Post Philatelic. The Saintly stamp was one of the 4 Commemorative 150th anniversary of the Melbourne Cup stamps. In addition the 110% scale statue of Black Caviar, which was unveiled on the shore of Lake Nagambie during the 2013 Spring Carnival and commissioned by the mare's breeder Rick Jamieson, was based on Bronwen's image of the mare winning the 2011 Schillaci Stakes.
Certainly over the years a photographic style has evolved. Bronwen gives much of the credit for her personal style to her one time editor, Brian Blackwell. He said "Bronwen, there are many photographers doing exactly what you do and you all take the same photographs. You must make yourself different. Give me something different, something 'off-beat'". His advice, and Bronwen's appreciation of a more entertaining and newspaper style of image, helped her to develop as a photographer even though she did not have the luxury of an unlimited budget that say a News Ltd staff photographer had access to. Her friend Les Carlyon, the esteemed author and one time editor of The Age newspaper, deserves special mention. He opened Bronwen's eyes to the romance of the turf. She was always in love with horses with Phar Lap and most prominently Kingston Town her heroes, along with the fictional books like The Black Stallion and the Silver Brumby which gave the horses their own personalities. But Les' writings reinforced the love of the racehorse. She recalls hours of painstaking work cutting out then carefully gluing his essays on 'the black horse' Kingston Town into the scrapbooks she made on the horse. Bronwen's family were and still are her and greatest supporters with her sister, brother, mum and dad all spending many hours minding her two children Heath and Jessica who have traveled many kilometres around Australia with her. They shared Bronwen's love for "The Famous Pony" and visited her several times and saw her race.
The early days involved a considerable amount of travel from her home in Canberra. A university degree (Bronwen completed a Bachelor of Arts at the Australian National University in 1999, double majoring in Political Science) and a job with the national scientific body, CSIRO. As the mother of two children Bronwen juggles the challenge of pursuing her career against the backdrop of caring for her children. A keen rider since the age of 6, Bronwen has also owned horses since she was 13 years old, and currently has a warmblood Holsteiner dressage mare named "Freelance". At 24 years of age Freelance has just sadly entered retirement age due to her famously crooked front legs. She does enjoying the milder climate of Balnarring and the salty beach water.
Darren was a photojournalist with the Herald Sun newspaper for over 24 years, and during this time he photographed many of the major news and sporting events in Melbourne. Darren left the Herald Sun in 2012 to pursue a freelance career. His timeless image of Saintly sleeping with the 1996 Melbourne Cup hangs in the Flemington Press Room and he also worked closely with the former Bart Cummings trained champion So You Think. Darren also took the now historic image of the late, great, champion trainer Bart Cummings, known affectionately as "The Cups' King" with all 12 of his trainers Melbourne Cups. This image was published widely following Mr Cummings' death in November 2015 at the age of 87. Darren has photographed the Australian Open, the AFL, the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, the Sydney Olympic Games, and was Picture Editor for the Sunday Herald Sun for a period of approximately 6 years. He has a complete understanding of light and exposure and well developed skills with artificial lighting and his extensive newspaper background make him a wonderful people and 'colour' photographer. He has an uncanny ability to faithfully and artistically document an event or location. Darren also has a number of key corporate clients that demonstrate what a talented and technically proficient photographer he is.
The Image is Everything
Bronwen and Darren are a couple both personally and professionally. They cover all the major Australian race meetings as well as providing commerical photography to various corporate clients around Australia and the world. Their clients include Arrowfield Stud, Magic Millions, the Aga Khan Studs, the Irish National Stud, Haras d'Etreham, Vinery Stud, Cornerstone Stud, Twin Hills Stud, James Harron, China Horse Club, Mill Park Stud, Racing NSW and The Championships, William Inglis and Sons, Aushorse, Tabcorp, Woodside Park Stud, Lauriston Park Stud, Waikato Stud, Emirates Park Stud, Darley Australia, Godolphin, Cambridge Publishing, Coolmore Stud, HarperCollins/ABC Books, Joseph Lyddy, Timeform (UK), Owner & Breeder Magazine (UK), ACTTAB, BlueBloods, Racetrack Magazine, Pan MacMillan and Random House. Editorially their Australian racing imagery is featured in TDN. Their combined expertise and their unabashed love of the thoroughbred make them a formidable combination.
On a Personal Note:
As a team we strive for excellence. We use only the very best equipment, and seek to produce images that stand alone. We enjoy the "catch us if you can" approach and we watch with some amusement as competing photographers attempt (unsuccessfully we think!) to copy our style and results. We want clients to use our images because we took them and because they ARE the best. We do not strive to be the cheapest but we do claim to be the best! So catch us! If you can!
In 2017 the Image is Everything prepares to embark on a journey to Europe where we will photograph at the some of the very best farms in Ireland, France and England.