The Mann Behind Charles Mann Photography
Me at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany
Photo by Frédéric Chéhu
Are you ...?
I am neither the former Washington Redskins football player who shares the same name, nor the Charles Mann from New Mexico who photographs flowers. However, I have been known to photograph flowers from time to time, but I specialize in High-Quality Equine, Commercial and Stock Photography.
When did you first start photographing horses?
My first horse photo was taken in the mid-1970s with a Kodak Brownie camera at my sister’s farm in Pennsylvania.
How did that turn into your occupation?
I started taking pictures for my friends who rode Motocross and for my high school yearbook. Did some work for the local newspapers in Frederick, MD. My first images published in a magazine were of polo horses in Horseplay magazine in 1986.
Where did you learn photography?
I am mostly self-taught with help from various professionals over the years. I worked as studio manager for “stock photography impresario” Jon Feingersh of Rockville, Maryland.
What’s been the most exciting part of being an equine photographer?
I’ve gotten to travel to some great places. I have covered 4 Olympics, most recently the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Hong Kong covering the Equestrian Competition, The 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, the 2000 Sydney Olympics as well as the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, along with the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain and the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. I went to the 1999 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, the 2003 Pan-American Games in Santo Domingo and have attended the Washington International Horse Show in Washington DC and the Festival of Champions in New Jersey for many years.
What’s the coolest place one of your photos has appeared?
It’s always exciting to see my photos published, but I have to say the coolest was in June 2002 when my photo of eventer Nina Fout was chosen by the Washington DC 2012 Olympic Commission to help promote the region to the U.S. Olympic Committee site selection panel during their visit. The photo, which I took during the 2002 Rolex 3 Day Event, appeared on a dozen street signs around downtown Washington DC and around the University of Maryland campus in College Park, Maryland, and as a three-story-high building banner that was hung on the SunTrust Bank Building downtown. In addition, the image was part of a full-page advertisement that appeared in The Washington Post and Washington Times newspapers.
Have you won any awards for your work?
I have won numerous awards for my photography, but the one that stands out was back in 1999, I won the American Quarter Horse Association’s Steel Dust award for my photo on the cover of Western Horse magazine. Also the 1999 American Horse Shows Association Media Award, the 2001 Chronicle of the Horse Photo of the Year and numerous awards from American Horse Publications.
What kind of photography equipment do you use?
I have been using Nikon for years. I switched to digital in April 2000 and have not looked back. I currently use several Nikon D800, D3, D2X and D2H digital bodies with a variety of lenses from a fish-eye to 400mm.
In what magazines and Web sites can we see your work published?
Practical Horseman, Dressage Today, Equus, Horse Illustrated, The Chronicle of the Horse, The Horse, to name a few. Now with my being a part of a unique group of photographers under Arnd Bronkhorst Photography's Web site, my work is now published around the world in magazines like Hoefslag and many others.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I have been called a "master set builder." When I worked for Jon Feingersh, I built sets for his stock photography production shoots. Jon and I were written up in several photography trade publications. I love being able to create a setting that looks and feels real in my photography. I continue to use this ability to create sets in my studio.
What’s the craziest thing you ever did to get a photo?
I lying on the landing side of a jump and had Olympic show jumper Laura Kraut land a couple of feet away from my head. I also stood behind a barrel while a barrel racer turned it.
Do you have an office assistant?
Currently I do not, but I have 2 in training, my Golden Retrievers Dutchess and Arthur. They have some big paws to fill as I lost Buddy, my best assistant of 10 years, in February 2009. Buddy was a willing model for my photography. He has appeared around the world in various editorial and advertising campaigns. He has also been on numerous greeting cards and on the cover of the book New Complete Dog Care Manual, the cover of Consumer Reports and inside Better Homes & Gardens, to name a few. It give me great pleasure knowing his image will continue to make people smile for years to come.
And, for the Monty Python fans …
What is your name?
Sir Lancelot of Camelot.
What is your quest?
To seek the Holy Grail.
What is your favorite color?
Red. No!!!!! Blue. AAAAhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Right. Off you go.
All images are Copyright © 1986-2011 Charles Mann Photography
All Rights Reserved