Monday, November 26, 2012

Ain't Nothin' But A Hound Dog

Sunrise over Rancho Haven Valley north of Reno.

A couple of months ago I received a fashion-focused assignment from Reno Magazine. Nothing runway—not really my strength—but rather a look at a special, well...look.

Let's call it, "Fox Couture" or maybe "Haute Hounds." 

My editor asked me to photograph the members of Red Rock Hounds, a local, "no-kill", fox hunting club. And to focus on the unique clothing. The original plan was to shoot a series of lit portraits but after visiting the site and meeting some of the women, I thought it would be fun to spend the day with them and to actually go on a hunt.

Of course I don't ride but bouncing through the hills in a Jeep is my kind of fun.

A bit about the club:

Red Rock Hounds is a traditional hunting club with stables and a kennel north of Reno off Red Rock road. Think Downton meets the desert.

The group is led by Master of Foxhounds (MFH), Lynn Lloyd and Joint Masters (JMFH), John Schaffer and Angela Murray. Lloyd leads a pack of Walker Foxhounds and anywhere from ten to 30 riders on horseback over sagebrush covered hills and fields.

The hunt is full of nuance and technique but to my untrained eye, it's basically riders following dogs following a fox (or in Nevada rather, a coyote).

If you're interested, I found a video that can explain the history and formality of fox hunting with more depth. It's British, you'll like it.

Because it was the first hunt of the season, I'm told it wasn't as dramatic a day as it could have been. Something about scenting conditions and warm weather. Also, the hounds looked a little tired at the end.

I had a great time on the shoot and made some pictures I really like. Lynn and Angela were wonderfully accommodating; also a special thank you to "Big John" and Cormac who let me ride in the back of their rig during the hunt.

Enjoy the photos.

A three-month-old hound dog.

Lynn Lloyd, MFH.

Lloyd wearing a formal scarlet jacket.

John Schaffer, JMFH, wearing a formal gentleman's outfit with colors.

Angela Murray, JMFH.

Formal white hunting crop with white gloves.

Patent leather top boot worn by ladies on formal days with colors.

Custom spurs.

Lynn jumping a coop.

Lynn and Murray.