You know when you used to go to the carnival or fair to ride the carousel, and would wish that the horses would come alive? Well, this photographer does the exact opposite: She turns horses into carousels, making your childhood fantasy come alive.
Janice Fischer creates unique eye-caching photographs by dressing up your horse to look like a carousel horse from a fantasy world. Along with a studio in Grayslake, Illinois, Janice currently owns a stunning Belgian/Paint cross named Ruby, a furry Shetland named Sugar “Shrugs”(who doesn’t love them?!) along with three feral cats and two German Shepherds. She also says that she makes most of the costumes for her carousel horses herself. That could be considered an art in its self, don’t you think?!
“I want the horses to be wearing the costume and in front of the pole. I am sure someone who is really adept at photoshop could just take a plain horse and add the background and costumes electronically, but that is not want I want. I want the horse to be wearing the outfit and in front of the pole, that is most of the fun. I plan ahead of time what pose I want each horse to be in and then I try to get it. And most of the time I do get it! The horses are great and love playing the part.”
Janice also does stunning portrait photography! You can see more at: http://janicefischer.com I have also included a few examples of her portrait photography below. “We provide our customers with images that are true to the essence of the person or animal. We are available for private commissions, commercial work & corporate events.”
TFS: How did the idea for your carousel horses come about?
JF: The idea for the carousel horses was a combination of travel, ideas and my lifestyle. Needless to say I love horses and am fortunate to be able to live with them on a daily basis. As a child, horses were always on my mind. I never really wanted to go to amusement parks or other non horse events. So when I had to go with the family to amusement parks or circuses, I never wanted to go on the rides; I wanted to ride real ponies and if there weren’t any, I chose to ride the carousel.
I travel a lot with a friend of mine and it seemed everywhere we went one year, there was a carousel/circus theme. So the imagery of carousel horses was in my mind constantly. Then I just thought of it, why not have use real horses? I told my friend who is a trainer and she said she would help. And there you have it. It has been a fun project that started with a lot of trial and error. I started in 2010 and I try to do a calendar every year (though I did not for 2013 & 2016).
TFS: Do you use any of you own horses for your art projects?
JF: I use my horses all the time. I have a beautiful Belgian/Paint cross (Ruby) who loves to be adored. She is a perfect model in regards to attitude and style. She can fit several different types. I used her for The Equus Film Festival poster contest and she was used as a model for the Festival of the Horse and Drum poster contest that won. I have a miniature Shetland, Sugar, aka Shugs, she has been with us for a little over a year. I used last year for the Carousel series and plan on doing more with her – she just needs a little bit more time to blossom.
TFS: Do you give any workshops/classes?
JF: I normally do not do any workshops or classes. I like to work one on one with people. I am helping a teenager learn photography (he does not have it at his school) and have helped several hobbyists. I am classically trained with film and am self taught digitally.
TFS: With all of the years of experience with horses and art you have, can you tell us what that has taught you?
JF: Patience, patience and more patience! Also, be flexible. I plan my shoots well in advance, with attention to minute details, including the movement of the horse. But, inevitably I have to change something. I always say, “The horse dictates the shoot”!
TFS: Can you tell me more about your horses? Any other animals?
JF: My husband and I live on 7 acres with Ruby, Sugar, three feral cats and two German Shepherds. Ruby has the biggest personality and people are drawn to her. Shugs has attitude and I am now getting ready to start “working” with her. I have taken in a lot of animals over the years and believe they need time to relax and find their space. Shugs is ready! I really try to have an open and relaxing environment where everything is copacetic, but needless to say, the dogs chase the cats, Ruby chases Shugs and Shugs chases the dogs! But everyone really does get along.
TFS: Any wise words for other artists?
JF: Keep learning. Keep seeking. Keep dreaming.
TFS: It was fun to meet you at the Equus Film Festival last November! Can you tell us what that experience was like for you?
JF: The energy at The Film Festival was amazingly fabulous! I have never met a more diverse crowd and the fact that horses brought all of us together reminds me of how special horses really are!
Thank you Janice for answering my questions and sharing your stunning photography! For more information about her Carousel Horses and portrait photography, go here and here, respectively. go to Be sure to stop by the “Art In Bloom” Exhibit to see Janice Fischer’s work in person. Below is the poster for the Exhibit:
Thanks for reading~come back Tuesday!
Huh? What? Well, I will believe that when I see flying Shetlands !