Martina Gates


I see horses as spiritual beings. In my photography I try to connect to this spirituality, so there has to be an emotional connection. The way we see things, the way we experience them. It is this feeling that brings me back to the wild over and over again. I see the horse in its natural form, as a free spirit, untamed and wild. The location always plays an important role to me. It needs to reflect what I had in my thoughts even if it is in the dark. A lot of research is needed before each shoot, why make the image, what am I hoping for? It is always a challenge to photograph what I had in mind and it is not uncommon to have situations change by light, movement or angles. It is crucial for me to keep an open heart and mind in order to go with the flow. I work with organic subjects and even the mechanics of the camera is not always certain. Malfunctions can and do occur, but in the end, I take all the components that create the image and make it mine. This for me is the most exciting part. Traveling to the settings, to the horses is all part of the process. Bringing home, the raw images and working with them in the print studio with varying techniques and then seeing them printed big is so fascinating for me. Looking at the large images recreates the enormity and sheer size of the horses and portraits the emotion captured at that moment.


Martina Gates is an English-German photographer well known for her equine art photography. Martina studied graphic design at Parson’s School of design in New York including photography as part of the curriculum. Both horses and photography have been a constant in her life. Martina grew up in Hamburg Germany. At sixteen she began a successful modeling career that lasted over 25 years, living in Paris, Milan, and New York City. These years shaped her understanding of light, design, and composition. Since 2007 Martina has been photographing horses in the wild. She lives in New York.

Martina‘s photographic work is an irresistible combination of nature, horses, and landscape. She travels to places where horses still roam free and captures intimate moments in grand settings, which make her work so unique. Her largest body of work is of the Icelandic horse, one of the oldest and purest horse breeds in the world. All of Martina’s images are printed in small quantities and are only sold as limited editions. Her work has won numerous awards and has been shown in the United States and in Europe.