It's taken me a while to write this blog about my experiences with Hermes in Paris, visiting the Hermes Saddlery and covering Le Saute Hermes at the Grand Palais. Aside from being an awesome encounter, I knew there was something about Hermes that was unique about the brand and the way it paid such close attention to every minute detail, always displaying a great measure of thought and grace in their every endeavor. The word I had been searching for is Seductive. By the time my shoot had come to an end at Le Saute, and our visits to the Saddlery and the Hermes store were complete, I craved almost every item Hermes created! Mind you, I’m not easily affected by the hype of upscale shopping and overpriced fashion. But in this case, being seduced by the Hermes experience and gaining an appreciation for the care and craftsmanship that goes into each Hermes product, grabbed my desire to own anything created by Hermes. Hermes took such good and thoughtful care of us, I wished the experience hadn’t ended! I longed for a classic Hermes scarf, Hermes cologne, even Hermes a saddle, though I don't ride horses.. The window displays showed two motorbikes leather covered with wings. I’d love one of those! Everything was so beautiful and made so incredibly well, and with grace... I learned at the workshop and shoot at the Saddlery, how the leather was obtained, in fact grown, and the amazing attention that was paid to the detailing of the leather. Every stitch hand done and thought out, the assembly of the various pieces was done with thought and artfulness. Hermes is a company, perhaps “THE Company”, that believes in only the highest Quality.

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Photographing in the Saddlery was challenging as we were shooting for a classic look at a workshop of artisans. We shot everything with available light, moving quickly and quietly while the master artisans were working on their various tasks. Additionally, we were looking for images of our host who was  relaying the History of the Hermes saddle dating back to the early 1900’s, and describing the pain staking techniques of building a Hermes saddle, from its various components and materials. My challenge was to find angles to shoot that were unique, interesting, informative and not full of other journalists… Shooting the competition, Le Saute Hermes, was another challenging task. Not much different then shooting an Olympics, security and being prepared for each different event and configuration of the Arena posed challenges. Additionally, the Grand Palais is one big skylight, which can be very nice light or not, based on the time of day. Rain and cloudy skies on the first day posed other technical challenges. Armed with the new state of the art Canon 5DMKIII’s, I was more then prepared. We captured great moments at this event, as well as some beautiful and unusual architectural images of the venue. Shooting close up to the jumping horses and riders was a thrill every sports shooter should experience at least once! Please read and take in the images from our shoots at both the Hermes Saddlery, where Hermes introduces us to their new saddle, and from the Le Saute Hermes event at the Grand Palais where the greatest jumpers in the world come to compete. The articles for Equestrian Quarterly Magazine are designed and written by Stephanie Peters who is an amazingly gifted writer and designer as well as a great traveling companion. I look forward to being invited to cover this event again next year. I’m already saving for my Hermes leather covered cycle! Being a Hermes guest once in a lifetime isn’t enough!

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