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Dirk Caremans: An equestrian photographer in “quarantine light”

Wednesday, 08 April 2020
When at home...

Dirk Caremans is one of the world’s most acclaimed equestrian photographers, and has been in the business for more than 35 years. In this blog, he gives us a peek into how it is to go from a full photo calendar to quarantine light. 


“I never thought that I would miss going to shows. After more than 35 years in the business I have seen it all was my opinion. And then all of a sudden there is a virus called “Covid-19”.

Is it nature that gives us a kick in the ass about our behaviour the last decades or are the Chinese to blame for still eating dogs, cats and bats? Who can tell? Fact is the whole world has to deal with it, no exceptions are made.

On the first day of the stallion selection, when the president of the BWP announced that the first day would also be the last of this year’s selection followed by the cancelation of the Dutch Masters the same day, the planning of my weekend was gone. The impact on my calendar was going to be much bigger than I could imagine.

I was also one of them who made jokes about the virus with the Mexican beer name but when the scientists started to tell us we should stay home in order to prevent the virus from spreading, I did have the reaction to listen to people who are much smarter than I am.

So, my country Belgium­ went in to “quarantine light” as we call it. They could have called it “corona light” as well but they didn’t. It means we are just allowed to go out for food and that’s it. Some of the businesses had to close on order of the government, others had to have their employees working from home or with a “social distance” possibility. I could keep on working, but as I am allowed only to move when necessary and also stables had to close down there is not much left to do on the photo taking side of my business.

I can tell you I won’t be without work though. All these years much of the shows I went to (almost every week), are not finalized. There is a lot of editing to do, actually, I don’t know where to start.

As we are stuck home for some more weeks, I am spending my days with going back to the shows in the past. A lot of pictures are already added to my website the last two weeks, more will follow.

Because I don’t want to sit behind the computer all the time, I started to go on a bike tour four times a week. For the rest I have my vegetable garden to prepare for the new season and OMG my house has never been so clean as it is now. 

Going back in time also gives me much pleasure and many laughs seeing the old shots and how our athletes have changed over the years.

Of course, it is a pity we can’t go to Las Vegas, La Baule, Aachen, Rotterdam and so many other shows but they will be back next year and the years to come. Postponing the Olympics to next year was the most clever thing to do and I am already looking forward to that in 2021.

A lot of our horses won’t mind having a break like this either in their very busy schedule. They will only get better from it.

I hope from the bottom of my heart that you all are doing well and that you keep following the rules scientists have made up for our wellbeing. The more we listen, the faster we will be back. Honestly what are a couple of months quarantine in a lifetime as it helps us to stay alive.

Stay safe and most of all be nice to each other.

From Belgium with love, 


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