The Arabian horse industry is very fortunate to have exceptional creative photographers and artists. I've known Stuart Vesty forever and working with him is a real joy. He's enthusiastic, he pushes himself hard, he has a great desire to be the best and it all really shows. Whenever I've given him the opportunity, he gets the shot. He always gets the shot. Personally, I've traveled around the world with him. We've spent time together in Brazil and in Poland. He's been a wonderful friend to the Galluns. We have developed a great mutual respect for each other over the years, and we feel very fortunate to have him in our lives, both professionally and personally.
~ Greg Gallun
Back in the 1990s my mom (Carolyn Moller) was the president of the Arabian Horse Association of Michigan. She contacted Stuart about being the photographer for the Michigan All-Arab Show. He said that he'd do it on one condition, that she'd hire him for a farm shoot. She did. What we remember most about that shoot is one particular horse, Pro Elegance. She was horrible that day. We tried everything to get her ears, even had people standing on top of the fence, all to no avail. Two weeks later when the proofs arrived there was this fantastic shot of her. We've never looked back and we've never had another photographer. Stuart's photos are a reflection of our greatest capabilities and his artistic ability is only exceeded by his unending entertainment value. He's a true gift to this industry. We love him!
~ Carmelle Rooker
Stuart Vesty has been coming to our place since 1983, and he's come once a year since then. What is that - 27 years? The first time he photographed the horses it was so shoot from the hip that I was shocked. I thought it was going to be a complete disaster. Then I saw the proofs, and the pictures were so exceptional I couldn't believe it. I used to hate photo sessions. Stu's so laid back, has so much fun while he works, and is so easy to be around. Part of why it's so great to work with him is his personality. Now when he comes we make a couple of days of it. It's a real Event for our farm. Customers come in from all over and it's like a big, family party. We all look forward to it. By the end of three days of shooting Stu and I sound like an old married couple, arguing over which proof is best. At this point in our friendship Stu knows exactly what I want. He always gets the great shots for me. When we do our annual multi-page ads in the magazines there's a certain look I want and he always manages to come up with the perfect pictures. His work is a large part of why Strands Arabians image is the way it is today.
~ Jody Strand
We first met Stuart Vesty in New York State at horse shows, a long, long time ago. He would come by the stalls and beg us for a chance to photograph our horses. We'd always say 'no', because we had someone we were using consistently at the time and we were not interested. Now, when we need Stu to come and do photographs, he tells us what days he's available and we meekly say ... 'okay'. He's the best in the business. Unfortunately, everybody knows it.
~ Jim Stachowski
Stuart Vesty is one of the most creative guys I've ever known. When he comes to do a farm shoot he makes it all happen, and he does it all with a great attitude. He's always upbeat and fun. Most of all, I think that he's a true artist and I have the utmost respect for him. He has the key to the creative experience and he's able to bring those people around him along for the ride. When he's inspired he opens up everyone's creative juices. His artistic ability is only surpassed by his entertainment value.
~ Joel Kiesner
Stu and I have been friends for twenty years. I was in his wedding and he was in mine. He's my daughter's godfather. Stu is a horseman first and a photographer second. That's why he can take the pictures that horsemen want to look at. He's a down to earth guy and great to be around. There's a good reason why everyone hires him - he doesn't simply take photographs of horses, he takes the Great pictures.
~ Gerard Paty
Stu Vesty ..... so much talent. I have been designing ads with Stuart's photos for years and my confidence in him has never wavered. He makes it easy. With publication and print deadlines constantly adding pressure to the situation, Stu always comes up with something, and usually it's not just something - it's something special.
Stu Vesty is a horseman before he's a photographer. He knows and feels what a horse is going to do before they do it. That understanding of their physical makeup and behavior allows him to anticipate and not be a second too late. This real understanding and appreciation of horses is what allows him to truly capture a horse in his photography. The visual aesthetics then put his images over the top. The Arabian horse industry is lucky to have him.
~ Jenn Trickey
Stu has an expressive sense of style, whimsical and sparkling sense of humor and a true eye and passion for beauty, art, people and horses. He is able to capture on film the soul of his subjects.
~Shawn Getty Lowe
Stuart's a horseman, so he understands our needs. He's great to work with and the energy he puts into getting the picture is amazing.
~ Greg Knowles
We've probably taken more photographs of Afire Bey V than anyone has taken of any other Arabian horse - period. Stuart Vesty has shot him dozens of times and because the horse has been photographed over and over, he's had to be utterly innovative and open to new ideas. When Stu is shooting he is constantly moving and looking for new angles and new ways to shoot. As he came up the ladder in the Arabian business, the entire way of photograping horses changed in the Arabian industry. When he started, the standard photo in the business was the classic stand-up shot. That's all changed now and I believe that Stuart Vesty is the one who changed it. Stu is a horse nut. He and his entire family are horse people. He's always totally excited about seeing great horses. He's not simply a photographer he's a horseman.
~ Tim and Marty Shea
I almost cannot remember a time when Stuart Vesty was not in my horse life. Let's see ... my son is off to college soon, and there was Stu, sitting on the floor in my living room, with Griffin in his lap. I guess he was a month old, and yes, the comic inevitability of what was going to happen happened. A toddler did what toddler's do after a big meal .... and there was Stu taking it all in his good-natured way.
Stu is a great person as well as a great artist. What can I say - the world is a better place with him in it.
~ Michael Byatt
Stuart Vesty comes to my farm and knows every horse; every pedigree. It's like having a dear, old horse friend to talk with about dear, old horses we both love. He's genius ... fun ... sweet ... knowledgeable, and will climb any tree or mountain to get that perfect picture. However, arguments with Stu Vesty are so passionate and incredibly energetic they should always be followed by a nap.
~ Sheila Varian
When we were doing the Heartland Sale and Stuart was photographing the horses, Tom Moore (who was working for us at the time) was riding a mare that decided to take off bucking. Stuart captured the entire sequence, including the part where Tom got dumped. My dad ran it all in the magazine, calling it ... "No Guts - No Glory" ... and it was the most response eliciting ad we've ever run. We always have a great time when Stuart comes to Cedar Ridge!
~ Lara Ames
Stuart brings out the best in people. We actually look forward to photo sessions with him ... and nobody looks forward to photo sessions! We all get so enthused and he matches that enthusiasm and energy ten-fold. One of the things I like best about Stu's work is that he's really good at each division of the industry ... halter ... performance. It doesn't matter. He has the interest and the desire to do it all and capture that great photograph we all want.
~ Jeff Schall
I have known Stuart since before he started shooting pictures ... lots of years. I always remember the great discussions we had about great horses. Sometimes during those long-winded conversations (this was when he had particularly long hair) Russ would sit behind him and braid his hair, just to irritate him. He was, and still is, a great horseman and an even better friend.
~ Bob Battaglia and Russell Vento
I was judging in New York when I first met Stuart Vesty and his brother Clarke. It must have been at least 25 years ago. There was this groom's costume class and the two of them dressed up as the "Buzzard Brothers." Guess who they were trying to imitate? Stuart worked at Midwest in the 1980s schooling and conditioning horses, but soon followed his heart and ambitions into the world of photography. He started a company with our friend Dyana Duerr called Midwest Design. Now we all watch him as he travels the world. He's become one of the premier Arabian horse photographers globally, and there's not a person on the planet that deserves the recognition more than Stuart Vesty.
~ David Boggs
Several times Stuart Vesty has closed the Ohio Buckeye Show by asking the rider of the Champion English, Park or five-gaited horse to step down and take his photograph as he (Stuart) gets on the horse and makes a final victory pass out of the ring. Now, I don't know what you think, but I think he's either one helluva horseman, or crazy as a loon to get on a big trainer's souped-up open horse (one that he - Stuart - has never ridden before) in front of several hundred of his peers and ride like a wild man out of the ring. The best thing about it is, he gets away with it and the crowd just goes nuts. How can you not stand up and cheer for wonderful, sparkling insanity like that?!
He's also the hottest photographer we've got, always gets the greatest shots and always ... always gets you the pictures you need, when you need them.?
~ Christy Egan
What is the deciding factor that has made Stuart Vesty the photographer of the Polish Arabian horses for the Pride of Poland Sale for the past 12 years? Part of it has been the certainty that regardless of all adversities and difficulties, Polturf would receive a collection of superb photos, photos that would attract the attention of prospective clients and perfectly advertise the horses Poland has to offer. There are many difficulties to address in the accomplishment of these photo sessions. They always take place in May, a time when Poland just starts turning green and the weather can be fitful. They always happen under the pressure of deadlines, as during a tight two-week window Stuart must capture 30 to 40 horses at three different studs, hundreds of kilometers apart from each other. Even worse many breeding horses do not undergo show training and they don't always cooperate during the photographic posing. In addition to all of the above there is a language barrier, because not everyone from the stud farm staff speaks English and they sometimes do not understand the photographer's directions.
None of these 'backstage' secrets ever affect the final results, which are ready-to-print photos for the Pride of Poland catalogue. Thanks to a professional approach, patience, readiness to work in tough conditions and at any hour, great artistic ideas and a pint of extravagance, Stuart is able to capture and express through photography the finest traits and stunning beauty of the Polish Arabian horse. He has even conquered the language problem. Having learned a couple of Polish phrases, he now gives pointers to the handlers in Polish all by himself! As Stuart is fond of saying, perhaps there is someone who could do the job better, but surely such a person wouldn't be as appreciative of everything else that is connected with the Polish trip: the hospitality, the food, the nature, the special humor of the Polish people, and the fact that there is always a bit of time for some play. He will always be welcomed here as 'one of ours.'
~ Barbara Mazur, Polturf