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From Hay To Haute: How New York City-Based Fashion Photographer Heidi Niemala’s Visual Collaborations Have Elevated The Depictions Of Equestrian Life

By Kristin Thornton


odeling was the catalyst that ignited Heidi’s life-long career in fashion, but it is behind the scenes with her camera where she is most comfortable.  In addition to the photographer, professional fashion shoots require a large supporting cast of experts ranging from art directors, creative directors, make-up artists, models and any additional talent to achieve the client’s objective. Heidi is very candid that she has always felt ownership of the set, but over the years she has learned the importance of both respect and collaboration with the entire team to master the challenge of creating beautiful pictures.  

Pony Tales for EQ Living

As a fashion photography freelancer, Heidi is in charge of running her own business.  Procuring work, overseeing marketing, scheduling travel and managing finances requires a significant amount of time and flexibility.  As a single mother, she is extremely careful to plan every aspect of her professional career to ensure both security and balance within her personal life.  Experience has taught her to appreciate the ups, prepare for the downs and to create opportunities necessary for the future.    

Marnie at the Welbourne for EQ Living
Luxe Nomad for EQ Living
Pony Tales for EQ Living

Today, Heidi is incorporating her passion for horseback riding, an activity that has ebbed and flowed throughout her life, with her professional career.  In addition to growing her existing commercial portfolio, Heidi is adding her love of the horse to her scope of work by collaborating with two other experts that deliver extensive experience from within the fashion industry. Explains Heidi, “My journey into equestrian fashion has renewed my interest in photography. Being on set with horses is magical and I surrender to a real feeling of contentment.” The team’s goal was to elevate the level of published equestrian fashion photography and in a short time they have already achieved esteemed success.        

More About Heidi Niemala:

Heidi Niemala is a NY-based fashion photographer best known for her timeless images. Her work for clients like: Dover Saddlery, Air France, Neiman Marcus, Target, Brizo, Caress, and Vogue has been described as “transcendent” and “creating tangible desire in the mind of the viewer.” Heidi has been honored with more than 25 Addy Awards from the American Advertising Federation. She is also a recipient of the prestigious Hasselblad Masters Award celebrating the world’s most extraordinary talent. Born and raised in Virginia, Heidi began her professional life in front of the camera. After six years of modeling, she attended college in Virginia and returned to the fashion industry as a photographer. Heidi’s work caught the eye of creative directors and fashion editors, who praised her “ethereal images” that “stand the test of time.” Heidi’s work has appeared in countless fashion magazines. Her work is also seen in many successful advertising projects.View more of Heidi’s work at and connect with her on Instagram @heidiniemalaphoto.

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