Judy's Story

Judy Dahl did not start her photography and art career planning on being a historian, or one who made history.

Growing up in southern Alberta, Dahl’s life revolved around her parent’s ranch. The lifestyle and the surrounding landscape became the inspiration of her artwork and ultimately the photographs in her portfolio.

Judy Dahl made history by becoming the first Canadian woman to attain accreditation in both livestock and equine photography. Her professionalism and ease working with, and around animals, transported Dahl to a highly sought after photographer in the equine world.

A third-generation photographer, Judy continues to preserve the western culture through photographs and several art mediums. Her extensive collection serves as a reference for her artisan projects as well as archival material for others who are researching western lifestyle and historic information.

Winter Morning

“You do’t have to have it all figured out to move forward. Photography was a journey of learning for me…it still is.”

Lorne and Marian Hoffman owned a  Quarter Horse stallion by the name of D’Arcys Otoe. He was the first horse I photographed in my professional career. I used my Konica C 35 fixed lens camera, and in my opinion, the photo shoot was a dismal failure. I was missing something but I did not know what.

I went home, poured through my Quarter Horse Journals, and studied the photos. I discussed my photographic problem with my mother-in-law, Grace Dahl. At the time, she was a member of the camera club and she suggested I use a telephoto lens for my head and three-quarter front shots. This I knew I could do as I owned a Miranda camera with a 135 mm lens. 

The next time out to photograph D’Arcys Otoe I used the Miranda. From then on in I was able to capture those shots without distortion. I was very happy with the photos I took at the second session and so were Lorne and Marian. 

My photography career was born.