AboutJudy Dahl (nee Berger) was born and raised in the Foot Hills of southern Alberta. By the age of five, not only was she riding horses and feeding cows, she was drawing them. By 12, she'd corralled a Kodak Brownie and was taking pictures of everything that moved. Judy's photographic artistry developed quickly, and by the time she was in her 20s raising a family, her skills as a livestock and equine photographer were in professional demand. Judy's photographs have been published in newspapers, magazines, and trade papers around the world.
"I grew up on the back of a horse, doing dads cowboying since we were old enough to get off the horse, open the gate and climb back up the leg to get back on. Living in the hills, we only rode bareback as our parents wanted us to fall clean if we got bucked off, my dad was a farmer at heart and horses were a ways to a means. He encouraged us to ride as cattle had to be looked after and moved. I had two neighbors that were horsemen. The would take me to horse sales and supply me with their Western Horsemen magazines, which i would draw from when i wasn't riding. After college I worked and lived in Calgary for 5 years, marrying my husband Brian 1971. We bought a farm in 1975 near Claresholm, now I was ready to get another horse! At this same time I was looking for subjects to draw, so approached some of the local breeders about photographing their horses. The Hoffmans and Hansmas were more than eager to have someone take photos of their stallions. A career was born. The Horse Industry branch hired me in l984 & 85 to photograph all breeds for international marketing purposes. I spent two summers working on that project and covered from Lethbridge to Edmonton and points in between.I photographed the Red Deer Shows for several years and the Canadian National Championship Quarter horse show."
Today, one of only a few Canadians to be accredited in both livestock and equine photography, Judy still shoots prize-winning animals, but now her portfolio has expanded to include photos of old barns and empty elevators, abandoned houses and deserted farm yards, dilapidated outhouses and forgotten machinery - mementos of lives and industry now past. Not only does Judy's extensive collection serve as an historic reference, but the photos are also fodder for her highly treasured Prismacolor crayon and pencil drawings, water-colours, and oil paintings.