Meet a member: Pauline von Hardenberg

We would like to take the opportunity to present our members for the IAEJ community of journalists and photographers during these trying times of a global pandemic. First photographer to go from Germany: Pauline von Hardenberg

Questions & Answers

Q:  Where exactly are you based?
A:   We live in the middle of Germany in Nörten-Hardenberg and at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains at Zabola Estate in Transylvania, Romania.

Q:  Do you live with any partners, family and/or pets?
A:   I live together with my husband and our six months old son. At both places we are surrounded by family and many horses, dogs, donkeys, ducks….

Q:  Do you work independently or are you affiliated with a particular organization?
A:   I work independently. One of my main client is the St.Georg magazine.

Q:  How long have you been an equestrian photographer?
A:   I started 8 years ago. I asked Jacques Toffi to be my mentor. We had a great time together the first years. I learned a lot from him.

Q:  What was your path to becoming an equestrian photographer?
A:   After a few years as a packaging designer, I decided to leave the office world and discover the equestrian sport with the camera. I have ridden dressage up to Grand Prix and Show Jumping up to S* myself. I really love competitions. Even more to cover the big Championchips with my camera.

Q:  What sports and types of competition do you cover? Other types of equestrian related assignments?
A:   The focus at the moment is on dressage, jumping and eventing. And of course reports for magazines about equestrian sports, horse training and horse keeping. Sometimes fashion photography for equestrian companies.

Q:  What new skills did you pick up during quarantine? How has the Covid-19 pandemic effected your life?
A:   I was somehow prepared for 2020 to have a „quiet-photo-year“. This time last year I had to cancel the World Cup Finals and the Olympic Games because I was expecting my son in June 2020. The fact that I didn‘t miss an event in the end is pretty absurd. My new skills I acquired during the quarantine period are being a mother, taking better care of my photoarchive and spending more time in one place. I can‘t remember the last time I was in one place for so long 🙂

Q:  What’s your all-time favourite moment in equestrian sport?
A:   The goosebumps moments. The moments of decision. The emotions that come then.

Q:  Talk about your most memorable adventure while covering equestrian sport.
A:   Ooh I remember Río. Rio was a big adventure. And I remember a moment there, where I screwed up everything. Before the Cross Country Day, I looked for great photo-spots on the course…I was well prepared. Michael Jung was one of the last riders in the field on that day and in Gold medal position, so I was super happy with the Photos I already took from the other riders. Then Michael Jung started and I was so excited, that I was only able to take one single sharp picture. Everything else is totally out of focus, blurred or the totally wrong moment. How embarassing to tell that to my client…But the one picture I got is now my favourite picture from Rio.

Q:  What is your favourite competition venue and why?
A:   My favourite competition is of course the show of my family: Hardenberg Burgturnier. It is a big family event and I have the feeling its more import than Christmas for all of us.

Q:  What is the last book / latest streamed series / favourite podcast you read / watched /enjoyed?
A:   I just started to read the book „In the middle are the horsemen“ by Tik Maynard

Q:  Who inspires you?
A:   Clever People 😉

Q:  How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
A:   I love to spent my time in Transylvania with my family, friends and horses. The horses are an important part of our family. We started to breed an old horse breed: The Szekler Horses. We cross them with an arab. They are not sport horses, but I fell head over heels in love with them. I enjoy it so much to ride with them in the forest in the morning. They are very robust and have a great character. And we also have 4 Thoroughbreds with which we breed Anglo-Arabs.

Meet Pauline von Hardenberg through her work

All photos by Website:

Championship debut – This picture was my first Coverphoto for an Equestrian Magazine. It was the debut of Fabienne Müller-Lütkemeier in the dressage and my championchip debut behind the camera. European Championships in Herning 2013.


Winner of the night – The picture shows my sister, Maja Heine, and „Bosty“ in my photo studio at the
Hardenberg Burgturnier show, after “Bosty“ won the big class on Saturday Night under floodlight.


Fullhouse – Here we are of course at the world cup finals in Gothenburg. Harrie Smolders and Emerald ended up second behind Steve Guerdat after a super exciting finale.


Standing Ovations – Marus Ehning and Pret a Tout on their honor round in Aachen 2018 after winning the Grand Prix.


A like Alice or A like Airplane – Here we are in Tryon, I think no more words needed.


Teamwork – Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin before the test in Tryon. WEG 2018.


Next generation – Christian Ahlmann and his son are discussing the course in Rotterdam at the European Championchips.


Tears of joy – An emotional Martin Fuchs and his proud horse and groom behind him. European Championships in Rotterdam.