Meet a member: Ingo Waechter

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. Next to go is one of our photographer members: Ingo Waechter

German photographer Ingo Waechter ready to shot

Questions & Answers

Q:     Where exactly are you based?
A:     I live in north Germany, near Verden. I think many horse people know Verden as the HQ of the Hanoverian breeding.

Q:     Do you live with any partners, family and/or pets?
A:     I live together with my younger son (25).

Q:     Do you work independently or are you affiliated with a particular organization?
A:     I work independently but I think with many good contacts to different media and organizations.

Q:     How long have you been an equestrian photographer?
A:     Since eight years I work now as an equestrian photographer. I started late with this activity, becoming more and more professional.

Q:     What was your path to becoming an equestrian photographer?
A:     Becoming an equestrian photographer for me there are a few different paths that lately join to one:

Photos and cameras in general are my passion since I am 11 years old. Later in life I always did some volunteer press work (photos and writing) for clubs and organizations (e.g. volunteer fire department, riding club, runners club …).
At the age of 44 I began to start riding, learn to ride in two different riding clubs with different horses (which was good!) and together with other adults.
I start to learn riding because I wanted to support my two sons. Both where competing in pony and horse competitions. The older son is still riding and sometimes also hunting after the fox hounds.
In parallel I started of course taking photos of my sons and other riding colleagues at the riding competitions or hunting.
I improved my skills in that direction of horse sports, visiting many competitions including eventing, also on international level.
After my younger son quit riding, I took over his horse and started also riding at competitions (show jumping, dressage and cross country), but only on low level.
But to understand handling horses and to do the sports you take photos of, is a real advantage I don’t want to miss.
More and more I get in touch which horse sport media and provided my photos and getting more professional.
In the meantime I a visited a lot of national and international events, world and European Championships with requests of horse sport media and industry in my pockets.
I think my different paths support each other and I enjoy every competition and the results in the media.

Ingo Waechter in the saddle doing eventing
Ingo Waechter in the saddle

Q:     What sports and types of competition do you cover? Other types of equestrian related assignments?
A:     I cover eventing, show jumping, dressage, driving, racing, vaulting and horse shows. In addition for the regional press I cover also a lot of soccer games, some handball and sometimes running. Other equestrian related activities which I also cover are auctions, foal shows, mare tests, stallion licensing, gala shows – just everything around breeding horses.

Q:     What new skills did you pick up during quarantine? How has the Covid-19 pandemic effected your life?
A:     I personally was not in quarantine. We had different kinds of lockdowns here. But I could go outside all the time and make some more landscape and nightscape photos. I improved also my skills in editing photos. I watched a lot of webinars and videos about that.
Yes, Covid-19 pandemic has changed a lot. I work definitely much more in my home office. Not much driving and traveling. Visiting only the competitions near my home.

Q:     What’s your all-time favourite moment in equestrian sport?
A:     Yes, there is a moment I will always remember. I am normally not excited when I take photos, but at the European Championships at Blair Castle in 2015 I was! Taking photos of the HRH Queen Elisabeth II at the medal celebration. “Omg, let’s hope everything went well with these photos!”: I thought to myself, standing next to my colleagues.

Q:     Talk about your most memorable adventure while covering equestrian sport.
A:     Well I think about my special journeys to France. First time in 2014 I covered two events in a row in France: Mondial du Lion and Pau. A very nice trip I met many nice and friendly people over there. Between the events I had a few days off, which I spent at the Atlantic coast. This trip I repeated more times in variations and I missed it specially this year.

Q:     What is your favourite competition venue and why?
A:     My favourite venue is of course the CHIO Aachen. There are some reasons: I like the city and the service around this remarkable event. You can cover so much and disciplines on top level of equestrian sports. And the best is, you can meet all your international colleagues and friends at this venue!

Q:     What is the last book / latest streamed series / favourite podcast you read / watched /enjoyed?
A:     My book right now is “Herzschlag Finish”. A story about horse racing, the people around and the amazing stallion “Protectionist” which won the “Melbourne Cup”, written by the equestrian journalist Kira Kaschek.

Q:     Who inspires you?
A:     I think that is of course Jacques Toffi. I like his work and always talk to him when we meet. He is, of course, a legend in our business.

Q:     How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
A:     In my free time a like to run, ride my bicycle or ride the horse of my older son. Working in the garden has always to be done, when I am at home. I just like to be in motion…

Q:     What is the philosophy behind your work as a photographer?
A:     As a photographer my reliability has priority. Reliability to deliver the photos I proposed to customers/media very fast.

Meet Ingo Waechter through his work

All photos by Website: