‘Wild Herd: A Vanishing American Treasure’

Deborah Kalas’s Stunning Photos Capture Lives of Horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Wild Herd: A Vanishing American Treasure | Credit: Courtesy

“I hope with my book that I can raise awareness and also bring joy to people who just love horses,” said photographer Deborah Kalas about her new tome, Wild Herd: A Vanishing American Treasure. The 160-page coffee table book does exactly that — it’s filled with stunning, intimate pictures of the horses living through the seasons in North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP).

Six years ago, Kalas, who had a successful career taking high-end family portraits in the Hamptons, began a project close to her heart — capturing on film the 138 horses that roam TRNP’s 45,000 acres. “It was probably five years of photographing before I decided that I thought I had enough to make a book,” she said. “Initially I probably edited 12,000 photos down to a couple hundred and then narrowed it down from that.” Just over two years ago, Kalas moved to Santa Barbara, where I recently caught up with her over the phone to talk about her book, which Kirkus named one of the top 100 books of 2019.

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