Kerri Kerley lives for the action of the game—and makes a living out of it. As a polo photographer, capturing the gritty, intense, and triumphant moments on the field is a duty she willfully fulfills. “I love the speed and excitement of the game,” the polo lady shares. “And I love the editing process and seeing what I got out of each of them.”
It all began when she started doing videos for polo teams in Calgary Polo Club in 1999. A couple of years later, she moved on to taking stills instead of motion pictures. This has become her side job whenever Kerri goes to watch her husband on matches.
“Nobody else was doing it, and there was a large request for photos from people playing,” she explains. Action and precision is her style, with each click showing the rush and adrenaline the game has every single second. Never taking her eye off the ball, the photographer patiently waits for the next perfect snap to take.
“I am definitely all about the action of the game. My kids say I don’t get enough sidelines shots because I get so caught up in the action of the game!” Kerri exclaims.
Whenever a finals game comes around, you’ll find this polo mom all geared up and prepped for documentation. She tells POLO LADY, “I love photographing the finals of a tournament where you can see the expression on the faces of the players. It gets more intense, and the bumps and hits are always a little harder!”
Among all the things she’s photographed, the “biting horse” remains to be the one Kerri takes so much pride in. As a pro who values timing in her work, it encapsulates the word, matched with a uniqueness that no other image exudes.
But apart from being the woman with the camera, Kerri also wears other roles. She’s a real estate agent in California, works at their ranch (Triangle Bar Farms), and a proud mom and wife to a polo family.
While polo came in later in her life, her love affair with horses came early. She grew up on a ranch, became an Animal Health Technologist, and worked at a veterinary clinic for a few years. She even got her television show in Calgary, Canada, called “The Pet Guys,” which was all about domestic and exotic animals.
She was introduced to polo by no other than her husband, Mike Kerley. They met at her workplace during one of his summer playing visits in Calgary. There’s no turning back since.
It’s no surprise that both their children took up the sport, too. Hope and Ryan have started riding and playing junior polo at age three or four. Their bond as a family only grew stronger from there.
She’s incredibly proud about how her daughter and son grew up on the saddle. “Their passion for the horses and the sport really shows through and they are very well rounded because of it,” Kerri reveals.
As a polo mom, she describes herself as “a little intense and nervous during the games.” But thankfully, having a camera at hand requires her to stay calm and quiet.
“It’s an intense sport, and sometimes my nerves get the better of me. It’s probably a good thing I am taking photos when the kids play!” Kerri says.
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Mariel Abanes is the Managing Editor of POLO LADY Magazine.