One of the many things Maria and I share is a passion for learning how to talk to animals and to listen to them. I'm often behind the camera, so I am not often seen, but our approaches are the same. One difference is Maria's physical ability to squat down comfortably with the animals she is communicating with, to get to their level, to communicate from an equal field as it were. This matters.
We use food to get animals to pay attention to us, to trust us. We use repetition to make our presence a ritual in their lives, a tradition. Maria in particular, more than me, also allows the animals to smell, see and feel her emotions. She does not often talk to them, except in an upbeat, encouraging way and they do respond to that. She has had many such relationships, and I photographed many. A new one is her and Tess, the Border Leicester wool sheep we are keeping and taking to the New Bedlam Farm. I learn from doing it and I learn from watching it and photographing it.
Few people listen to animals or really communicate with them, we are too busy telling them what they think and talking to them as if they think and feel as we do.