How to take the best photographs with your horse
Here are my top 7 tips to get the best photographs with your horse on your Equine Photoshoot!
The most important thing to me is to capture the amazing connection between you and your horse! They are such incredible and powerful animals and the bond we can have with them is just amazing! Being prepared will help you to get the most out out your session, keeping things relaxed and enjoyable so that all you have to focus on is spending time with your pal!
ONE - TIMING
Either the early morning light at sunrise, or evening light the hour before sunset is always the best time to shoot! The soft low light creates beautiful portraits. I always recommend starting shooting two hours before sunset to give you and your horse a chance to relax and not be under pressure, and earlier if you have more than one horse.
TWO - CLOTHING CHOICE
Choose a colour that compliments both your horse and the season/time of year. Neautral and muted tones always work well and bring the focus back to the people in the image. If you love colour, bringing in one bright or bold colour can work really well too.
Wear something that you love, feel comfortable in and represents your own personal style. If you like the more casual look then jeans, boots and a nice top or jumper can work well or if you want to dress up a little a long flowy dress can be amazing too! If you love it, go for it!
THREE - THE EARS!
We all know that getting the ears forward is super important to get great shots with your horse, looking engaged, alert and happy makes a great photo. I always have a couple of little tricks up my sleeve to help get their attention.
FOUR - A HAPPY HORSE IS ONE THAT'S FED!
Make sure your horse has had something to eat before their session, if they've been brought in from the field to get ready, it's always a good idea to give them some hay/haylege to munch on while they get ready so they aren't standing for too long. It's also a good idea to have some treats in your pocket for during the session. Polos are a life saver in keeping your horses attention, with the added benefit you don't get that lovely green goop that comes from munching on cereal treats or grass! Polos also aren't bulky in your pocket, I always recommend to take a few out of the packet and leave them loose in your pocket.
FIVE - FLY SPRAY
This one's for the summer season, we all know the dreaded midges love to come out and attack both you and your horse! While a bit of tail swishing is always great for photos, I'd rather you didn't get eaten alive! I always recommend sponging a good amount of fly spray on (particularly under the belly) around 20 minutes before I arrive, that way it has time to dry on the coat and take effect.
SIX - BE PREPARED
Giving your horse a good tidy up is a great way to spend time with your horse. Here is a little list of things you can do to get them looking their best!
- Clean well, either brushing followed by hot cloth to remove the dust and dirt of the surface of the coat, or bathing if it's warm enough.
- Clean and oil bridle, it's also a good idea to switch to a simple snaffle bit for your bridle if you have one and take off any martingales or breatplates.
- Pull and/or plair mane (unless they have a lovely long mane, then 100% let it flow in the wind!!)
- Trim feathers, ears and face hairs, this always helps to sharpen them up.
- Use a sponge or soft cloth to clean around the eyes and nostrils.
- Brushing out the tail and adding some conditioning sray or baby oil.
- Clean and oil hooves.
SEVEN - RELAX AND ENJOY THE TIME SPENT WITH YOUR HORSE
There is absoloutely no pressure to perform on sessions. The connection between you and your horse is the most amazing thing and being able to take some time out to just spend it with your pal can be the most amazing experience. Animals are so sensitive to emotions, so try to stay as relaxed as possible and I will guide you through the process. Don't worry if your horse doesn't stand still or perfectly the whole time, I don't expect them to! A little energy and character always brings out the best photographs. Having photos that you can see your horses character in are always the best, so let them show their little quirks and don't be afraid to have a laugh at them!