How to Prepare for Your Horse Photoshoot

Your Horse’s Photoshoot

Having professional horse photoshoot is the start of a fun, joyful and very satisfying process.

Horses are so often such an important part of our lives.  Not only do we invest in them financially but we also invest emotionally.  We buy, or breed, a horse and we start the pursuit of our dream to ride at the Olympics, or to compete nationally.  Or just to gallop across fields and forests, experiencing the freedom and power that you can only find on the back of a horse.

Soon after your new horse comes into your life, you fall in love with him.  If it hasn’t already happened the moment he walked into your yard.  So now it’s time to celebrate this new love by having gorgeous and special images taken of him with a fabulous horse photoshoot.

You excitedly book your photographer and the fun begins!  Spending a bit of time thinking about what kind of images you want and then preparing the horse for his moment in the spotlight is great fun.

Do You Have Your Horse Photoshoot Outside or Inside?

So you need to decide.  Do you want your horse photoshoot outside in his field, or in the forest, or in a favourite place? Would you like to do in the morning light or in the evening when the sun is setting?  Have a look around and see where the sun is at those times of the day so you can choose whichever you like best.horse galloping towards viewer

Or do you choose a studio horse photoshoot inside your barn, with studio flashlights and backdrops?  Your final images will be unique and stylish classically inspired portraits.

Or you can choose to have both!   I can come to you to do both types of horse photoshoot.

What To Do Before Your Horse Photoshoot

So now let’s have a look at what would be really useful to you, your horse and me, the photographer, before the big day.

The first thing you can do is to give your horse a bath if you want to.  This is not vital but it can just give him that little extra sparkle.  If you do decide to give him a bath, then you can also add a little hair conditioner in his mane and tail.  If you want to plait your horse for his photoshoot, then it’s a great idea to do it the day before or early in the morning if the photoshoot is later in the day.  Manes that have just been conditioned can be difficult to plait!  Not only that but the plaits can fall out too quickly too!

Don’t forget to pop a rug on him if possible after you have bathed him. You don’t want to be spending hours cleaning the dirty patches off his lovely clean and shiny coat!

Also don’t forget to clean any tack that you want to use during the shoot.  I do always bring various leather and rope halters and ropes anyway, but if you have a favourite one, give it a clean!

Then for yourself, if you want to join your horse on his photoshoot (which I strongly advise that you do), decide which outfits you want to wear.  You could go for romantic princess, stylish rider or just relaxed.  It’s all possible but it’s your decision.  You will be the one looking at the final images!black horse and smiling owner

The Studio Horse Photoshoot

If you decide to have a studio horse photoshoot, then there is a bit more work for you to beforehand.

I would prepare the cleaning of horse and tack as for an outside shoot.  But you also need to prepare the horse himself a little more.

Because the studio shoot is inside, we will need to find the best place to do it. We will have spoken beforehand and discussed the options so you will need to make sure that your horse gets used to being in whatever we end up choosing as our location.

Sometimes we will use a barn or a building that the horse is not used to or has never been in.  If he has never been in there then you will need to get him used to walking in and out of it as well as standing quietly.  He will be so much more relaxed in that space if you have spent a bit of time doing this with him.

Also practise getting you both used to standing together but as far apart as you can!  We normally hold our horses quite close to their heads but for a horse photoshoot it’s much better to not to be too close to him.  This can take a bit of time so please do practise this.  You can do it by using a stick as the extension of your arm and gently pushing him away.  And don’t forget to always praise him for doing it right!

The reason I am asking you to do this is that when we are doing the shoot, I can direct you to direct the horse and you are then less evident in the photograph.  Which leads to less editing afterwords!  I believe that, although Photoshop is amazing and fantastic for sorting out problems, nothing beats getting it right in camera!

Depending on how he is and how it’s all going, we might try some photographs without any headgear on at all, if that is wanted.horse looking to side

Everything is always done with the utmost care for everyone’s safety and comfort so if anyone is uncomfortable with that, then we won’t do it.

Finally, you can have him plaited or unplaited.  That is entirely up to you.  We can always take the plaits out during your horse’s photoshoot so that there is lots of variety in the shots.

I hope that this post has helped you if you are at all worried about booking a photoshoot for your horse.  It really is worth doing and the end result is a heritage treasure that you will have and love for many years.  Have a look here at some images to give you some ideas for your own horse photoshoot.

If you are interested in having a horse photoshoot, please do get in touch with me here.  We can have a completely no obligation call to see if it’s right for you.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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