What Happens?

Well, whatever happens, let me reassure you, it will not be horrible! I promise you, I will not shout (ask my kids - I don't do shouting), I will not be bossy, I will not ask you to do anything you don't want to do.

OK - what does happen is, we arrange a shoot at a time and place that suits you. The location may be the yard where you keep your horse(s), or it may be at a beach, or a favourite hacking route, wherever you choose and you know your horse will be comfortable. At the time of booking it will help me if you have an idea of the kind of images that you like. So if you are thinking of having your photographs taken with you in your Wedding Dress for example, or if we are meeting at your yard and you will be jumping fences let me know. But if you haven't got any ideas, then don't worry, just tell me that too. (Don't forget that I can put you in touch with Heidi the Make Up Artist if you want to have your make-up done before the shoot.)
Once you have paid your photoshoot fee, I will pop along to the location you have chosen, to get a feel for the place, and check out the best spots for photos in advance of the shoot.

On the day of the shoot, you should make sure that your horse looks fab for the photos. But make sure that he/she is still recognisable as your horse. So if you never usually plait them, do you really want to plait them for the photos? Would they look better with a flowing mane and tail?
Make sure your tack is clean obviously. And if you are riding, make sure your boots are clean too.
If you want to bring a change of clothes, feel free - it's your shoot, so use it. Bend the rules a bit - on one of my shoots, my client wore her Prom Dress with cowboy boots, and she looked amazing!
Of course if you want to wear your normal riding clothes that is absolutely fine! There is nothing to say that you have to have to dress up! Or jeans and a casual top always look fab in photos. But if you are riding, I always will recommend that you're wearing a properly fitting riding hat (see my earlier blog entry). If yours isn't what you really want to see in photos, does a friend have one they are willing to let you use just for the shoot? So long as it fits properly of course. I want you to be comfortable, and I want the images that we get to be ones that you will love.

So as we go through the shoot, you will probably start off feeling really self conscious. Absolutely everyone does. Even my lovely Franki who models for all my Uni shoots feels like that at the start of each shoot. But after a short while (and it doesn't take long) you should relax into it all, and hopefully start to enjoy it. This is usually when you see me trying to get the horse's ears forward while keeping fixed focus and trying to ignore the wasp that has settled on my shoulder!
Something sometimes doesn't go to plan, something else may happen that I hadn't planned for, and this is why I just go with the flow. For example I have had a horse bunny hopping down a new hacking route because he was just soooooooo excited, all 17 hands of him... I had a horse who was scared of nothing, except the sound of my camera shutter.... And the one who appeared very large in my viewfinder, when I looked up he was almost on top of me. There's always something... But I got fabulous images from each of these shoots, which the clients loved and ordered. Oh and you get to learn some secrets from photoshoots (have a look at the photograph below which shows how to maintain your dignity and comfort mounting, dismounting and riding in a dress!)

Once we have covered off the images that you want (I always check with you as we go through the shoot that I am getting the right 'feel' of image by showing you the camera screen) and I am confident that I have enough images to present to you, we can finish the shoot. I never book more than one shoot in a day, but the longest I have had a horse 'available' for a shoot has been 90 minutes (with water and grass).

Then I will edit the images as needed (usually only minimal editing is required) and I will contact you again to make arrangements to present them to you either on my laptop or via my website, so that you can make a selection to purchase.

So it's not scary, is it?

Hope to see you soon x
Secrets from the shoot!!