You've Booked A Photoshoot for Your Horse. Now What?

Pre-Planning for Your Equine Photoshoot

So, you've decided to invest in professional equine photography. I know, you're probably super excited-but maybe also just a little bit overwhelmed over the steps you need to take to prepare. Please don't feel that way! It's my job to make this a fun, stress-free experience for you and your horse. I'll be here to help guide you through the entire process, from booking to shoot day.

There are a few things we need to work on planning well before your equine photoshoot day arrives. First things first-you'll need to choose your session package. My equine photography packages are separated based on shoot time. To keep things simple, you do receive all the best digital images from your shoot no matter which package you choose. Naturally, the more time we spend shooting the more images you will receive. These basic packages (Hark, Burst, and Full Cry on my investment page ) are ideal for horse and rider portraits that memorialize the relationship you share with your equine partner. I capture both candid and posed images during each session to color your personalized gallery with a variety of unique photographs.

Our most popular package is the Full Cry, which includes 2+ hours of shoot time, a full digital gallery, 4x6 proof prints, a free black background session for one horse (includes 3 images), and 15% off the purchase of wall art and albums. This package is ideal if you have more than one horse or multiple outfit changes.

Black Background Sessions

Black background portraits are a classy, timeless way to capture the beauty of your horse in fine art style. These images make absolutely breathtaking wall art-my personal favorite is our metal prints! As a standalone package, our basic black background sessions include 30 minutes of shoot time and 3 of your favorite fully edited digital images. The corresponding digital image is also included with each piece of wall art or album ordered.

A black background session is included with our Full Cry package but can be added to Burst and Hark.

So Which Session Should I Choose?

Most of my clients choose the Full Cry package so that we can really take our time shooting. The extra time provides us with the liberty of creating variety in your images. If your budget doesn't allow for the larger packages at this time (or you'd just like a handful of images), our Burst or black background sessions will still give you a taste of a professional equine photography experience!

What Should I Do in the Days Before the Shoot?

There are a few items we'll work on planning during the time leading up to your shoot. One of the first things I like to do is get an idea of the types of images you're hoping to find in your gallery. If you're a Pinterest user, we'll set up a dedicated Pinterest board where you can pin ideas for specific poses, outfits, etc. Although my work will never be a duplicate of another photographer's (and why would we want it to be?), this gives me an idea of the "feel" you're hoping for in your photos.

Taking the time to plan outfit choices beforehand is a gigantic stress reliever for most clients. Many ladies like to wear a dress or some other sort of casual outfit for some shots along with their show clothes for a series of images. Boho western style apparel is always popular as well. Whatever outfits you choose, make sure that you feel confident and comfortable in your clothing-this will make a TREMENDOUS difference in your final images!

Note-as a rule, busy patterns don't photograph as well. If you need assistance choosing which colors best complement your horse, you can check out the Hobby Horse color wheel here. I've been using this awesome tool since I was a little girl to determine what colors I wanted to use on my show pads and outfits! If you have any questions at all about your outfit choices, please feel free to send me photos and we'll decide together what would look best.

Pre-Planning for Your Horse

It's just as important to choose your horse's tack ahead of time as it is to choose your own outfits. For western horses, I recommend outfitting your horse in their show bridle and pad/saddle or a show halter for black background and outdoor portraits. English horses most often look best in the bridle unless you have a nice leather halter you want to incorporate in some shots. If your horse's behavior allows for it and you've opted for a session that includes black background images, we can also loop a lead around his/her neck to create several "naked" shots. Please note that for black background images reins should be removed and a simple lead clipped to the bit for English horses. Western horses tend to look more natural in the bridle with reins attached. No matter what tack you choose, please make sure that all items are clean and in good repair.

I find that black background portraits in particular look best with braided or banded manes (or neatly washed and brushed manes if kept long). Although it's a little extra work, if you're investing in professional equine photography you want your horse to look his/her absolute best. Plan on grooming like you would for a show day. If this includes any tasks that need to be scheduled a couple days ahead of time, set a reminder in your phone or calendar of choice. I can't "Photoshop" a filthy horse into a clean horse, so please help me to help YOU memorialize your horse in his absolute best light!

Photoshoot Day Planning

I always recommend getting to the barn early to lunge or work your horse before you finish grooming him. This will help him to be quieter and more cooperative throughout the photoshoot, which will make it easier (and more fun!) for us all.

After you've finished grooming your horse, it's time to touch up your makeup and get into your first outfit. It's always helpful to have a friend present to help, but if you need help tacking up or making last minute adjustments without getting dirty I'm always glad to assist.

If you've chosen a package with black background images, we'll start with those first. For this type of image I set the horse up right inside the entrance of a barn, stall, or shed with the back door closed to create a naturally dark background. Please try to make sure that the floor and sides of the aisle are fairly neat and clutter free.

After we've shot your black background images, we'll move outdoors for the remainder of your session. I really like to shoot in the early morning or in the hours before sunset. It'd be great if you could get an idea of which way the light falls during your scheduled session time before the day of the shoot!

Please don't be nervous while we shoot. I'll help pose you and your horse in the most flattering way, and to be honest many of my favorite images aren't "posed" at all-they're just you enjoying spending time with your friend.

What Happens After Your Photoshoot?

I don't know which part is harder-the actual photoshoot or the anticipation of seeing your final images! You'll receive your gallery within 2-3 weeks of your shoot date. Inside your private gallery you'll find the full-resolution digital files of all the beautiful images we created of you and your horse. These files can be used as you wish for advertising, self-printing, and sharing on the web. If you'd like to take the hassle out of printing your photos yourself, you can order prints and wall art directly from your gallery. I'd also be happy to help you design a wall art product that would look best in your home!

Please keep in mind that should you choose to print your images on your own, you should download them from your gallery on a computer of some sort to retain the quality of the file.

I know this has been SO much information, but I never want to leave my clients in the dark about the equine photoshoot process. I can't wait to work with you. Please feel free to contact me via phone, email, or the contact form on the linked page if you have ANY questions.