At the start of December, a large number of us saw more snow fall than we have seen for years, the countryside was filled with a magical, white silence, while the roads became treacherous, leaving a number of people with days off work, myself included. One weekend I had been booked to cover two days of competition at Reaseheath, I was waiting to see if the shows we're going to run ahead when I received a message from a friend of mine (Rebekah) who owns a beautiful Fell pony stallion going by the affectionate name of Peanut, stating that she had always wanted to to a shoot in the snow with him but she hadn't really had plans to do one so soon! I suggested that if the show I was booked to do the next day was cancelled, we could go ahead with a shoot. Well my luck was in, within the hour I saw Reaseheath had been forced to cancel due to heavy snowfall forecast, so I messaged Rebekah to let her know that I was available and we decided on a time to go ahead with. I was so excited, I had hundreds of ideas going through my head over the course of the evening and the next morning, this was possibly the most last minute shoot I had organised, but spontaneity keeps things interesting and I love a last minute plan!
I enjoyed chatting while Rebekah groomed Peanut's mass of black mane and made him look show ready in a matter of minutes (The advantage of a black pony!). We headed down to the most picturesque part of the yard, where she let on to a few insecurities she had about being in front of the camera, a common concern among clients before their first shoot. It's understandable, a lens focusing entirely on you can be incredibly daunting, but once you start to interact with your horse you soon forget I'm there, you relax, and shots just pour out as you move organically around the horse, enjoying spending time with him.
We had so much fun exchanging ideas and testing them out, some worked, others didn't, but the shots that didn't quite work evolved into new ideas that did work. Rebekah's relationship with her horses really shone through during shooting, there was an energy of connection and understanding between this combination that just radiated off them. Peanut was incredibly obliging of everything he was asked to do, from cantering in hand, carrying a cloaked rider, playing at liberty, and even cantering towards me up a snowy track, all this made even more impressive by the fact that he hasn't long been broken in.
This shoot was last minute, there had been an idea stewing for some time but the wheels never got put into motion until finite circumstances arose. So many people say that they'd love to do a shoot but because of X,Y,Z reasons they haven't gotten around to booking it. But what if you suddenly had a limited time only, or looked back in regret when you lose your equine partner? Why keep putting off something that you've always dreamed of?
One common excuse is affordability, to combat this, I offer packages to suit almost any budget, with the option to space payments out over several months if necessary. My packages range from budget portrait shoots starting at £50.00, all the way up to half day shoots at £320.00. There is an option for everyone, because I believe that everyone deserves the chance to be a model in front of the camera with their horse, and to receive stunning images to be treasured for a lifetime.
"But what if my horse doesn't behave!" or "I'm not very photogenic!" If your horse doesn't behave that just creates more unique shots, it makes for a more exciting shoot and gives us even more to work with, not to mention it's more fun! And everyone seems to underestimate how good they really look, anyone can look gorgeous in front of a camera, the distraction of a horse to interact with takes away the need to think about posing and what your face is doing, and with a few directions and angle changes you'd be surprised how fantastic you and your horse with look in the finished images. Photography is art, simple as that, and a photographer's job is to create those artistic images that tell a story time and time again, that's all a photoshoot is; it's telling the story of you and your equine partner, capturing it in an artistic light. Stop putting it off, because one day you'll look back in regret at the things that you didn't do. Whatever your anxieties are, drop me an email to discuss, there's no pressure to book anything, but placing an inquiry is the first step in doing that thing that you've always talked about. 2018 is the year of doing, so let's stop talking and start doing.