Jersey photographer: a guide to horse photoshoots
‘To ride on a horse is to fly without wings’.
As featured in …
Horses are some of the most beautiful animals in the world and make majestic subjects for photographs. The stunning natural environment of Jersey also makes a spectacular backdrop for equine photography. Are you thinking of booking a photoshoot in Jersey to capture the bond you have with your horse? Or perhaps a session to capture your child spending time with their pony?
As a horse photographer in Jersey that has been published by Vogue Italia, I will share what a photoshoot with your horse will involve, and some tips on how to get the most out of your session. I hope you leave excited about getting some professional photos taken of you and your horse.
The photoshoot will be an opportunity for you to spend quality time with your cherished horse in a beautiful location in Jersey. The experience will be very relaxed as horses can be quite sensitive and will pick up on your body language - the sessions are flexible and tailored to ensure both you and your horse are happy throughout. I have worked with both calm and sensitive horses, and shoot unobtrusively using a zoom lens and no flash so that it feels as much like your normal adventures together as possible.
The location will depend on your horse’s temperament and whether he/she travels well. The beach is a gorgeous backdrop for horse photoshoots for example, and if it is somewhere you and your horse are already familiar with then great. An ideal location will typically have two options in terms of where we can take your horse, to ensure your gallery is varied. For example we could start in your yard/field or nearby woods, and then either hack or drive to a beach. We can chat about locations together before your photoshoot, as you will have a good idea of what will work best for your horse.
The time of day
Early morning or the few hours before sunset work best for horse photography, as the light then is softer and more flattering. Plus, there are likely to be fewer people and dogs around at that time.
Safety is a priority on my photoshoots. As the horse owner, you are in control of the photoshoot at all times. Most people do want beautiful riding photos, or to be photographed with their horse walking in the sea, but I will not ask you to do anything you do not feel comfortable with. If your horse is becoming nervous we will stop and move onto something else. Most of your photoshoot will take place with you standing next to your horse, focusing on the bond between you. Bareback riding, and having bare feet, do create a lovely natural feel for your photographs, but I always recommend having a saddle, boots and your safety equipment with you. With young children, I ask that mum or dad are with us on the photoshoot, and can hold a lead rope (which I can remove in editing) if they wish.
How much effort you put into preparing for your photoshoot will have a huge impact on the final look of your photographs. Clean your horse until they are sparkling, especially if they are white! Horse hair always looks more beautiful in photographs when it falls naturally rather than being plaited (unless you specifically want this look), as it shows movement and catches the light. Plain leather saddles, head collars, bridals and lead ropes will lend a classic look to your photographs. And it goes without saying that if your horse is a little nervous or sensitive, I am happy to meet them before the photoshoot, and to take the time needed for them to settle into their photoshoot environment before we begin.
What to wear
We can talk about clothing ideas before your session. Ideally it is nice to have at least two different outfits for your photoshoot - one that is a casual riding look (e.g. jeans and a plain top), and another that is more styled. For girls for example, having your hair down with a light coloured lace or flowing dress can look very pure and beautiful together with a white horse, or a cream dress can really complement a brown horse. For boys, casual shorts or trousers together with a shirt can look very classic when paired with leather boots or wellingtons.
The featured shoot in this blog was taken at L’Etacq in Jersey and was published by Vogue Italia. We started the photoshoot in a nearby path by the stables that provided some tree cover and shade for portraits, and then hacked together down to the beach at L’Etacq for sunset. This was Molly’s first photoshoot with her horse, Haribo, and he had a lovely gentle disposition. He had however rolled in mud the morning of the photoshoot (!), so she had spent ages getting him sparkling again before the photoshoot. Haribo is Molly’s first horse which she has now had for over a year, so she was really looking forward to having some professional images taken of the two of them. Molly and Haribo love riding in the beautiful Jersey countryside everyday, and the bond between these two was a dream to photograph. Haribo had a great time on the photoshoot - he enjoyed nibbling flowers, nuzzling into Molly and splashing in the sea!
If you would like to find out more about a horse photoshoot or would like to book a session, I would love to hear from you.