We love how Rachel Bragg of Sweet-Images Photography captures relationships between people and their horses beautifully. In this blog, she gives us her five top tips about equine portrait shoots.
When you make the decision to book a photographic session with you and your equine best friend it's not a decision that you take lightly. Even once you've done some research and worked out who your chosen photographer ideally is, you are bound to have many questions before you take the next step.
So the aim of this blog is to help answer some of those queries. I've compiled a list of the five most frequently asked questions, or concerns raised, by potential customers since I've been photographing people with their horses in the hope that by reading these here I can help eliminate those worries.
Well this really is the number one concern that comes through with enquires, and if I'm honest, I'm in your camp too! Many of us today feel just a little bit uncomfortable about being so directly featured, and thats OK you know. However I really do urge you to make some considerations with this.
One of the biggest reasons I got into equine portrait work like this was because I never got the real 'relationship' images with my favourite horse as she grew up from a foal. The reason was a combination of how I felt about myself and because I thought I would have plenty of years with her. I didn't get those images and I massively regret not being able to put my own self-confidence to one side and let a professional take control a bit and help me.
Photographers learn over time the best use of light, angles, and positioning and even clothes to create flattering images. Another thing many good photographers will do is to chat to their clients and ask questions about you and your horse. Everyone loves to talk about heir horse and this naturally puts everyone at ease and makes the experience far more enjoyable too.
As an aside to this initial point what also comes forward is that people don't like that forced 'posed' method of photography. Me too! There's nothing worse in my eyes than someone rushing up to you every two minutes tweaking your little finger or moving your foot half an inch to the right.
A common style of photography (and my particular style) is known as lifestyle photography - its more natural and we just go with the flow. If this sounds like something you'd prefer then seek out photographers with this clear style and if you aren't sure then ask these questions when you initially make contact with a photographer.
Ok, so you might not have Valegro in your stable but I bet you've got a horse that's given you a huge amount of fun, maybe taught you much about life, who you've achieved your own personal goals with and who has always been there for you to listen without judgement to day's problems or rambles? THAT is a special horse.
No problem, really, why would we expect him to fully behave - we're asking him to do things that you don't really do with him very often. Holding him along a grassy bridleway you probably ride up is a bit alien to him. You sitting on a log in a wood that he'd frequently jump over with you. He doesn't understand why you've got a pretty dress on today rather than your usual yard clobber. This is where using an equine specialist photographer over a wedding photographer or a landscape photographer. When you have working knowledge of horses and really understand how horses behave you can preempt things a little better. There are lots of tips an equine photographer can give you in advance to help keep you AND your horse as relaxed as possible.
Well I can't honestly answer this for you directly as thats a very personal question. What you are willing to invest in your images over the next person may well be different too and of course the variance across photographers in the UK can be quite large. At a base level its often a bit confusing and difficult to understand why this might be the case at times too. There are equine photographers who will be in a position to provide you with all of your images for well under £100 and others who charge a session fee alone thats many times that sum and with no products included at all. You can find out a bit more about what you might expect in terms of packages and how they are offered to you here: How to Choose your Equine Photographer. I operate a very transparent pricing system and simple set of three packages. You can see the potential total cost for each option and how it is broken down. To view the details go to my home page and scroll down to the Equine Lifestyle Photography section.
These are just five of the most common queries and concerns raised by potential clients of mine. Hopefully I've helped you a bit with the answers, but if you'd like further information or have a different question then please do get in touch today here.
Have a fabulous week!
You can view the original post on Rachel's blog.
Sweet-Images Photography provides you with images that really immortalise the emotional relationship you share with your horses. Based in Somerset, Rachel travel all over the UK and as our October Prelim class sponsor, there's a special discount for Dressage Anywhere members with the code DA15OFF.