at liberty horse photo shoot

An ‘At Liberty’ shoot with Annette’s Girls!

Jun 1, 2016 | 'At Liberty' Photo Shoots, Dog Photo Shoots

Photographing horses comes with it’s many challenges and obviously depends on the character of the individual horse but photographing dogs is a challenge on a whole different level! When I first spoke to Annette she was trying to decide which of her 4 girls she wanted to use her At Liberty shoot that she won through the ‘Portrait Shoot of the Year’ competition which I ran on my facebook page in February of this year.  Having grown up with a menagerie of animals I know how difficult that choice would inevitably be and I am always flexible in my approach to shoots. While there is something special about focusing on one animal for a whole shoot and you get to capture every aspect of their personality and all of their naughty and not so naughty habits but ultimately if you have 4 beautiful animals and love them all equally then I would much rather spend my time with all of them and capture not only their individuality but them as a group and interacting together. Annette’s shoot ended up as a complete mix of all of her gorgeous girls and despite earlier protests Annette even got in on a few as well!

We started off with her beautiful grey mare Cruz who was as good as gold to photograph and clearly loved the camera! It paid off though with a series of great Portraits on a black background which I love as they negate any other distractions which a photo can hold and the focus is entirely on the animal and their character.

Then came the challenge, 3 dogs (who weren’t usually allowed on the yard but had a specially granted day pass!), Cruz and Annette holding onto them all and praying (I assume) that they didn’t all decide to run in different directions simultaneously!! With a little bit of help, my trusty ‘horse noise’ app, a squeaky ball and I think someone jumping up and down in the background we did it! It has to be said it was something of a team effort!

Next stop was Marbury Park with some now extremely overexcited doggies who knew exactly where they were off to and simply couldn’t wait to get out of the car. Out they bounded, straight through a massive muddy puddle and off they scampered as happy as could be!

For me it’s all about capturing personalities and what a lot of personalities all three of these dogs have! First there was Ruby who tried very hard to steal the show with her loony antics and adorable face. Then there was Bonnie who was definitely quite pleased to be a part of the loony gang but was clearly being led astray by Ruby! And last but not least the very cute Pickle who was doing her best to assist me with my photography and at any opportunity was sat by me or even on me whilst I was capturing the other two doing their loony thing! That was all well and good but it’s quite hard to photograph an animal when it’s actually sat on you so Annette had to do a little bit of coaxing for me to have a chance at getting some shots of Pickle. Luckily her cuddliness allowed for one of my favourite images from the session of Annette and Pickle having a lovely moment together on a log towards the end of the shoot.

It was such a fun shoot, it involved a great deal of giggling at the dogs, almost a swim in the river for Annette while trying to rescue Ruby who had gone after her favourite toy and I’m pretty sure we all slept extremely well that night!

To find out more about the different shoots I offer please click HERE or to have more of a nosy through my work you can find my galleries by clicking HERE. If you would like your animals or you and your animals photographed please get in touch to discuss your ideal shoot.

Until next time,

Ciara x


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