This weekend my ‘How to Prepare for a Photo Shoot’ blog series is taking you on a little adventure to find the perfect photo shoot location for YOUR session!
There are a few things to weigh up with this, a big one obviously being where is going to look amazing but the other major consideration is how your horse or horses are going to behave in that environment…..!
Most shoots happen at my client’s homes or the yards where they keep their horses. This is usually the safest and most relaxed place to have a shoot. A handful of my clients decide they want to go somewhere specific for their shoot such as a forest, a beach or a country park and I am always keen!
Firstly when it comes to having a shoot at home or on your yard please don’t despair if it isn’t instantly striking you as the perfect photo shoot location. Often it just takes a fresh pair of eyes and a little bit of camera magic to find some really great spots to shoot in. Wooden gates, tracks, fields, barns, walls and trees can all make for some great locations and even a pocket of corrugated metal can make for a few great shots!
If you know there are certain times of the year where your yard looks it’s absolute best then book ahead and organise your shoot for a few months down the line for when the blossom is at it’s best in Spring or it’s looking lovely and lush in the Summer or the Autumn colours are at their very finest.
TOP TIP: I tend to find that shoots with multiple animals or young animals or lots of people work best at home where it’s easier to swap horses in and out of stables rather than horse lorries if you’re out on location.
If however you are feeling a little adventurous and have lovely well behaved animals(!) and ideally an extra pair of hands to assist with the shoot then I would highly recommend seeking out a location with a WOW factor!
Forests and woods make for a fantastic photo shoot location and are pretty resilient to changes in the weather too! Personally I love shooting in the Autumn time in particular in woods as the colours and light never fail to disappoint! For Spring shoots country parks or fields with hedgerows work really well when the trees are all in blossom and spring flowers are just coming through. Beaches work really well at any time of the year and are great for getting some ridden shots on as well as in hand.
Other spots which are a bit more unusual but can make for fantastic photo shoot locations are castles, country estates, manor houses, anywhere with ponds or lakes, old stable yards or simply anywhere with a beautiful view! And remember it never hurts to ask, if there’s an amazing location you would love to have your shoot at give them a ring or discuss it with me and I can give them a ring, the worst they can do is say no but usually most are very accommodating.
TOP TIP #2: The most important aspect of the entire shoot is you and your horse and the location definitely comes second to the importance of capturing that bond and relationship. If in doubt as to how your horse will behave out on location or you have a young, nervy or spooky horse the place where you are most comfortable and relaxed is going to work best for your shoot.
I have listed some of my favourite photo shoot locations so far in case you are looking for some inspiration and you can also find them below throughout the images. Leasowe Castle on the Wirral, Delamere Forest in Cheshire, Harbour View beach in Cork, The Wirral Way, Millichope Estate in Shropshire, Hadlow road train station on the Wirral, Peover Hall in Cheshire and Marbury Park also in Cheshire as well as so many gorgeous yards and homes!
So if you’re thinking of having a Photo Shoot or already have one booked, consider your horses temperament, have a look around at your yard or home and have a think about if there is anywhere special to you and your horse. Often if you have a favourite spot which you like to hack to we can always take a wander during the shoot and do half at home and half a little way down the road. All things considered, the most important aspects are the people and animals you are being photographed with but a great location adds the WOW factor!
Until next weekend when I will be blogging about ‘How to handle a tricky Horse,’