How do you prepare for an equine photoshoot session ?

With my first photoshoot session of the year taking place tomorrow, I thought it would be great to provide a guide to help those preparing for their first equine photoshoot session x

Equine photoshoot - a great photo

Your equine Photoshoot

An equine photoshoot is a wonderful way to capture the special connection and unique bond that you have developed with your horse. Clients want to have an equine photoshoot for many different reasons, it may be a way for celebrating a great partnership or remembering a ‘special heart horse’, who has been with you, through thick and thin.

Whatever your reason, if you’ve never had an equine photoshoot before, how do you prepare for one?

Follow my top tips below and you’ll get the very best out of your experience. ❤️

How do you prepare for an equine photoshoot session? Emma Campbell Lake district horse photographer

1. Make sure your horse is groomed and clean. In the winter, there is no need to bath your horse, but if you can brush them through so that their coat is clean, that would be fantastic. And if necessary and depending on the breed, a quick trim of their mane and tail, can make a lovely difference.

2. You may want in winter to consider having your horse professionally clipped prior to your photoshoot, but it’s not necessary. Woolly horses in winter are very cute to photograph!

3. If you can, gather all the necessary accessories that you think you’ll need for your horse photoshoot and keep them in one place ready to use. This could be, your saddle and bridle, blankets, head collars, lead ropes and any other items.

4. I always ask if I can photograph my clients and their horses in a location that is special to them. I do this because both the horse and owner are familiar with and relaxed in their surroundings. Before your photoshoot session, have a quick scan around and see where you think would make a nice photoshoot background. Is there a field we can use? Are there wildflowers growing, a bluebell wood for instance we can use, or a landscape backdrop of hills? Do we need prior permission beforehand to use the area?

5. Will our chosen location be free of other horses? And if possible, can prepare the area beforehand and make sure the area is clean and free of debris?

Yorkshire equine photoshoot session

6. Always have a friend or family member with you, so they can look after buckets, tack etc and you can concentrate on the photoshoot itself. They will be our extra pair of hands and be invaluable.

7. Have treats and toys on hand to help keep your horse focused during the session.

8. Unsure what to wear? Download my style guide here to help you with your choices. Winter is great to add warm coats and hats and scarfs, while in summer many clients wear a variety of clothes from smart casual to prom or wedding dresses. The choice is yours. You just don’t want anything too bright that will distract from you and your horse, so I do recommend keeping to subtle plain colours, such as block navy’s. creams, browns etc and steer away from shiny and stripy.

9. Scheduling your time. An equine photoshoot will normally take between 1 to 2 hours. I tend to book the whole day and then confirm a time two days before, after seeing the weather forecast.
Throughout the process, I’ll ensure that your horse is comfortable. And this is why the time can vary. I will be watching their body language throughout the whole photoshoot session and see how they’re enacting will all of us. Nothing is ever rushed. If we need more time and take it slow – it may run into 2 hours with pauses in between. Please factor this in, when signing up a friend/family member into helping with your plans.

10. If you can have a backup plan in case of inclement weather or other unexpected issues. With regard to the weather, I’ll call you two days prior and we’ll chat about what is forecast. If rain is due, we may need to reschedule and we’ll make a call on that together.

11. Finally, relax and have fun! An equine photoshoot session is an incredible way to capture some very special memories. I’ll be there with your friend/family member and we’ll just have the best time.

first pony photoshoot session

Find out more about having an equine photoshoot

If you would like to book an equine photoshoot session, take a look at my mid-week offers. These dates are released every few weeks or contact Emma directly, to find out more.