Preparing for your Wreath Session


Preparing Your Horse for Photos

  • You can spend as much time as you like to prepare your horse, but a clean, well-groomed horse will really make your images pop. Do not regret the finishing touches later or rely on Photoshop.
  • Show-ready is best: braids, bands, bathing, clipping. Pay attention to the head, as that is the main focus. Clean around eyes, nose, muzzle and ears. Please be sure the horse is FULLY DRY before your session time.
  • Pick horse’s hooves thoroughly before entering portrait location.
  • Horse handler: if this is a horse-only session, please have your handler wear all black, if possible.
  • Keep a towel, fly spray and other grooming products close-by.
  • Tack: your preference.
  • With Western bridles, we will leave the reins on
  • With English bridles with non-shank bits, we have the option of removing the reins
  • Halters: leather or show halters. Avoid bright colored nylon halters, unless they have a special meaning.
  • Naked: I have thin, photo halters that are easily removed in Photoshop.

Wreath Photos

  • A majority of these are headshots, but we will still see the topline, shoulder and chest. A full body will be done on request and are subject to an add-on fee.
  • We will do some non-wreath photos first to get the horse used to the process. This is something I do because it gives me an idea of the horse’s behavior before attaching the wreath. Plus those who we did not do that with, always regret it later.
  • Same as above - please groom the horse as the photos will reflect the effort put forth. If you really want to get festive, think of any red, red/green, silver/gold braids or bands.
  • Tack is optional. The naked halters are the most popular for the wreath sessions.

Preparing the Site for Photos

  • Location for black backgrounds is very important.
  • A shaded barn doorway that doesn’t face the sun is best. If your session is scheduled mid-day, usually any doorway will do. For morning sessions, north & east sides are best. For late afternoon, north and west are preferred.
  • If you are at a busy barn, try to find a spot where there is less traffic. A barn aisle, arena doorway or storage building can also work. Always get permission with the barn manager to use spots.
  • Sometimes, an actual black backdrop will be used. This is attached to the sides of the barn alleyway.
  • Please clean the barn aisle near the entrance. Move halters, blankets and other items from the stall fronts. This only needs to be done for a few stalls closest to the doorway.
  • Sweep the aisle and leave a broom handy for sweeping in between horses.


Same tips as wreath session, except these are done inside a barn or indoor area. A clean floor is best. Will need an area that is at least 12 to 20 ft wide and 40 ft long. A backdrop that is 10ft x 10ft will be set up