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.
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, 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.
A majority of these are headshots, but we will still see the topline, shoulder and chest. A full body will be done ONLY 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 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.
Many times, 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.
TIPS FOR FINE ART SESSIONS
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.