You may have read my blog post earlier in the week, about the shoot I had with Lucinda and her horses in Hertford, on Saturday, where it seemed like I’d arrived at the only corner of the country that was still clinging on to the summer sun and green leaves. Well, my shoot with Georgina and her horses was only the day after and couldn’t have been more different.
Whereas the day before I’d been battling with the glare of bright sunshine and searching for pockets of open shade, on the Sunday, I made my way to Kent under a grey, overcast sky, heavy cloud cover and the threat of showers.
When the weather is grey, my clients seem to despair a little and cross their fingers that the sun will come out in time for their shoot, but actually, cloud cover is a welcome site in the world of the outdoor photographer. Bright sunlight can be incredibly difficult to work with. It casts harsh shadows, reflects off of grey ponies and makes my models squint. If it’s sunny, I’ll be praying that you have some shady areas to work under. Overcast skies are so much more flattering!
But it wasn’t just the weather that was contrasting to Saturday’s shoot. Sunday’s shoot location had a gorgeous, crunchy carpet of fallen Autumn leaves, too. And I love the colours it added to our backdrop! Like natural orange and gold photoshoot props.
I know George from an online showing forum that we are both members of and met her previously at a wedding of another forum member. I believe that this shoot is actually a surprise for the lady that George, self confessed Connemara fanatic, shares her three Connies and one Shetland pony with… so I hope that I’ve managed to do their beautiful ponies justice and that she enjoys these photographs. I love being part of a surprise!
The lighter grey pony, seventeen year-old Artemis and the bay, eighteen year-old Xenia, are full sisters and have lived their whole lives on this same yard. They have both competed regularly throughout their lives. Xenia competed in showing, working hunter and showjumping but is now sadly retired due to injury, so is enjoying her time as a beautiful field ornament.
Artemis previously evented, having helped Georgina restore her confidence and is now a dressage diva, and about to move up to medium level. “The harder the movements the more she loves it. You saw she is a one woman pony and she and I have a very special bond that many people wouldn’t understand,” says George.
The darker grey Connemara, seven year-old Glen, is the newest and most nervous of the gang. Georgina tells me that he has enormous potential as a working hunter pony and jumps for fun. But he’s still a little unsure of life and definitely needs a soft, kind approach.
And lastly, I had the pleasure of photographing four year-old Furry, the Shetland, or ‘The Furry Footstool’ as George calls her. Oh my goodness, how adorable is this little lady?! And she has a personality to match, too. Whilst Georgina was changing outfits, Furry all but crawled up onto my lap for a cuddle. She is just the cutest!