My business can be pretty seasonal. But that isn’t because you can’t have fantastic equine photos in the winter. You definitely can and I love shooting in the autumn and winter. Every season has it’s own set of pros and cons. The key is just getting potential clients to see this, too.
People worry about the weather, but let’s be realistic here… we live in England. The weather is always unpredictable. Some my clients from this year will vouch for the fact that even in the height of summer, sometimes shoots still get rained off! It doesn’t matter what month we are in, I am constantly weather watching and planning my work around the forecast.
And yep, it might be a bit chilly, but you have to suffer for your art, right? 😉 And since when were horsey girls strangers to wrapping up warm to brave the elements?
I think the biggest problem we face, specifically as equine photographers, is the horses’ winter coats. But if your horse is clipped a couple of weeks before your shoot, this will give their coat a little while to grow out and get it’s shine back, and he/she will still look super smart for your shoot. But if you’ve got a child and a pony, the woolly teddy bear look is just too cute!
So what’s so great about autumn and winter equine photoshoots? Well, seeing as you asked…
- The colours of Autumn
The fallen leaves, the oranges, browns and golds. The landscape is so beautiful in Autumn! The other day, I even caught some golden leaves falling, in shot, as the breeze blew. So romantic.
- Frosty mornings
I can’t wait for the temperature to drop (don’t hate me) so that we start getting a bit of frost on the ground. That glittery carpet that covers your fields on a cold frosty morning. It’s magical! And there’s that atmospheric dragon’s breath, when it’s really chilly, too.
- Fog and mist
When you wake up and there’s a delicate mist blanketing everything in sight, it creates such an ethereal feel to your images. And it really makes your subjects appear crisp, too.
Ordinarily, I hate using outdoor schools for my shoots, but in the image above, with a light mist covering it, even this ménage looks dreamy. And it’s totally covered up the abundance of electric fencing in the background. Bonus!
- Smoother skin
Yep, you read that right! And it’s just a trick of the light. The light in winter is so much more soft and flattering than the summer sun, and results in your skin appearing smoother. I kid you not!
- Winter wardrobes
I don’t know if I’m in the minority here, but I actually welcome the end of summer, because I far prefer my winter wardrobe to my summer wardrobe. Layering, boots, cute jackets and coats, accessorizing with scarves, covering up the bits of me I’m not so fond of (hey, we’ve all got them!)… and you don’t have to worry about baking your socks off and trying to look good with a sweaty forehead!
If you need any advice or ideas on what to wear for your shoot, check out What to Wear for Your Winter Equine Photoshoot.
- Winter sun
As I mentioned, the winter sun is so much more flattering than the high, bright glaring sun of summer. It’s low, so it filters through the atmosphere before it hits you, and it’s soft, and dreamy. It sparkles through trees, it bounces off frost and it casts a beautiful glow over everything it touches. *sigh*
- Sunset and sunrise
Sunset and sunrise are the best time of day to shoot. All year round. In summer, this means getting up at crazy o’clock, or getting home long after dinner time. But in winter, sunrise and sunset shoots don’t require shooting at ridiculous times of the day. Perfect!
And whilst we’re on the image above, winter shoots at the beach are a great way to avoid the mud, if that’s something you’re worried about. Speaking of which…
- Wet, muddy fields aren’t as big a problem as you think
I promise you. Wet, muddy ground doesn’t show up in your images nearly as much as you think it’s going to. Don’t believe me? Check out my recent shoots. They were all wet and muddy. Bet you didn’t notice when you looked at the results, did you? 😉
- Stormy skies
They’re just so dramatic! As long as the rain isn’t actually falling, rain clouds can look super moody.
- Winter makes you stand out
So, dull, grey, bare backdrops sound like a negative, right? Wrong! When the background is greyer, you are brighter. We’ve already talked about the light, couple that with a winter background and my subjects really stand out from the image! Horse’s coat colours look richer, (Yes, even when they’ve been clipped. Just clip a couple of weeks before your shoot to give the coat a chance to settle and get a bit of shine back.) and your clothing choices will really pop! Especially if you opt for bright colour.
And one for luck…
Ok, so we can’t organise the snow for your shoot, sadly, as it’s the one thing everybody hopes for, when booking their winter shoot. And unfortunately, I can’t go trekking across the UK in my little Mini, when the roads are covered in white stuff. But I do try and get to as many local snow shoots as possible when the time comes. If you are local to the Maldon/Chelmsford area and want to reserve a snow shoot, let me know.