For most photographers, the location of a photoshoot is the be-all-and-end-all. Lots of thought and consideration goes into choosing where to shoot, in most photography genres.
However, for us equine photographers, we have to work a little differently. And we’re a resilient, resourceful bunch, as a result. Because most of the time, we just have to work with what we’re given. Whereas, for family photographers, it’s no problem for the clients to bundle the kids in the car and whisk them off to the local park or beach, a lot of clients might not have access to transport for their horses, or they might worry that their horses won’t be settled enough at a new venue, to get the images they are wanting. And even if they can travel their horses, a lot of places might not welcome horses.
So, a lot of of the time, we have to get creative. And that can be a real challenge. I’m not going to lie, electric fencing and bare, horse-sick paddocks are the bane of my life. But it’s part of the job and you just have to suck it up and make the best of it.
And I have to admit, I haven’t yet come across a location that I absolutely can not make work. Thank goodness. And rest assured, contrary to what people apparently believe, most of my clients do not keep their horses at five-star, state of the art livery yards. Some do, but most don’t. They are just standard, every day yards and you just have to know what to look for.
However, if you really think that your yard isn’t suitable for a photoshoot and you do have the access to transport, or if you’re simply feeling a little adventurous, it can be a really good idea to think about different locations available to you, for your shoot. Afterall, you are paying for these images. I want to be able to provide the best outcome possible and whilst I can be resourceful with a less than desirable backdrop, there is no doubt that a stunning location does make a world of difference.
So, here are a few ideas that might be suitable for your shoot…
1. The Beach
The beach is such a great place for a shoot. It provides a beautiful blank canvas that allows the subject to really pop from the image. The light is often great at the beach, especially if you schedule it for the right time of day. There’s also water to play in, space to gallop and usually a nice, natural wind machine, too.
Quite a few of my clients have opted to travel their horses to a pretty spot of woodland. These spaces provide beautiful pockets of light and bright, rich, textured natural backgrounds.
3. Country Park
It’s important to check that the park you want to visit allows horses and I’d even advise phoning the appropriate people to let them know your plans, and check they’re ok with that. But there are always guaranteed fabulous spaces, gardens and views to work with.
4. Cross Country Course
If there is a cross country course for hire near you, hiring it for a few hours for our shoot can be a great idea. Cross country fences often make great props and you know that horses are more than welcome. Again, I’d advise speaking to the owners and letting them know what you have planned.
5. A Friend’s Yard
If your yard is a looking little tired, but you have a friend with a beautiful place, why not ask if you can just borrow their location for a few hours. And if they have horses, you could rope them in too and make it a group shoot, which will also reduce costs!
6. Your Home
I’ve had a few clients, who’ve had beautiful gardens and countryside nearby, who have taken their horses home. This can work really well, whether you have an adorable country cottage or a sprawling manor house. Just be sure that your Dad/hubby doesn’t mind hoof prints on the grass! 😉
All that being said, please don’t let this panic you, if you don’t have transport. The likelihood is that we will be able to find somewhere on your yard that is suitable for your shoot. The purpose of this post is just to make people aware that there are other options available, too.
If you have any ideas to add to this, that you think might be great locations for an equine photoshoot, feel free to leave a comment. 🙂
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