Having a horse join you during your photoshoot instantly adds a profound sense of whimsy and elegance. I’ve had the pleasure of working with horses for weddings, and portrait sessions over the past few years, and it’s been such an exhilarating experience every time! Working with live animals of any kind will come with its own set of challenges, of course. Here are few things you should know before inviting a giant four-legged friend to your photo session!
1. Plan for extra time.
No matter how domesticated or well-behaved the animal is, it’s going to take a little extra time for everyone (including the horse) to get acclimated with the environment and the task ahead. We always want everyone to feel comfortable and this may require a few minutes of introductions or bonding with the horse. You can expect that there will be something beyond our control that will distract the horse or make him a little skittish, which will require a period of taking a break and calming him once more.
2. Consider what you are wearing.
Wardrobe is always a very important thing to consider when planning your photoshoot. In some circumstances, that will take precedence over what the horse may prefer (like during your wedding). If you’d like that glorious shot of your long, flowing dress hanging off of the side of the horse, it’s possible, but there wont be much movement involved. When some horses feel that fabric gracing their back legs, they don’t love it, and will even try to stomp or kick on it to get it out of the way. For any shots with movement, we’ll have to bunch that dress up for the safety of you and the horse!
3. Don’t force yourself (or anyone else) to get on a horse just because it looks cool!
The camera will capture the dismay on peoples faces when they are not feeling comfortable, even if they are trying to hide it! Your photoshoot dream may not be your spouse’s or your child’s, so make sure everyone in the group agrees and is excited about the idea before you commit! It certainly helps if everyone in the group has some sort of experience with horseback riding.
Interested in inviting a horse or two to your photo session or elopement experience? Ask me about it!