'Never work with children & animals...'

Or so they say?

I get it... Horses can be hard work at the best of times. Let alone having to be mindful of children around them too! It can be a safety hazard with a small (fearless) child who insists on trying to clamber on to gates/heavy machinery/ponies etc.

But for me, there will always be one thing photographing children and animals has in common. It's the honesty they bring.

Sometimes brutally - and hilariously so! And that's exactly the reason I LOVE it.

There is something so effortlessly pure about seeing a child with the pony they love so much. Whilst I am under no illusion that they also do drive each other insane sometimes, from where I sit behind my lens I feel lucky tp be the person chosen to capture one of the earliest, most precious friendships and valuable life-lessons a child could ever have. It's one of the most precious parts of my job!

Blonde lady sat on a small wooden cross country fence. She is sat with her small son and large brown horse

If you're thinking about a photoshoot for your child with their pony, please... don't waste your time worrying about things like:

  • What if they don't do as they're told? (The pony or the child!)

Firstly, we keep cool and don't lose our rag. Secondly have no fear - I am well-versed in 'child'. I can usually win one round fairly easily. If all else fails, we bring out the big guns... Chocolate. Or I have occasionally (and it's not my preferred method but each to their own - ha!) been witness to parents using threats about telling Father Christmas... (it usually works for all of 5 minutes, haha!) But seriously, most of the time if your children are REALLY small, I recommend we use the aforementioned honesty and give them very little direction. They don't always need it! We let them be natural and it'll produce the most beautiful results you'll see. As for ponies, I can't promise chocolate or Father Christmas threats will be much use but again, I'm very well practiced when it comes to persuading uncooperative ponies to do as asked! So you needn't worry, it's literally in my job description!

  • What if I can't keep them both clean?

Every parent worries about this. And miraculously, between us we will manage just fine. Also remember... I'm a photographer. I can photoshop stuff within reason! *Poof*, gone - just like that! As if by magic...

  • What if my child wants to ride during the photos?

I never specify that any of my human models - no matter their age! - get on board during a shoot. This is totally a personal choice and one I'll leave completely to you. As long as you're happy with what we're doing, and we are being safe I am happy to be lead by you!

If you are a parent or family thinking about a photoshoot with ponies and kids but have some reservations, please don't hesitate to ask me all of the difficult questions! I'd love to hear from you...



Hello, my name is Holly...

Welcome to my blog

I am a equine photographer based in Essex, England. I've owned and ridden horses always, and I've never known a life without them. You'll find me writing regularly about all things photography, horses and dogs - so if you like any of those things, you're in the right place! Thanks for joining x

My Equine Shoots