The Equine Photoshoot Process

A step by step break down of what to expect

Each photographer (Equine or otherwise) will have a process of their own. It will differ photographer to photographer and there is no right or wrong way to on board a new client. In this blog, I'll break down each step so that you can learn what to expect if you choose to work with me from an Equine photoshoot perspective.

Step 1 - Enquiry

I take enquiries in all forms - emails, direct messages, phone calls, in-person at events or when I'm on yards already hosting a client shoot for somebody else. Often they are repeat clients too.

At this stage, I begin assuming you are completely new to the concept of an Equine photoshoot and answer any basic questions as helpfully as I can. It's a two way thing, so ask for whatever information you need. As the conversation goes on, I'll take your email address and I'll send you an enquiry pack with a price list and we'll plan a phone call to talk in more depth. This makes it easier for both parties to understand if we're the right fit for each other. Any person can hire any photographer. This doesn't mean they will be the right fit or absolutely delighted with the results however, so it's important that there is some kind of chemistry there to begin with off the bat. That may sound bizarre, but I have occasionally turned clients away in the past if I feel I'm not going to be the right person for them to deliver the results I know they are looking for.

We'll get a time and date in for me to give you a call over the phone. I'll always ask if this is similar to an experience you've had elsewhere in the past so I know where to begin, and we'll cover the most important information like why you're looking to book a shoot and what (if anything specific) you want to achieve from the shoot itself. I'll learn a bit more about you and your horse, and I'll help you to understand my method of working and general availability.

If we are both happy to proceed, we'll move to the next step.

Step 2 - Planning

At this stage we'll begin planning your shoot - woohoo! This is likely to be over video chat in some way as again, it helps us to get to know each other if we've not previously met before. I know that might sound a bit awkward at first, but trust me I'm really good at it now and I promise it won't feel awkward in the slightest! You'll have opportunities to ask questions, we'll talk about everything from timings to outfits, I'll ask lots of questions too because I like to really understand the people and horses I'm working with before I get to them. I'll also walk you through the rest of the process at this point too.

Step 3 - Shoot Preparation

Once we've had our planning call, you'll have an idea of the (fun and exciting) jobs that will need to be done to make your photoshoot portrait gallery SHINE as they rightfully deserve to. It may be things like... pull your horses mane. Plan your outfits in full with accessories and footwear! You may need to book in a hair appointment... or not, that's cool if it's not your thing. All the usual photoshoot prep. It's a really important step and I encourage all clients to give the prep the care and attention it deserves. We definitely don't want grubby horses that only look clean when stood in a dark stable! I'll always encourage you to check in with me too in case any queries crop up along the way!

Step 4 - Photoshoot day!

We'll have already agreed times and locations, your preparation will be complete and I'll arrive with you for our photoshoot. I'd say this is the second most exciting part of the process - the best is yet to come!

On arrival, I'll typically spend half an hour with you before we begin shooting to decide the finer details of how the next few hours will run. I'll ask that we begin with a yard tour. I will be looking for usual things like pretty locations, but more technical things also like lighting conditions. Although not before formal introductions to your four-legged accomplice too of course! Perhaps we could even do this over a cup of tea - we'll have plenty of time and I would imagine if we're alike, you probably like a cup of tea too!

We'll have two wonderful hours of photoshoot fun together! Plenty of time for three different outfits, and for us to find all of the most beautiful spots and more importantly, the right lighting, to pose you both in.

On the note of posing, remember it's my job to direct you. No need to worry! This is the biggest concern of 80% of my clients. My way of working is relaxed and candid, but still clear and structured. You'll look effortlessly fabulous - just you and your favourite friend spending time enjoying each others company. I'll demonstrate poses to you to help you to visualise what I'm looking for, I'll help you position your horse too. Your job is literally just to enjoy yourself and to love your horse - I know you can do that already!

Step 5 - The Grand Reveal (Private viewing)

What an experience. Here it is - my most favourite part of the whole entire process. Be treated like the Very Important Person you are, the superstar (well... one of them - sadly your horse won't be present in the room to see himself in his portraits!) of the moment! Honestly, it's way less scary than it sounds. It's actually a very nice experience. You'll be welcomed in to my private viewing space at an agreed location - maybe a hotel, maybe your home, your cosy yard tea room? I'll have it covered in advance.

We'll view all of your images for the very first time in a relaxed and happy setting, and remember by this point we'll all be really well acquainted so it'll just feel like you're meeting up with a friend for (another) cup of tea! We'll have conversations about which image(s) you'd like to frame, and I can help you with styling your wall art properly whilst we're there and you can make any extra purchases right there and then. For ease, I'll have a card machine at the ready if that's most convenient.

We'll arrange delivery to the most convenient place and I'll keep you posted on the progress of your orders. Frames always arrive ready to hang on the wall. They are a good weight - solid but not so heavy you'll have a job safely fixing them and all my images are double mounted for that extra luxury and pristine feel!

Step 6 - The Testimonial

I try to make the process as easy as possible for all clients, and I try to make it so that you've the least number of 'jobs' (let's be honest, they're still fun jobs aren't they?) as possible. One thing I will request from you though will be a testimonial. It absolutely helps my business thrive and it's so important for me to understand your feedback thoroughly so that I can continue to push forwards and do the very best I can do. I'll send you a link to my feedback and testimonial form, so if you're able to set some time aside in your schedule to complete that, I'll be eternally grateful.

Of course, this isn't where it ends for us... I like to say to my clients 'once your photographer, always your photographer'. I like to think that I'll grow with you and no matter how much time has passed, no matter how tall your kids have grown or how grey your lovely horse has now become, I'll always be ready to work with you again in a new season or chapter in your life. That's what makes this job so special to me, it's such a privilege.

I hope this has helped you to understand the process a little more. If you would like more information about an Equine photoshoot, please see the relevant links below.

Hello, my name is Holly...

Welcome to my blog

I am an equine photographer based in Essex, England. I've owned and ridden horses always, and I've never known a life without them! I've started this little blog for my many ramblings. I've always liked to write, but never previously had an outlet for it - and now I do! I write about all things equine photography, horses and dogs so if you like any of those things, you're in the right place! If I can help you with a photoshoot then do let me know! x

My Equine Shoots