Why it’s not pretentious to have a photoshoot with your horse…

I was on a photoshoot recently when a client said to me ‘Holly, I know this might sound silly but even though I have wanted professional photos with my horse for years, I was always worried it might sound a bit… pretentious…’ Mocking herself, she said: “Ooh look at me I’m having a photoshoot of me, with my horse”’. 

Now bearing in mind this person was already on a photoshoot with me, so they clearly had already managed to get past the worry of potentially appearing pretentious, but she then actually went on to say ‘but it’s not like that at all, is it?’ And she was right. It’s not like that at all, is it? 

Regardless of whether you have your horse on full livery, grass, DIY or maybe you’re a dedicated sharer, our horses are at the forefront of almost every thought that crosses our mind, or plan that comes up. If you’re anything like me, my whole life revolves around getting to the yard. If I’m randomly invited out for dinner one evening in the week by a friend, my first thought (don’t tell my boyfriend) is how to quickly re-plan my entire week to make sure my horse will get the right level of attention/exercise/time he needs from me. Even when we aren’t with them we’re thinking about them, thinking about being with them, thinking about going places with them, making sure they’re happy, healthy, are they getting everything they need from us as their humans… They are a lifestyle choice, not only a hobby to pick up and put down. I love dogs, I am a dog person too… but having a horse is not the same as having a dog, as I’ve heard some non-horsey friends compare the two. There’s more to it than there is with a dog. Dogs live with you in your space, they can usually go places with you, usually easy to transport and usually easy to find cover when needed (from a friend, border, for holidays, emergencies, drop them off somewhere for daycare) and they’re normally cheaper to keep! Owning a dog is usually a far more flexible lifestyle. Horses are not like this. They are bigger and far more sensitive, and as equestrians, we willingly take on this huge responsibility.

We all spend a large percentage of our income on the care of our horses. Even if you don’t regularly compete, and have a retired or non-ridden horse in a field somewhere, they still are a huge investment! Luckily they give us love (if you don’t have a stroppy one!) and companionship in return, but the point I’m getting at is what a huge tie these animals are. Financially, emotionally, physically… but we wouldn’t be without them, would we? They are our lifeline in many ways, our sunshine on a rainy day and often our whole reason for getting up in the morning, and carrying on!

And despite all of the worry and sleepless nights they can give us at times, I don’t think there is anything pretentious about asking a photographer, who completely ‘gets’ it, to come and capture exactly what ‘it’ is about your animal that makes you adore them so much. There is nothing pretentious about wanting to remember them for ever and ever, or wanting to be able to look back so fondly at beautiful memories in years to come. 

To find out why I personally do what I do, please see my earlier blog post - here.

(I can't promise it won't make you a bit teary, I did receive that feedback at the time of posting! But I think it's relevant and deserves to be published and read by all the lovely people who help me to broaden my business by engaging with me online.)

Holly x

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 as I've always enjoyed writing but I've never had an outlet for it - and now I do! I write for a few reasons - mainly to educate or entertain. 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

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