It's always a good idea to create a vision for your shoot, so when you come to plan your location and horses turnout, it all has a coherent look. The best way I find to do this, is creating a vision board on Pinterest! Here you can search just about anything to find inspiration. If you need any help with this - just give me a shout.
This way we can look over any ideas you have just by pulling up the board on your shoot day. Although please be aware that different light conditions and other daily variables can affect the ambiance of your photos, so it's not always possible to create the EXACT same image - vision boards are more of a guide than an absolute!
As you're looking through the photos that inspire you, make note of the locations they're taken in. The setting of your shoot can massively determine the ambience of your photos. For instance, the light and bright ambiance of the beach on a summers evening as the sun is low in the sky will have a very different feel to being in the woods when the trees are full with leaves creating a lot of shade. The beach and the woods are always a great shout - if there's water, that's an added bonus! If your shoot is not at the beach or woods, look for a nice field with wild growth and trees in the distance! Not sure about your location? Send me pictures and videos ahead of time.
If we're going to the beach or some water, BRING WATERPROOF OVERALLS!! I cannot stress enough, if you're wanting the horses in the water, you may need to be prepared to go paddling too!! Make sure you bring a change of clothes too just in case! These photos are AMAZING - but do require us both getting a little soggy!
If you're wanting to be in some of the photos too, my BIGGEST piece of advice when picking your outfit is.. go for something completely timeless! The goal is to be able to look back on your photos in years to come, and LOVE them just as much as the first time you saw them.
I'm here to capture the essence of your horses character and intimate and unique bond you share, so by keeping to neutral colours and tones with your outfit choices, and avoiding bright colours and heavy patterns, this means there are no distractions for the eye.
Even if you aren't planning on being in the photos, I would encourage you to bring along some nice clothes just in case. 99% of the people who don't plan on being in them, do end up joining in a couple here and there!
With the liberty photos, I tend to find most of you opt for those epic dressy shots - with long floating dresses you have in your wardrobe from that time you were bridesmaid, or from the hunt ball! However, the look you choose to go for is likely to be influenced by the time of year and location of your shoot.
If you do wish to be in any of the photos, here are some of my favorite picks to get you started!
Not wanting to look too dressed up in your images? This is the look for you! Why not try out some of the below ideas to achieve that 'fashionably relaxed' look.
Jeans and a casual top, polo or shirt are a go-to, classic look for most photo shoots - you can't go wrong! Dress it up with some long country boots, or add a bit of texture with your favorite scarf!. But remember - keep it neutral!
FOR YOUR HORSE
Making sure your horse is scrubbed up for the occasion is equally as important while we're capturing those timeless memories that you're going to treasure for years to come! Please make sure your horse is as well presented as possible on the day - there's only so much touching up we can do in Photoshop!
ON THE DAY
On the day of your shoot, I will meet you at the location of your choice where we will have a chat about your vision for your shoot. It is helpful if you have some ideas before I arrive, but don't worry, I will be there to guide you along too!
I come armed with treats, squeaky toys, umbrellas (you name it!) to get the horses looking happy and alert - my trick bag!
Your horses should be all pampered and ready for my arrival as to not waste precious shoot time. You MUST bring a helper as ground crew to assist on the shoot.. then we will begin!
I will bring along with me some rope halters designed specifically for the purpose - this allows me to edit them out post shoot and give the photos that 'at Liberty' look!
The typical shoot lasts 30 to 60 minutes. There is no set schedule – I like to keep the photo shoots relaxed and fun, tailoring them to you and what you hope to get out of them.
Having said that, we often spend a little bit of time getting the horse settled in the surroundings, capturing some still portraits before allowing them to show off their fancy moves!
AFTER YOUR SHOOT
Your shoot will typically leave me with several hundred images to work through - yikes! I go away and work my magic on your photos, editing and enhancing them till I am happy with the finished piece.
You will then receive a link and password for your own private online gallery. I recommend you pop the kettle on, sit down with a nice cuppa, some of your favourite music on, and enjoy your photos!
Depending on your chosen package, I aim to present you with 30 - 60 photos in your gallery. Your gallery should take about a week to turn around, however may take up to 2 weeks during busy periods (yes, I'm talking about Summer!) but I promise it will be worth the wait!
Ever wondered how we get those 'at Liberty' photos? This is how! We pop your horses in to a rope halter on a lunge line and let them do all the posing for us!
Then, with the power of Photoshop (and lots of patience!) I paint over the halter and rope to give the impression they were roaming free all along!