It’s important to feel ready and prepared for your equestrian senior photoshoot. Once I get to the barn, things start moving pretty quickly. A little advanced planning can make a huge difference to the end result. Here are 4 Quick Tips that can really make a difference in your equestrian senior portraits!

These tips all relate to you. But equestrians know that when horses are involved it’s all about the horse. Am I right?

Don’t worry, we have plenty of client information about how you can prep for a senior portrait session with your horse too.

But, for the moment, here are 4 quick tips that can make a big difference in your portraits!


Try on your Clothes, Shoes, & Accessories in Advance


I know, I know. Common sense, right? But you would be surprised as to how many people don’t do this.

If you have gained or lost weight – even just a few pounds – it can make a difference in how an outfit feels, and how comfortable and confident you feel wearing it. Or you might discover that your favorite outfit has a stain or a tear on it you forgot about.

Make sure you can walk in your shoes well. No wobbling. This is especially important if you are going to out in a field, walking on rocky stone drives, or in the dirt flooring in a barn.

If you have your heart set on a certain pair of shoes that walking is questionable in, consider bringing a pair of boots or other study shoes to get from place to place.  And where your other shoes only for the pictures.

Or, consider a longer dress or skirt that covers your feet so you can wear safe shoes without anyone knowing.

Speaking of fields, skip the high heels. Or consider opting for wedges. Otherwise, you are going to spend much of your session getting your heels out of the dirt.

When choosing your jewelry make sure it isn’t going to get tangled in your hair or your horse’s equipment. The last thing you want is an earring to get tangled on your horse’s halter. Talk about a painful end to your portrait sessions.

Ride the Sky Clients: After you book your senior portrait session, you will receive detailed information about choosing outfits for your senior portraits, what looks camera-friendly, and more!

High School Senior Pictured with her Dog


Hair & Makeup


If you are planning on doing your own hair and makeup, do a trial run before your shoot. Here are a few tips on makeup for equestrian portraits.

Make sure to check your makeup OUTSIDE. After all, just because your makeup looks great in the bathroom mirror, doesn’t mean it’s going to look the same outside in the sun.

Make sure that you like how your makeup looks. After all, these are your senior portraits. You know that one day – far in the future – your kids or grandkids are going to want to see them.

Make notes on any changes you need to make before your equestrian senior portraits day.

If you are going to be riding your horse – and not just posing with him – make sure that whatever hairstyle you are planning is secure. It needs to look nice under any hat or helmet you will be wearing during your session.

Make sure this information is clear to your hair stylist if you are having someone else do your hair. They will make sure that it is secure for you.

Ride the Sky Clients: Want to take hair and makeup worries off your mind? Ride the Sky works with hair and makeup artists in the Chattanooga area that can handle it for you.


You will get Thirsty


As someone who has passed out more than a few times from heatstroke, I don’t recommend it.

It’s the south. It’s hot and humid 85% of the time. You will get thirsty. Bring something to drink.

Between outfit changes and working with animals, portrait sessions can run long.

Ride the Sky Clients: I almost always have a cooler of water with me just in case you forget to bring something.


High School Senior pictured with her horse


To Tan or Not to Tan


Any equestrian knows the joy of the “equestrian tan”.  When choosing your outfits, remember to check how tan lines look.

If you are planning on using a self-tanner, make sure to test it out well in advance of your equestrian senior portraits. Know how to apply it for best results.

It needs to be non-streaky and very natural-looking. Too much tan or tanner that is not applied correctly can be super distracting in photos.



Learn More about Equestrian Senior Portraits


Got more questions about equestrian senior pictures in the Chattanooga area?

I have put together a super detailed guide that answers all your questions – and more – about equestrian senior portraits.

You can check out the Ultimate Guide to Equestrian Senior Pictures in Chattanooga, TN here.

Ready to book an equestrian senior portrait session with Ride the Sky Equine Photography? Complete the form below.

Betsy Bird of Ride the Sky Equine Photography spends her days doing insane things to make horses look at her. Clearly, she’s desperate for attention. Outside of acting like a total weirdo, she invests time and energy into growing her business, hanging with her favorite dog, Nitro, dealing with her teenagers’ angst, and planning her next big wheels-up adventure. Betsy is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) with the organization Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The CPP designation is held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and is a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry, and professionalism. Betsy specializes in creating storytelling magical photography for horse girls of all ages. In other words, she enjoys working with fun-spirited clients who need horse portrait photography, equestrian senior photography, and equestrian brand photography. She even throws in some dogs for variety because what true horse girl doesn’t love a great pup too? Based in Chattanooga, TN, Ride the Sky Equine Photography works on location in Tennessee, North Georgia, and beyond.

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