Once again it’s that time of year. The time where you start thinking that it’s really time to get some pictures with your horse. The weather is warming up, the birds are chirping, the grass is green, and your horse no longer looks like a fuzzball.
But, once again, you put it off. Maybe next year. Maybe when I have more money, a better job, once the barn is painted, or the kids are out of the house, or when you lose those stubborn 20 pounds.
But the reality is that there is ALWAYS something. And, as you postpone, your horse ages. So, here are 5 good reasons to take pictures with your horse.
Horse Ownership is a Journey
Just like people who grow and change through the years, our horses are doing the same thing. One of the best things about repeatedly photographing a horse is being able to see all the stages of its life. And watching my equestrian clients grow in their skills and their sport is such a unique experience.
Often equestrians don’t realize how far they have come in the space of a year – after all, they are just making incremental changes on a daily basis. But when I see them once a year, it’s amazing the growth in their skills and bonds with their horses.
Think you need to wait until your horse is in top shape? And top shape NEVER seems to come? Here’s the truth, if that is what you are waiting on, it’s never, EVER going to happen.
News flash. There is no perfect time. You just have to do it – and roll with what happens (and horse ownership is a non-stop roller coaster as we all well know).
Maybe your horse is a “project”? Or maybe you didn’t get him as a project horse but he sure as heck has turned into one. Well, here’s another news flash. The point of a project is that it starts at one point and ends at another. However, unlike a project such as building a new garage, there is no finish point for a project horse. It’s literally a journey that never ends. So, consider documenting the journey.
Taking Pictures with your Horse to Enjoy the Experience
Photographers, in general, are there to make you look and feel your best during your portrait session. And, equine photographers are there to make your horse -and you- look and feel your best.
In most cases, my clients forget they are actually in front of a camera. They are usually too busy laughing to notice that I am busy snapping away.
Why don’t they notice the camera?
Because we get all the tough stuff out of the way well before the session even starts. I consult with every client in advance to discuss clothing, posing, makeup, clipping, grooming, locations, and more. And, once we are done with all that, we also answer any and all remaining questions you might have.
So by the time you ever show up in front of my camera, we’ve already worked through most, if not all, of your concerns.
And, yes, we are dealing with a 1000 pound animal with a mind of his or her own. Things can – and occasionally do – go wrong.
But, here’s the best part. We roll with it.
Your horse is acting more like a toddler than your toddler? That’s ok. Because we are still going to get great images.
Your horse more interested in the party happening with all his buddies in the field than taking images with you? That’s ok too. We’re still going to get great images.
Standing still is a foreign concept to your horse? No worries. We will meet your horse where they are. And, guess what? We’re still going to get great images.
After all, the goal isn’t to make your horse be something it isn’t. The goal is to make sure that your horse is the best him/her that he or she can be.
I specifically only schedule one session a day in order to have as much time as needed for each animal to feel comfortable and unstressed. Sessions are always relaxed and fun.
Thousands of Selfies But No Portraits
Are you the one with 21,657 selfies, cell phone pics, and 10,976 video snips on your camera roll? I’m here to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Cell phones – and by extension cell phone videos and pictures are fine. In fact, they are great at capturing day-to-day silliness and snapshots.
But they are what they are. They don’t show your horse in proper proportion. Have you seen those images where the horse has a giant long head and its body looks like a skinny scarecrow behind it? Save the horse! Proportion distortion is a real thing.
Cell phone images are also not designed to be printed big. The phones just don’t have the sensor capabilities of professional gear.
It also doesn’t help if you are always the one taking the picture. And be honest, how great is your selfie game when capturing you and your horse? Ears cut off? Blurry? Missing a muzzle? It happens.
Point-and-shoot cameras, cell phones, and even entry-level DSLR cameras don’t really compare to professional gear, the technical knowledge of a professional photographer, and a creative eye.
Are you convinced that professional photos are a waste of money? Here’s the thing. Professional images are about more than just you and your social media feed. Wait, what?! There is more to life than our social media feeds? Yes, it’s true!
Walls need Art, Color, and Motion
Ugh…Do you ever look around your house and think that the only reason you have the pictures on the walls that you do is so they aren’t empty. Or do you look at your boring empty walls and think blah?
I used to do that myself. I well remember times when I hung stuff on the wall just because it filled the space. Not because I loved it. Not because I felt anything for the image itself. It never inspired me. And, most of the time I didn’t even like what I saw. I just didn’t want to be surrounded by blank walls.
Several years ago, I started to change that. I started slowly by hanging pieces that I found that truly spoke to me in some way.
For example, I have one wall of my house that is comprised of decorative plates. Each plate comes with a story and a past. We would get one from every place we have lived from flea markets and antique stores. There is a common color scheme to them. And when I look at that wall, I see all the places we lived. I also have walls that have the kids through the years, and walls dedicated to the animals that I love.
I love to be surrounded by the things, people, and animals that I love. It makes me feel more inspired and more creative.
Your home should be filled with things that make you smile when you walk past them. Things that inspire and motivate you. That reminds you of those you love and cherish.
Having professional portraits done by a photographer who only uses professional labs to produce the end artwork will make sure that your images will stand the test of time.
Professional high-quality artwork can turn any wall into an art gallery, and elevate your decor with unique and one-of-a-kind items.
And, even better, it allows you to surround yourself with the things you love!
Ready to Get those Pictures with your Horse Booked?
If after reading this, you are ready to take pictures with your horse, make sure to click over and read Questions to Ask a Horse Photographer BEFORE Booking and download the free guide so you know WHAT to ask to get pictures with your horse that meet your expectations.
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. When she’s not celebrating the stories of the amazing horses in her clients’ lives, she invests time and energy into perfecting her equine photography skills and growing her business, hanging with her favorite rescue dog, Nitro, and planning her next big adventure. She also tries to spend some time educating and entertaining her fans and potential clients by blogging and posting on social media about whatever catches her fancy at the moment.
Betsy is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) with the organization Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The CPP designation is held by fewer than 2,000 photographers nationwide and is a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry, and professionalism. Ride the Sky specializes in on-location photography for equines. Ride the Sky also has the option of bringing the studio to the stable. Based in Chattanooga, TN, Ride the Sky Equine Photography works on location in Tennessee, North Georgia, and beyond.