Some of the most common questions I get asked are how to pull together clothing for an equestrian portrait session. To be honest, it’s a little bit of a science and a little bit of art. Odds are you have a few key pieces already in your closet for your outfit for your equestrian portrait session. So before you go digging into your closet, read some quick tips regarding prepping for your portrait session with your horse.

Does the location matter when planning my outfit for my equestrian portrait session?

In a word, yes.
For example, picture yourself standing in a forest full of fall foliage. There are beautiful yellows, oranges, reds, and browns in the background. And there you are, wearing that hot pink sleeveless prom dress. This is definitely a mismatch! But, that same dress might be a perfect fit for a more urban setting or in a different season.
Have an outfit in mind but not sure if it will work with the location? Ask your equine photographer. Equine photographers spend a lot of time looking at locations and can give you advice about what might work for that type of setting.
Dying to wear a certain outfit but you know it’s not going to work at the horse’s location? Ask your equine photographer if they have a different location that might work. Professional horse photographers have knowledge of other stables, barns, and venues in the area that may work for you. If moving locations isn’t an option, they might have some suggestions for mixing up your outfit to make it better work for your location.
Woman and Horse in Equestrian Portrait Session with Black Background

Does the season matter when planning my outfit for my equine portrait session?


The answer is: It depends.
Seasons are going to be much more important if you live in a location that horses get fuzzy, snow is on the ground, and fall colors are amazing. Seasons will be less important in locations that stay green all year long and the temperature doesn’t really change between seasons. 
If you live in a place where there is a definite season change, you want to make sure that you are dressing for the season. After all, we don’t want you standing outside in 10-degree weather in a dress designed for 90-degree heat.
Think scarves, hats, mittens for winter. Boots, jeans, sweaters for fall. Cute sleeveless dresses for summer.
And as an added bonus, layers of clothing give you a lot more options for your colors and patterns.
You also should consider the color of the season as well. For example, winter has a more blue/cool cast while fall has a more yellow/warm cast.
Is all this confusing to you? Talk to your equine photographer. They should be able to give you some guidelines as to what you should be searching your closet for.  In fact, Ride the Sky Equine Photography clients receive a Style Guide to help them work through this process.
Woman with Friesian Mare in Field next to tree with Spanish moss

How do I match my outfit to my horse in my pictures?

Like anything with colors, the color wheel can help you out.
Complimentary colors play a role in making things look coordinated.
Remember the 80s when Mom, Dad, and the kids all showed up in white button-down shirts and matching jeans? I’m pretty sure that Awkward Family Photos has some really fun examples.
Long gone are the days where all people in the image showed up in identical outfits. The new (and much improved) look is to coordinate without matching. In other words, just because you have a black horse, it doesn’t mean you need to show up in a black outfit. In fact, you really shouldn’t.
It doesn’t matter if the images are you and your horse or if it’s your entire family with the family horses and pets. Think coordination, not matching.
If you want some inspiration on coordinating without matching clothing for portrait sessions, check out the Ride the Sky Pinterest Board on Portrait Clothing Inspiration. You can also check out  Ride the Sky Equestrian Photography Portrait Session Clothing Inspiration.

Does it matter if my boots match my horse’s saddle?

This is one of the simplest tricks to make sure your images flow. Make sure that your leathers match.
If your horse has a black saddle and a black bridle, then it makes sense for your boots and belt to be black as well.
This is a simple styling trick that adds more cohesiveness to your image.

Where can I find outfits for my equine portrait session?

Don’t want to wear your show clothes for your portrait session and not loving what you have in your closet?
Or, perhaps, you want to elevate your look for your portraits.
Ride the Sky Equine Photography has a style closet with select pieces available for client use during their sessions.
Looking for guidance on where to find clothes that photograph well that you can purchase? We provide our clients with a list of stores and vendors that offer beautiful clothing options upon request.

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.

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