Most weeks have been pretty hectic since Spring with various events, projects and of course: shoots! Everyone is making the most of the weather, blooming landscape and summer coats.
These last week and a bit has been pretty hectic with over 15 horses photographed at various locations around Berkshire and Oxfordshire. However, this Monday was even more busy than normal!
The day started off as normal with getting to the yard, feeding Dolly, poo picking and taking her for a walk. I then jumped in my car and headed off to meet Bex!
I first got chatting to Bex through a Facebook group - we had a lot in common (mainly horses and pretty bling browbands!) and found out we weren't too far away from eachother! I'd had an image in my mind for quite a while of a beautiful black horse in one of my black background shots. I jumped at the chance when Bex said I could come and meet Raiph!
Bex is the face behind Ferrari Dressage - follow her on Facebook for news, photos, tips and competition reports!
I arrived at the lovely yard that Bex is based at and she introduced me to Raiph - all 19 hands of him! He had such a presence about him, I knew I'd get the shot I was after! Raiph is a very handsome man who has such a sweet, kind soul.
We stood chatting for about half an hour about Raiph and generally putting the world to rights. It was so refreshing to hear Bex's perspective on training and more importantly rehab work. Bex has done alot of work with various horses, including Raiph and has been a real help with some of my own dilemas! She had so many stories to tell about horses and ponies shes worked with as well as hearing the story behind Raiph and how she ended up with the ride.
Raiph was a charmer, he absolutely loved my camera and was a poser! We took him up to the school and I watched Bex play with him at liberty. They have such a sweet bond and he wanted to do anything to please Bex. His floating paces were to die for - for such a large horse he is so graceful and delicate.
"I love the one of him giving me a hug!!!! I don't know how you have done it but you have captured his soul :D xx" - Bex
There was just something about him - he is one of the most beautiful horses I've ever met with a personality to match! Bex kept saying how much he's her best friend and she's so lucky to share her life with him and to her he's a horse of a lifetime - her Valegro if you wish. Here's my favourite shot of him!!
After just over two hours, it was time to head off 20 minutes down the road to see Katherine and the gang!
Katherine had warned me about her crazy idea she'd had - and I've learnt to never expect anything less! She wanted a black background shot of all 5 horses together. But Katherine being Katherine didn't want me to photograph them all individually and then photoshop them together - oh no! She wanted to try and fit all 5 of them in the open barn door way for me to catch the shot!
She'd spent the morning pampering Rohan and Gem so when I arrived, we headed down to the fields to fetch Garnet, Elf and Olaf. It was the first time I got to meet the youngsters properly and they've come such a long way from the nervous, un-handled state that they arrived in!
You can find the story of Elf and Olaf above. Katherine adopted Elf and Olaf (don't you just love their names?!) to keep Garnet company now that he has been weaned.
The babies kept us entertained with their silly games whilst we got them ready for their shoot.
This is where the fun began!! We somehow managed to fit all the horses in - with a couple of helpers and some bucket shakers/key throwers and dancers, we eventually got a shot with ALL 5 pairs of ears looking at us! There were around 150 out takes, some are hilarious! I'll no doubt share some of those at some point! Here's one of my favourites -
I think we are all still amazed we managed to get the shot - especially considering 3 of the poines aren't even 3 yet! Garnet's expression says it all really ..
And here it is - the finished shot!!
The response when I posted the image on social media, in particular Facebook was phenomenal! Thank you everyone for the comments and to everyone who took the time to comment or share the image. The rest of the afternoon consisted of individual shots of the horses.
How handsome has Garnet become! He's starting to look like a proper little horse - he's just turned two!
We took Rohan out in to the surrounding woodland and fields for a few in hand shots for Katherine's other sponsor: Allen and Page.
It was soon time to head back home after a brilliant couple of hours shooting. It wasn't time to stop there - I couldn't wait to get the images uploaded and edited for them both to see - but first, it was time to go for a hack!
Thank you ladies for a lovely day!!