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Q&A Session

Morning, morning everyone! I thought it would be fun to put together a few short posts answering some questions that were put to me the over the last few days! I hope you find them informative, feel free to drop me an email if you have a question to answer in a future post, or if you wuold like more information about anything I've mentioned in the posting...

Sarah Louise: If you could time travel who or what would you like to photograph?

Oo that's such a hard one - there's so many people and horses I would love to have photographed, one event in particular would have to have been the London 2012 Olympics! I absolutely loved the whole build up to the games and watching Team GB's sucess at a home games - I think the legacy created by a home Olympics really encouraged people to get outdoors; but ultimately, I would love to have captured the equestrian events! We weren't lucky enough, as I think most of us found, to get any tickets so we would spend afternoons sat on the sofa glued to as many events as we could fit in. There was such a buzz created by all the medals being won by our equine boys and girls - it's no suprise though that Charlotte and Valegro would be the ones I would have loved to have captured at the Olympics with their recordbreaking performances! I've been thinking about this question alot and there's several iconic race horses I would have loved to have spent time with: Desert Orchid, Red Rum and Aldaniti with Bob Champion.

Clare Gangadeen: How much do you spend on animal bribes?

I stock up throughout the year and as I mentioned in a previous post, alot of them are re-usable so, toys, umbrellas, bags etc anything really that will make a bit of noise and get their attention. I'm currently trying to put together a "soundtrack" on my phone of various horse noises, animal sounds, machinery and other exciting sounds! I bring a little tub for people to add some nuts/treats in to to use as a reward on the treat but also to shake to get their ears looking towards me!

Suzanne Lindsay: What / who would be your dream photo shoot?

I think Suzanne knows what my answer to this one would be, there's a certain eventer I'd LOVE to photograph, but more recently I've been working on a project with a ballet dancer and a horse which I'm mega excited to share - it's a concept I've been wanting to work on for ages so I guess that's one of my dream shoots! And I would love to start a series of black background photographs of some pretty special "equine celebrities" - Valegro being top of the list, of course!

Becka James: What is the best technique to get your model to relax?

I was only having this discussion yesterday with someone who would love to have a shoot but is a little nervous about being in front of the camera! The most important point to make here is that these images are for YOU, nobody else - they're there to record the relationship between you and your horse and serve as a memory to treasure. I know it can be very daunting being infront of the camera but there are lots of ways to make you feel at ease. The whole shoot is very relaxed, we will chat away and someone even said to me afterwards that it felt like they'd known me for much longer than 2 hours, which was a great compliment. I've got a lot of patience and I take my time during the shoot to make sure it doesn't feel rushed, not to put you or your horse under any pressure. Before the shoot I ask everyone to fill out a little form so that I can get to know them before I meet them and have an idea about what they want to gain from the shoot - this is a great starting point! During the shoot, the majority of the shots I take will be you looking at your horse, rather than at the camera which most people prefer!

In terms of my equine model, I change the poses around as much as possible so they don't get bored. If they start fidgeting we will get the horse moving, be it for some shots walking to and away from the camera or to another location. I will constantly check in with how the horse is doing and take advise from the owner as to what they think the horse will be like in certain situations. I can't stress enough how relaxed the whole shoot can be!

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