Meet Charlotte and Samantha, along with their lovely boys, Viking and Oscar. Samantha shares the horses, owned by Charlotte - she contacted me to organise a shoot for Charlotte, but also for her to have some shots with the boys, as well as some group shots with their partners.
Some of you may be thinking you recognise the handsome coloured lad - well, you might! Viking used to be a riding school horse at Hall Place in Tilehurst. Several of you may have learnt to ride on him. Charlotte described him as a bit of a "local celebrity" - everyone recognises him! Now in his mid twenties, he enjoys a quieter life. He has been with Charlotte for over 12 years now. She first met him at Hall Place where she assumed she'd be loaning him, just like they had done in previous years, however this time, her Dad suprised her by saying, "no, he's YOURS"! They have been together ever since.
Oscar and Sam enjoy schooling together and they have some fantastic facilities and bridleways at Cullinghood. I love shooting at this location as there are so many places we can explore. This time of year it looks exceptionally beautiful. We caught the tail-end of the Daffodils but it won't be long before the Bluebells are in full bloom.
Craig was a massive help on the shoot getting the boys to look where we wanted; Oscar in partuicular was tricky to get his ears pointing where I wanted! Sam has been sharing Oscar for about a year now and during that time, Craig has become involved with the horses, particularly with Ozzy so it was nice for him to be in some pictures too!
Sam, Charlotte's partner also joined them with 7 month old Tilly for some lovely family shots. Oscar on the other hand wasn't quite impressed with these ones, and when he was stood with Viking he really didn't want to "smile" for us!
It was a warm spring morning, as I arrived at Cullinghood, the girls were just finishing up their grooming. They had bathed the horses the day before so it didn't take them long to have everything ready. With a tub of barley rings in arm, the purple octopus and some other bribes, we headed off across the road to a beautiful avenue of trees. Viking was always known for being the reliable steed, and despite not venturing far from the yard in a while, he was so relaxed and provided us with some, urm, entertaining face pulling haha! Both boys were angels and stood perfectly still, allowing Charlotte and Sam to run and swap between shots so that they cold have photographs with both boys.
This particular avenue is one of my favourite local places to photograph in. During the Autumn the trees are the most amazing amber colours, whilst during spring and summer, they are lined with flowers and blossom. The bright yellow Daffodils were just beginning to turn, but I think we caught them just in time. I love the bursts of yellow - they make the images feel very happy. Everybody was so lovely, it made my job very easy and we all enjoyed chatting away to eachother.
We headed down towards the woods before heading back up to the indoor school for some black background shots. By this point we were having to be really inventive to get Ozzy's ears forward!