Meet Kelly and her super beautiful mare, Lady. Kelly was lucky enough to be given a gift voucher from her partner, Rob, for Christmas. I remember when she first booked the shoot in, the summer felt so far away - but before I knew it, July was here and I headed over to meet them both at the livery yard where they are based, in Curridge.
At home it was beautiful and sunny, a slight cloud cover began to roll in on my journey, which as you all should know by now, leads on to the perfect lighting for your shoot. Just around the corner from the yard, spots of rain started appearing on my window! I thought, well I'm just a few minutes away now, this rain isn't forecast so I'll carry on and make a descision once I met Kelly.
"I have lots of ridden pics, but none of us "hanging out" - so I'd like to capture our relationship & have some photos of us just having fun together."
Kelly has owned Lady for 3 years now, she was 15 when they first met. Laughing, Kelly told me that Lady is a TBxID and that she wasn't what she'd set out to view for her next horse! Originally, she had gone to try out a Connemara pony, which is something she'd been searching for, however, upon trialling the pony she just decided that they didn't click.
A friend then phoned her up and said she knew of a mare for sale from a showjumping yard, Kelly went to view her and said that her and Lady just connected. Sold from the field, she was perfect and for the grand total of £1, Lady was hers!
Kelly had three different outfit changes for the shoot. We began on the driveway under the beautiful avenue of tall trees. The girls were so easy to photograph. Lady has such a wonderful, pretty face and Kelly was really natural in front of the camera. Georgie, a friend of Kelly's came along to help on the shoot, helping to get Lady looking where I wanted! Lady, after an initial bout of fidgeting soon got the hang of what we were asking!
At one point, I was directing Kelly to look at Lady, then to me, and then back; I'm sure Lady thought I must have been talking to her, because, on cue, she turned to look at me, then to her friends in the field!
We headed back to the yard for an outfit and tack change. We then headed up through the woods to a little grassy field behind the yard. Kelly told me that Lady isn't the most confident horse cross country but she's always spot on when they're blasting through the fields or out exploring open spaces. They love going to Kingsclere and Lambourn downs:
"She has such a gentle, calm nature around the yard - but she really lights up when we go & do something fun together!"
Kelly had planned to ride Lady bareback for the ridden shots, but Lady was a little on her toes during the shoot so for safety, Georgie carried Lady's saddle up to the field, just to give us the option. Kelly said she had been practising riding bareback, Lady isn't the most comfortable she said! Especially when it came to transitioning from canter to trot! Earlier on in the week they'd had a little play in the school, ahead of the shoot but she completely forgot she'd covered Lady in show shine, of course making her very slippery!
Despite the rain, Kelly kept smiling! Lady soon settled down once she was allowed to have a good canter around the field, I think that worked out perfectly because for the rest of the shoot she was a lot more cuddly! We took the opportunity when getting changed for the final part of the shoot, to take shelter in the barn. The rain was coming down quite heavily by this point, it was that horrible drizzly rain! As soon as it started to look like it was easing, it'd start all over again!
A "must have" shot of the shoot for Kelly were some shots of her crouching down in the grass with Lady - and how beautifully did these ones come out! I love the low angle shots for many reasons, not only does it give lots of choice and perspectives when it comes to viewing your images in the gallery, but they really highlight the connection between horse and owner. You're letting the horse dictate whether it chooses to come in to your space - a lot of the shoot is spent with the owner beside the horse, but for these shots, we allow the horse to come towards the owner, creating some really lovely outcomes!
Before the shoot was over, and Kelly got too cold in her dress, we made our way back up to the barn for some black background shots. Lady posed perfectly with the aid of Georgie waving around the purple octopus and a feed bowl!
Our shooting conditions were far from ideal but I had such a great time with the girls, it was lovely chatting to them, finding out all about Lady and Georgie's horse. It was an absolute pleasure to photograph you and Lady, Kelly! Thank you so much for having me and I hope you love the pictures!