Lots of people say to me, "I'd love to have a shoot, but I don't want to be in the photographs!" First of all, I can completely relate! I hate having my photograph taken and given the opportunity, I either cover my face with the nearest thing to me, or I pull a stupid face.. I just can't help it!
But the first thing that I say to everyone that tells me that they don't want to be in the photographs, is that these images are just for you, and only you. If you want to share them with the world, then amazing, but honestly, these images capture the relationship between you and your horse - something that's special to you.
Don't worry about how awkward you're feeling in front of your horse, think about the funniest thing he's ever done, or just simply: how much you love him! I will give you plenty of direction on how to stand, where to place your legs and what to do with your hand. The best thing about having a shoot with your horse is that you have something by your side to hug, kiss and hold (the rope obviously, not the horse!) so we don't have the awkward "I don't know where to put my hands" scenario that a lot of portrait photographers will experience. You don't need to keep smiling at the camera, which is lucky because I think that's one of the most embarassing parts of the shoot. Instead, I'll have you look at your horse, look in to the distance. Whilst I am shooting I'll be chatting to you, finding out stories about you and your horse and there will be plenty to laugh about on the way!
"We talked and laughed all afternoon which made it such an enjoyable experience. Rose truly captured some beautiful photos which I will cherish for a very long time!"
I'm not going to put you in a position that makes you feel awkward, you won't be striking some strange or bizarre pose - I promise! I'm always delighted when people remark on how relaxed the whole experience was, that's what I aim for! The stressful part is at the beginning and end - making sure your horse is clean and then when you start choosing the photographs you're wanting to order!
Some people tell me how nervous they are, honestly, there's no need to be! I'm full of patience, I've never come away from a shoot thinking that I've not got any nice images. I'll keep reading the horses body language and taking some guidance from you as you know your horse best, we'll keep their feet moving if they're fidgety, or if they prefer to face a particular way - we'll make it work! IEverybody has their imperfections and we are far too self-critical, if there's something you're really self-concious about then let me know beforehand and I'll probably be able to recommend a soloution to make you feel much more confident!
I know I would fully regret not taking that step and having some photographs of myself with Dolly. I have tens, if not thousands and thousands of photographs of her: silly faces, naughty moments, pretty headshots, but there was always a lack of photographs of me with her. I'm so pleased I did that whilst I still could, I treasure those photographs so much because they capture that special love, relationship and bond I have with her, forever and always.
But if you're still adamant you don't want to be in these photographs yourself, there is so much more we can do than just simply get a pretty headshot of your horse: black background shots, liberty shots, photographs of your horse just "being themselves." My advice to you though is come prepared to be in the photographs too - wanting to have some photographs taken of yourself is a massive descision for some people, literally their worst nightmare! Bring along some jeans and your favourite top and we'll go from there!