Meet Celine and her mare, Poppy who she has owned for 7 years. Francoise, Celine's Mum joined us on the shoot, which was a birthday present for Celine - she kindly took some behind the scenes photographs that I have here to share!
It was an overcast Autumnal morning, I headed over to Burley Lodge near Spencers Wood to meet Poppy, a beautiful German Warmblood. Celine had her all brushed, bathed and waiting for me when I arrived. She was just getting changed in to her first outfit and then we headed off for a quick look around the yard. I've visited this yard a few times for shoots now but it looks so different in the Autumn than in the summer!
Poppy, now twenty (although shows very little sign of slowing down when I heard all about her antics!) originally part of the riding school, however she soon became a "one lady horse" and decided only Celine could ride her - so, with that settled, Poppy has been part of their family ever since. Originally bred in Germany, she's had a varied life, but mainly enjoys showjumping! She even likes to practise her jumping when no one is on board, and hops from field to field when she fancies it - must to everyone's despair!
We began our shoot on the driveway, the leaves changing from green to orange - we had to keep hopping on to the grass verge as the riding school was starting to fill up with children coming for lessons. Celine and Poppy clearly have a lovely bond, which I'm sure comes across in the photographs. Celine had a lovely way of chattering to her gorgeous grey mare and kept reassuring her that everything was okay. Poppy stood proudly alongside Celine - the whole shoot was an absolute pleasure.
But that's enough from me, I thought I'd let Celine tell you about the shoot herself:
'I was delighted when I received the Photo Shoot Voucher from my Parents for my birthday. My mum had heard me mention that I would like to get some nice pictures of Poppy, especially now as she’s getting older. I would like something to always remember her by.
In terms of preparing for the shoot, my main focus was making sure Poppy looked her best. Being a grey this wasn’t the easiest of tasks. As Poppy likes to roll in anything and everything I knew there wouldn’t be much point trying to clean her until the day of the shoot. A challenge for me was deciding what I should be wearing, as I am not the type of girl who loves having their photo taken, so I gathered some ideas by looking at other people’s shoots, and decided to go for one casual look, and then one more smart casual.
When the day of the shoot came, as it was September, I quickly checked the weather forecast and was relieved that rain wasn’t expected. Then I headed to the yard to get Poppy ready, praying she wasn’t too dirty. Thankfully she only managed to get her neck and legs dirty, meaning it didn’t take too long to get her clean. She had also managed to get her head collar caked in mud, so a new one was bought to make sure she looked smart.
When Rose arrived I shared a few location ideas with her, and together we narrowed it down to a couple of good ones, including the driveway with the lovely trees arching over it and the leaves in their autumnal colours.
The shoot flowed really well, with Rose instantly making me feel at ease. We started off with some photos with a black background, using a small indoor school located at the yard, then we moved onto the driveway, to try and use those lovely autumnal colours. I was really appreciative when Rose helped direct me in the shoot, as never having done a shoot before I had no idea what poses to try! After multiple locations, an outfit change, and lots of picture-taking, the shoot had come to an end. I can’t thank Rose enough, her guidance throughout the shoot, and her easy going attitude made the experience really enjoyable. I would recommend her to anyone who wants to capture some beautiful pictures of their horses.'