Meet Kim and her handsome fleabitten grey Arab - Lucas, along with her coloured gelding, Sarri. However, 20 year old Lucas was to be the star of the show. Kim had owned Lucas since he was 4 months old, at 5 months he came home to live with Kim and they've been partners ever since. Emily, who shares the boys organised the shoot as a gift to Kim after they found out some terrible news. Sadly, Lucas has been diagnosed with terminal cancer after a scare, they found him with colic like symptoms, but after some investigation they found some tumours and predicted her only had three months to live.
But, amazingly, over a year later, Lucas looks incredible! Kim knew how much she wanted these photographs taken, but kept putting it off because the felt like it was admitting the end was near. You would never know Luc was unwell when you looked at him. When I arrived he was stood munching a haynet, with the September sun on his back. Kim was just putting the finishing touches to both the boys. Sarri was stood with his haynet too, Emily just giving him one last flick over. The naughty boy had rubbed himself down the stables whilst he was drying off from his bath and managed to get moss and all sorts smeared across him!
It was so evident, in the way Kim spoke about Lucas, that he really was a massive part of her life. Emily has been sharing the boys for the last 5 years and has become part of the family! Kim's sister joined us on the shoot too!
We all headed down to the indoor school, a short walk across the yard and down the track. Lucas looked very smart in his beautiful beaded Arab halter, with such a noble, kind face it was hard not to fall in love with him! He's not been ridden since they found out about the tumours but this was more by choice than for any physical reason - I had suggested to Kim, if she was happy too, did she want to get on Luc. She was a little unsure at first how he would react but everyone was on hand to help. Lucas stood there beautifully looking towards the camera whilst Kim gave him a massive hug.
After a quick outfit change back at the yard, I jumped in the car with Kim's sister, with Emily, Kim and the boys following behind and we headed down towards the river. I thought it might be nice for Emily to take over at this point to tell you all a little more about the shoot, she was also kind enough to take some behind the scenes photographs which I will add in too!
"I purchased a voucher for a two hour photoshoot as a birthday present for my 'adopted auntie', Kim (the owner of my share horse who has over the years, become like an auntie to me). In June last year, Kim's horse Lucas went down with signs of colic and after being taken in for emergency surgery, we found out that he had tumours. Kim has owned Lucas from around five months old, he is now approaching 20 so it was devastating when she was given the news that Lucas would likely have only another three months. This was heartbreaking for us all and I wanted to give Kim the gift of photos of Lucas that she could treasure forever - and Rose did not disappoint. Lucas has also proved us all wrong, I think you'll agree he looks very well for a horse that was given only three months about 16 months ago!
Rose came to meet us at our yard on the most perfectly sunny afternoon at the end of September, she had been before for shoots with some of the other horses and owners so had already scouted out a few locations on the yard. Kim had taken the day off to prep in the morning before the shoot, I could only book a half day off work so by the time I arrived, both her horses had been bathed and tidied up. Kim was losing the will to live by this point... apparently the horses thought it would be fun to rub anywhere they could that would cover them in as many dirty marks as possible, helpful as ever!
Taking both Lucas and Sarri, Kim's second horse that I share, we started off with Rose's famous black background pictures in our indoor school. Lucas was the star of the show with the focus being on him (I plan to have a shoot for Sarri separately!) and Rose was very confident yet calm, making us feel at ease as she helped let us know where to position the boys for the best pictures and teaching Kim's sister her tricks in getting the boys ears forward - the octopus toy! Without putting on any pressure, Rose asked Kim if she would like any ridden pictures, for obvious reasons Lucas has not been ridden or even sat on for some time but we all agreed some pictures on board would be very special. Rose was patient and gave us the time to slowly get Kim on, Lucas was a star. The pictures are perfect.
We then moved into one of the stable yards with beautiful hanging baskets. Lucas hasn't been up to that part of the farm in some time and he found it a bit overwhelming, finding it hard to stand still! Rose managed to capture a couple of pictures before we had to get moving again, it was all too exciting! We headed back down to our stables where Kim had a quick outfit change before heading off on a walk down to the fields that back onto the river. Rose took control and advised on the places she thought would be best to stop and take photos, firstly stopping in the middle of the field with a row of trees lining the background. Kim's sister and I took up the role of 'mission get both of Lucas's ears forward at the same time', throwing the toy octopus in the air, shaking a bucket of treats and just generally running around like loonies!
We moved on again, this time coming to a stop under a big acorn tree. Rose helped Kim with ideas on how to position Lucas and how to stand, for someone who isn't keen on having their photo taken, Kim looked relaxed throughout and this is a testament to Rose and her calming nature. Kim and I had some photos together with both of the boys, we then tried to get Tia, Kim's dog involved. Trying to get a horse to put both ears forward, a person to look at the camera and a dog to sit still all at the same time is a challenge! But again, showing patience and professionalism, Rose did everything she could to help whilst snapping away with the camera - the photos have come out so well, you'd never believe the madness that was really going on at the time!
The two hours flew by and before we knew it, the shoot was over. Rose checked there were no further ideas in mind for pictures before calling it a day and let us know pictures could take up to two weeks to be edited and uploaded to her website for viewing... within four days she'd sent the link through and the pictures were ready to be viewed! We are extremely happy with the photos and Kim will be looking to purchase soon. I will definitely be booking a photoshoot for myself in the near future, as will Kim's sister, which means Kim can have a go at throwing the octopus around for us!
I cannot recommend Rose enough and want to say a big thank you for her time and of course, the beautiful pictures that will be cherished forever."
It was a massive honour and privilege to be able to take those photographs for Kim and Emily. Horses really do become such a massive part of our family and when the time comes, it makes me feel so proud that the photographs that I have taken can be just a small part in helping to cherish those memories that have been formed over the past twenty or so years. Thank you both so so much!