Meet the lovely Ali, and her gorgeous dun, Alfie. After Lauren and Jane's shoot, it was Ali's turn! She'd already got a plan in mind on how she'd like to use the shoot time - the first half was to be spent with her and Alfie, before her family drove up to join us for the second half.
Alfie is a lovely 10 year old Connemara pony, who Ali has owned for several years now. Together they enjoy a little bit of everything, but mainly hacking. There's some gorgeous hacking around their yard! A stones-throw away is a little woodland area, and they just a few minutes on the road takes them out on to a big open common field.
Ali was busy getting Alfie ready - Jane and Lauren had stuck around for a while to help out, so we all stood there chatting. Ali got changed in to her first outfit - her show gear. We were under strict instructions not to let Alfie eat once we begun, otherwise he'd want to do that the whole time! We began with some black background photographs, and it was evident that Alfie was going to be a brilliant model, as he stood with his ears pricked forward watching Lauren and Jane. Ali was also a natural in front of the camera and knew exactly what to do with her hands and legs - I later found out she used to be a wedding photographer, so that makes perfect sense! I barely felt like I had to do any directing that day, everyone was so naturally photogenic and relaxed in front of the camera.
After the black background shots Ali and I headed out on to the road to a little log that had been positioned across the gateway. It may not have been the obvious choice of location, but with some careful positioning to obscure the road, the greenhouse in the garden behind and the power lines above, for anyone that wouldn't have known, we could have been in the middle of a lovely field! Alfie became fixated on something in the distance, ears pricked forward. So, whilst he had his attention focused on something, I quickly nipped around he log to get shots from several different angles.
Ali kept laughing saying she's not sure how some people look so glamorous whilst having a shoot with their horse; trying to juggle the horse wanting to eat anything green, and trying to keep a happy face! But I thought they both looked lovely together, and Ali's red top, really complimented Alfie's colouring!
I was shown photographs of Ali's lovely horse who'd she'd had before Alfie. She'd learnt to ride as an adult, and fell in love with a gorgeous horse, but sadly, he was just a little too much for her. After loosing alot of confidence, she's found an amazing partnership with Alfie - they even went XC schooling recently, something she didn't think she'd be doing!
Ali's husband and three children then met us up the road, at the entrance to the woods. Their outfits had all been planned to be complimentary to each other, and neutral - so she was hoping they'd all turn up in what they were supposed to be wearing! Apparently it's a big thing for them all to come up and see Alfie, but they all arrived, with smiles on their faces. Ali had been telling me she had a big birthday coming up this year, and she'd asked if her whole family would get together to have a family photograph taken, something they haven't done for a while, since the kids were much younger.
I particularly loved how her two dogs, Archie and Leo, colour co-ordinated their blonde colouring with Alfie! And yes, that did confuse me at times having an Archie and and Alfie! We found a couple of lovely spots in the woods, under the trees and on a little bench. Everyone was so easy to direct, and the animals all looked the right way on cue! Group shots aren't always my favourite to organise as it can get chaotic when there's dogs and horses involved, but everyone made it super easy, thank you!
The family then all jumped in the car and headed off home with the dogs, whilst Ali and i finished up the shoot with a couple more photographs in the woods with Alfie. He's such a handsome boy and he was definitely a poser when there were treats involved!
Thank you so much for having me, Ali! I loved photographing you all and can't wait to share the rest of the photographs soon!