Meagan and TJ

It was the day people had been waiting for for months, it was all over the television and the radio, special programmes were planned, people were mobilised, children were excused lessons in school so as not to miss it and the whole country stood still and waited.

I arrived at the yard in Essex at about 9am, Meagan and her friend were there, the sky was grey and dull and the temperature was getting noticeably colder. Meagan went to get TJ, a gorgeous (and huge!) dark bay and we set off up the track to get to the woods and fields where we were going to shoot.

Something was definitely strange, the light reading on my camera showed it getting darker and darker and we weren’t even in the woods yet, we knew what this was… The Solar Eclipse! Unfortunately (and rather predictably) the south of England was nestled under a lovely thick blanket of cloud so all that happened was that the first few shots of Meagan and TJ looked rather gloomy, what an anti climax!

Unlike the solar eclipse, my two models for the day were far from being a let down. Meagan’s boyfriend Ellis had booked the photo shoot as a birthday treat and Meagan, who is a riding instructor, had chosen to stay with the one outfit for the shoot, she chose black jodhpurs with black riding boots, a fab top with striking blue and white hoops on the arms and black gloves, Meagan has gorgeous thick dark hair (almost matching TJ’s coat!) and even when dressed in riding gear she looks amazing.

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It was lovely strolling around the beautiful Essex countryside with these guys but the weather stayed resolutely grey for the whole morning. It didn’t matter though, both Meagan and TJ looked fab and the flat grey light brought out the subtle tones in TJ’s coat really nicely and made both of them really “pop” out of the surroundings.

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I really enjoyed doing the shots of the two of them back at the yard with the black background when they were having “a moment” together, really sweet.

 

Kayla and Tia

We were hoping for a lovely unseasonably warm December morning when we convened at Hookwood House stables, no such luck, it had been distinctly chilly when I left Kingston but the chill was nothing compared to the bitter cold that greeted me as I got out of the car at the yard in the beautiful Surrey countryside, Tia bless her had been bathed and brushed and was looking gorgeous and chestnutty.

Kayla was hiding in the warm tack room which had become Jo’s personal salon as she curled and brushed and applied foundation and lip liner making Kayla look far too glamorous for a chilly yard on a frosty morning.

For her first outfit Kayla chose a gorgeous sleeveless blouse that was a lovely periwinkle blue and matched it with slim leg trousers and black heels. The blue contrasted beautifully with Tia’s rich chestnut coat.

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Kayla did so well, her reward was that her next outfit had sleeves! She chose a (much warmer) sheepskin jacket and pale jumper paired up with black jeans. The yard at Hookwood House is lovely and we had lots of choice wandering around, Tia was a star obediently following Kayla (and keeping her warm!)

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The last shots we did, Kayla wrapped up even more for (I don’t blame her) and while lovely floaty summer dresses are great, the boots, green jacket and soft pale scarf Kayla wore looked just right for the ridden shots.

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Katherine and Kitch

We were so unlucky with the weather, we are most certainly going to carry on with this shoot when we have warmer sunnier days, I felt so bad for Katherine, after weeks of cancelling and rescheduling (it goes with the territory of being an equine photographer in the UK!) We decided to go for it, Louise arrived super early at Katherine’s house and when I arrived she was looking great, Katherine’s horse, a chestnut TB called Kitch is stabled along with a couple of others on site so we were able to set out quite quickly, which as it turned out was very lucky, Kitch was looking awesome Katherine had spent the previous evening braiding his mane and he had the blingiest bands I’ve seen.

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For the time of year the countryside was looking particularly green, we had lush grass and green hedgerows but the sky was a leaden grey and getting darker by the minute!

Kitch being a true TB was lively and alert but as is always the case with any horse I’ve ever photographed they never want to look in the direction you’d like them to at the time. Thankfully we had a not so secret weapon, in the shape of Katherine’s Mum, Jackie. There were some hilarious moments when Jackie was leaping about in the hedgerow waving high vis vests in order to get Kitch to look in the right direction, once again I owe a parent a massive thank you!

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The weather did beat us in the end and we didn’t get to do an outfit change as Kitch was getting shivery and cold so I will definitely be back to get some more images of this great couple and hopefully next time, I’ll manage to get a shot of the elusive Jackie, leaping about in the hedges with her tell tale calls and impressive display of high vis plumage ;)

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A crazy fun filled day

Louise my make up artist and myself were both excited about this shoot before we’d even met the family. They sounded like such fun (we were not disappointed).

Lou got there first, after having been briefed the night before by Zoe, the Mother of the two girls we were going to be shooting with. By the time I arrived the house was full of excitement along with heated rollers, curling tongs, hairspray, make up, mirrors, dresses, people and dogs. I loved it! While the girls were having the finishing touches done Zoe and I went out to meet the other stars of the day, cute as a button Taz, a Welsh sec A pony who had the glossiest coat I’ve ever seen! Taz was Maddie’s pony, and Lady, she was Lola’s, she is a statuesque grey, fine boned and shy. We managed to get some shots but Taz was in a mischievous mood as she’d been in all night to keep that glossy coat from getting covered in mud!

We returned to the house and collected Maddie, she had chosen a lovely girlie pink sweater and black jodhpurs for her first outfit, Lou had done her hair beautifully, we took Taz out into the field and got some lovely shots of the two of them relaxing together.

maddie and tazIt was time for Maddie to go for a costume change while we did some shots of Lola and Lady together. We were so lucky with the weather is was like a beautiful Summer’s day despite it being almost Halloween.

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Now we were back with Maddie, she was wearing her Mum’s wedding dress and we managed to get Taz to behave long enough for Maddie to lie on her back.

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In the nicest possible way, the whole family are totally nuts and Lou and I had such a lovely day with them all we only stopped shooting when we lost the light.

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Annabelle and Oscar’s styled photo shoot

I had the opportunity to go to Frensham Ponds with Annabelle and Oscar for a styled photo shoot, it is such a beautiful location and well worth the drive over, Annabelle had been hacking around the area before so knew where to go to get good views over the ponds.

I styled Annabelle in a green brocade corset with a matching burlesque style skirt, perfect for riding in as it was shorter at the front but draped down at the back, Annabelle got some great Victorian styled lace up boots which we matched with fishnet stockings and a short black chiffon top, we finished it off with some long black necklaces and Jojo who was doing the hair and makeup on this shoot did a fantastic job of curling Annabelles long dark hair and defining her features beautifully.

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We certainly got some attention leading Oscar into the woods to begin shooting, as it was a beautiful warm autumn day there were lots of people about with their dogs and children, I think any embarrassment she might have felt quickly faded as Annabelle had to field comments like are you a model? and ohh you look beautiful (she did look amazing!).

We did some shots near the water’s edge to begin with and then riding and walking through the faded heather,  golden and copper coloured, it was quite lovely wandering around the shore of the larger pond (it’s more of a lake than a pond!) I was really pleased with how these shots have turned out and I’m so grateful to Annabelle and her Mum and Dad for humouring me on what ended up quite a tiring afternoon, and of course not least to Oscar for being the perfect pony all afternoon, doing everything that was asked of him and looking so handsome.

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Formby Beach – styled shoot take one…

Horse Photographer UK had a day out at the beach, no sand castles and no paddling (not by us anyway), but lots of fantastic pictures!

We had four models – two with four legs and two with two legs.

Our first pairing included Bailaor, a pure bred Spanish Stallion, boy does he look the part, with the gorgeous Holly. We had two great sessions with these guys. Lisa – the Horse photographer UK franchisee for Lancashire, who own’s Bailaor had him wearing his full Spanish tack, the bright red and yellow looked great contrasting with the soft tones of the beach. Holly was wearing a bright red flamenco dress which caught and moved beautifully in the wind, they had such a time dancing up and down the beach.

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After that we had a costume change. This time Holly was wearing a ballerina outfit, not to be outdone Bailaor lost the tack and had flowers braided into in his mane to match Holly’s outfit, I think you’ll agree they look fantastic together.

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I couldn’t resist including this shot of Bailaor strutting his stuff on his own

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Katie and Tex

Katie is quite amazing, she’s only 15 but handled her pony Tex like a pro, nothing fazed her at all, she is interested in photography herself and had some great ideas, Tex is stabled near Runfold which is in the heart of the Surrey countryside and a beautiful place to visit.

We were unlucky in that Tex was just recovering from a rather nasty fall when we did our shoot so we couldn’t manage too many riding shots, but I hear he is making an excellent recovery and is up for lots of fun once again. Katie had managed to persuade her Mum to lend her wedding dress for our shoot (brave lady!) and we thankfully managed to keep it out of the mud!

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Annabelle and Oscar

My shoot with Annabelle and her gorgeous roan pony Oscar was set in the beautiful Surrey countryside, Oscar was stabled at a yard that backs onto Alice Holt, one of the prettiest forests you will find in the South of England, this of course meant that every 10 paces I saw another great spot to get some shots (progress through the forest was slow…).

Annabelle’s dad was around to help out and his crop whooshing and leaping about between trees technique had Oscar’s ears forward for most of the morning (thank you Trevor). We had a lovely morning but had to accept that the weather had beaten us when the clouds and rain set in.

Annabelle chose a gorgeous purple dress for our time in the forest which complimented Oscar’s clipped coat and the lush greens and rich browns of the trees perfectly.

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Dan and Socks

My photo shoot with Dan and her beautiful horse Socks was well timed. Dan is just starting her first year at University and wouldn’t be seeing Socks for a while, so this was our chance to capture the two of them together and have a bit of fun at the same time.

Socks has quite the repertoire of party pieces, which made for interesting poses as I was clicking to get his ears up he kept obediently lifting one leg as he’s been trained to do. Dan chose a vibrant red dress for one of her outfits which stood out brilliantly against Sock’s dark coat.

We trailed the ever patient Socks around fields all afternoon and he still managed to hold his “noble and heroic” pose when we needed him to. Out of all the shots,  I love the ones of Dan hugging him the most, it’s obviously going to be a tough few months for both of them being apart.

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Carys and Fernie’s photoshoot in Cobham

It was a blissfully warm September afternoon when I met up with Carys, her Mum Jill and Carys’ beautiful boy, Fernie, a stunning jet black ISH TB cross.

Fernie had been lame so we had to be careful with what we asked of him, this is never a problem though, as I always say to my clients, we would never ask anybody to do anything with their horse or pony that they weren’t 100% comfortable with.

Back to this delightful couple though, Carys chose to wear a pair of cut off denim shorts and a white lacy vest top (oh to be young!) along with her riding boots.

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We started by hiking out into the fields near the yard with Jill bringing up the rear carrying all the tack, something wrong there I think! We did some lovely close ups of Carys with Fernie then I had them both skipping up and down the field (While Jill rested!).

Fernie was a complete poser when it came to his portraits, in fact he looked so good that Horse Photographer UK are using him on our leaflets for our exciting new link up with EquiTrek.

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It was lovely seeing Carys with Fernie, you can tell they have a lovely playful relationship with each other.