Prep for your Equine Session

You've booked your equine portrait session, now is the time to review this guide to help make sure that your session is everything you are dreaming of.

Several Weeks before your session

  • Get Inspired! Create a Pinterest board that includes images that reflect your vision for your image.
  • Select a color scheme that will complement the colors of the room where the finished portrait or album will be displayed.
  • Go Shopping - you will find some great ideas shopping online or at your favorite store or gallery.
  • Plan to use a nice leather halter and lead rope. Avoid colored nylon halters and lead ropes if possible. If your horse is well-trained we can use a halter designed for photography, this halter can easily be editted from the finished portrait.
  • Determine the setting for your session, keep in mind shaded areas work best if your session is in the middle of a sunny day.
  • Brush up on their manners, work with getting them familiar with any dresses or props that you want in the session.
  • If you are going to be in the portrait - make sure you have your clothes and accessories purchased well in advance of the shoot.
  • Avoid bold prints.
  • Look for textures such as lace, ruffles and sequins.
  • Sleeveless works for toned arms, 3/4-sleeves or long sleeves work for everyone. Avoid cap-sleeves.
  • Avoid baggy, non-structured outfits.
  • Plan for 2 outfits for the session.
Girl in Black Dress with Gray Horse

The day before the session

  • Clean and oil your tack. Make it shine!
  • Pull/braid/band their mane if that is part of the style for the shoot.
  • Clip the bridle path, muzzle, ears and fetlock if that is part of the style for the shoot.
  • If your horse is in a stall, I recommend bathing the day before to ensure they have time to dry.
  • Apply hoof polish/oil and coat sprays so they shine (don't forget the mane and tail).
  • Wash any brushes that will be used for grooming.
  • Tidy up the area being used for the session.
  • If you are planning to be in the portraits with your horse:
  • Make sure your clothes are wrinkle free
  • Clean your hat and boots
  • Get a good nights rest
  • Stay hydrated
Girl Showing Horse at halter

The day of the session

Horse Only Sessions:

  • If needed exercise your horse early in the day to help reduce their energy level.
  • Feed them prior to their session if the session is during their normal feeding time.
  • Finishing touches - make sure to clean the area where the session is taking place. Any hay and other debris needs to be cleared out of the way. If you are hosing down concrete or mats make sure they have time to dry before the session.
  • Groom your horse, the details matter here. If they have white, use baby powder to help hide any stains. Use slightly damp paper towel to clear nasal passage and eyes.
  • Spray the horse and the area where the session is taking place with fly spray ahead of time. Be sure to allow time for the spray to dry.
  • Bring a friend to help. If you don't have someone available to help I can provide an assistant for an additional fee.
  • Treats are a great motivator, bring some of your horses favorites.
  • If the treats are carrots or apples, make sure they are cut in very small bites to reduce the amount of saliva generated.
  • Plan to be 15 minutes early, this will help keep everyone relaxed.

Horse & Rider Sessions:

  • Hair and Make-up Artists are amazing and will ensure you look your best for the photo session.
  • After grooming your horse - wash hands and change into the clothes you will wear for the session.
  • Set aside your phone and pony tail holders
  • Most Important - HAVE FUN! This is going to be a memorable session for you and your horse.
Bay Horse