As a lifelong equestrian and horse owner, I have always loved the idea of incorporating my mares into life’s big moments. From family photos to senior portraits, I love incorporating your equine partners into your photos. Horses are not only our passion, but lifestyle and identity.

They are the keeper of our secrets, the port in the storm during rough chapters and the most gratifying partners when it comes to goals or just walking along a trail. I want to encourage all of my clients to incorporate their pets as well as horses when it comes to their photography sessions. Here are some ways to tackle a successful photography shoot with your beloved animals:

  • Consider having a handler. Having someone who knows your animal and can calmly hold or restrain them while they are not in photos can be a life saver. Outfit changes or water breaks can be tricky when you are the circus ring leader. If your fur baby needs an out or a break, the handler also allows for you to keep doing the photography session vs. taking attention away from the task at hand. They can also help pose or get the attention for forward ears, faces, etc.
  • For horses or livestock, I would recommend having help with grooming ahead of time. Having a change of clothing is really appropriate, because hair does show up on photos and can be challenging for the editing process.
  • Think about what will keep your critter its happiest. If your pup gets anxious in large groups, having them attend your wedding for photos isn’t a great idea. Pivot and have them included in your engagement or bridal portrait session. We have more control over the environment on a smaller scale, and the focus can just be on the task at hand.
  • “A tired dog is a happy dog” – true for horses too. Everyone focuses better when energy is managed. If you know your animal is stressed in specific places or needs a minute to engaged with new surroundings, arriving early is fantastic.
  • Come with positive reinforcement – treats, toys and all of the things your animals love can help you keep their attention, along with making
  • Know their limits. This also comes into play with having a handler. Typically animals have a 15 -30 min time window before things get boring, stressful or they just want to fill their basic needs (eating, sleeping, etc.). Schedule your session with that in mind. A portrait session is usually 30-90 mins, so communicate what your needs are to your photographer.
  • know sometimes things don’t go to plan – and that’s ok! We can always reschedule or pivot. I want everyone to be safe, happy and stress free.
  • Transportation – make sure to have a game plan for how you are going to get your pet to the shoot. I am always happy to meet folks at their local spot, barns, parks, etc. Please mind the weather and make sure you are never leaving your fur kid in the car (we typically never shoot in extreme temps, but all the same, don’t do it). This also goes for hauling horses, etc. Horse trailers are hot and no one needs to be sweaty.

More details to follow, but can’t wait to see your horses and pets at your next photography session!

#equestrianlifestyle #equestrianwedding #equestrianportraits #horses #horsephotos #petphotography #equstriansports #bigeq #dressagehorse #goeventing #dressage #dressagehorse #dogphotos #newenglandphotographer #newenglandweddingphotographer #newenglandequestrianphotographer #bostonphotographer