A few months ago I had the pleasure of photographing Tiffany and her horse Spree - short for Willow Creek Es'pris - most horses have a full registered name, and a shortened 'stable' name. Similar I suppose to how we usually call our dumb white cat 'fatty' instead of his actual name ;) Tiffany had a special request to also take some photos of Spree 'at liberty' - running around free without halter or reins - so we shot in the arena at her normal grazing location rather than traveling somewhere unfamiliar or where Spree might escape from.
The weather was mostly grey, and we were working in a plain looking location with trees on one side, and houses and paddocks on the others, so it was a good challenge to create a variety of different shots and looks. I think we did pretty well in the end, cropping in quite tight in most cases so the background wasn't a major part of the scene. I was particularly happy with the top image here - the sky was bright enough that I could blow it out to pure white for quite a different look to the others - after I photoshopped out some pesky power cables in the background!
Spree was fun to shoot at liberty, but of course I relied entirely on Tiffany to manoeuvre Spree around and encourage her to run across the arena for us. This is definitely non-trivial, and i'm sure my 'non-horse' friends don't fully understand the challenges of getting a horse to do anything in particular you want them to do! Luckily Spree was hungry and we had a large bucket of food for motivation! The liberty shots were more action-oriented, similar to event shooting where it comes down to timing the shot to get the prettiest gait - or more often shooting at high frame rate and picking the best one later! Spree seemed to quite like the sound of the rapid-firing camera too, as she would run (canter, i suppose) right at me, swerving away towards the food bucket at the last minute. Good fun!
Information on portrait sessions and pricing is at my equestrian website, www.ndequestrian.com
Other recent portrait sessions: