A few weeks ago I photographed Jody and her horse Kazz, friends with Hayley - the subject of my previous attempt! I'm quickly learning that all horses are unique, and each present interesting challenges to creating nice poses... which includes standing roughly in one spot long enough for a photo, looking anywhere near the camera or their owner when required, and not just ignoring me and eating the grass instead! Jody was great though, and was able to get Kazz to listen to her with relative ease - hopefully the connection between horse and owner comes through in the photos.
It's often a challenge to get the horse to prick up it's ears and look interested, rather than just angry or sleepy! My only 'trick' so far has been to have an assistant (thanks Abby!) hold my shiny gold reflector where I want the horse to look, and scratch on the metallic covering... maybe I should try carrots next time instead..
We shot at the Coatesville pony club, which has nice areas out back by a stream, with overhanging trees and fences and logs to play around with. Jody and Kazz were very patient, and happy to try out a lot of different spots and sit on a variety of things for me. Of course it was also the day of the Coatesville markets next door, so I also had to work to keep road traffic and marketgoers from walking through my backgrounds.
After taking many hundreds of photos, it was a real challenge to reduce them down to a sensible number of selects. I relied on Jody (plus Hayley and Jody's mum!) to help choose the the best horse poses and expressions. I learnt a lot from their comments and am slowly picking up some nuances of horse body language... and it is certainly more complicated than my first lesson of just 'ears forward'! Some interesting comments were about the angle of the body and neck, and not making the horse look small or funny-shaped. For instance, the second photo in this set makes Kazz look quite small, however I really liked the arrangement with Jody on the fence, so in this case the photo stays!
Thanks very much to everyone that helped out with this photo shoot, and the image selection afterwards! Jody and Kazz were great fun to shoot, and I'm happy with what we achieved this time. Of course it's still a learning process and I hope to improve each time :)