Get ready for your photoshoot with your horse

Styled summer horse photoshoot

Lots of clients ask me how to get ready for their photoshoot. Everybody’s shoot is as individual as the person who has booked it, however there are a few basics you can do to make sure you get the best from your session. 

Getting your horse ready 

Getting your horse clean

It sounds obvious but a sparkling clean horse makes my post-shoot edit so much better. The basic rule is get your horse ready as if you were going to a show. A wash and brush up the night before with a final clean just before the shoot is a great way to start. To plait or not to plait? It’s up to you. Make sure you give yourself enough time, plaits can look fantastic if that’s the look you’re going for.

If we are shooting during the cooler months when your horse is usually clipped, I suggest doing this a couple of weeks before, just so the clipper lines are minimised and the coat looks even.


Consider what you will be using and get cleaning. A leather head collar always looks good but if you think your horse would be happier in a bridle, get that cleaned up too. If we are doing any ridden shots then check over your saddle and work out which numnah you might want to use.

Keeping your horse happy

You know your horse better than anybody, is he a fidget, or does he doze off at the first opportunity? Are there parts of the yard he loves (or hates) or does he get wildly excited about going anywhere near his field? Does he get stressed being taken away from his best friend? All of these need to be considered. If you do decide to keep him in before our session when he would usually be turned out consider lunging him to get rid of any excess energy and definitely feed him. We know all horses are ruled by their stomachs. You don’t want to be standing in a field of tasty grass with a hungry horse who hasn’t eaten while trying to keep his head out of the delicious meal all around his feet (it’s bad enough when they’ve just been fed!).

It really is all about you!

Looking good feeling great

Of course, the danger is that you spend so much time getting your horse ready for your photoshoot you forget about yourself. Please don’t forget about yourself! Allow enough time to take a deep breath, have a cup of tea, sit down and get yourself ready. I always suggest, if it’s possible, having a friend around to help out, an extra pair of hands makes it so much easier and makes sure you can focus on looking fab.

I work with an amazing hair and makeup artist and all my clients who have used her skills have been thrilled with the results, she’s down to earth, friendly, and horsey. If you’d like to find out more message me and I can put you in touch with her or I can arrange it all for you. 


I suggest up to three outfit changes on a two-hour shoot which gives us lots of variety to choose from. When selecting outfits it’s really important to feel comfortable and confident. I love it when people dress up for a session however the most important person is you, this is your photoshoot, and you are the one who will be looking at these photographs in years to come. If casual and low key is what you want then that’s right for our session. If you’re more of a dress up lady (or gentleman!) I have an amazing dress hire company Complete Costumes who give all my clients a 10% discount on any of their amazing period costumes.

Ideas and Inspiration

If you’d like inspiration head on over to my Pinterest boards there are lots of suggestions not only for what to wear but accessories, ideas for manes and tails, locations etc.. If you’ve got your own ideas on Pinterest please share them with me before your shoot. Of course you can always go and have a look at my horse gallery to see what I’ve done before

Beautifully familiar

I’d also suggest having a look around your own yard. I always do this when I arrive but if you’ve already spotted some pretty locations it speeds up that part of the process. Things to look out for:

I love a tree! Big beautiful trees can make a fantastic backdrop or focal point in a shot, 

Wooden gates, good for looking over, leaning on even sitting on (if you’re brave!)

Tree-lined paths or bridleways are also great for walking shots.

A barn with a wide doorway. My black background shots are all done on the yard usually using a barn entrance. I need a space that is large enough for your horse to stand sideways in comfortably with a concrete floor. Don’t worry about what’s inside the building as long as it’s dark I can make it work. It’s fine if you don’t have this, I’m adaptable and have made all sorts of spaces work.

A field with a view, can be worth taking a walk for as it can set your photos in a location you know and love.

Got all that?

I know it’s a lot to take in. Please don’t worry, if you’ve any questions or suggestions please drop me a line. I love chatting about upcoming photoshoots and helping you get ready for your photoshoot is really important to me. Plus I get very excited planning outfits, locations etc.,

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