Spring Photo Shoot Tips
Checklists, vendors, and contracts, oh my! Planning for a photo shoot is no easy task. Throw an animal and mother nature in the mix and you are in for some seriously good laughs. I have a near pathological level of attention to detail, so I put together several posts to cover the less-than-obvious . You may want to bookmark this page so you can easily reference it throughout your planning process.
First, get your photographer booked. If you are in a major metropolitan area, you will have several choices. I started my search years ago beginning with Mathew Seed who is based in Britain. I gathered several barn mates and committed a group but getting the famous photographer state-side was a no go. Then I contacted a few more local artists who either no longer worked in the area or never returned my calls or emails. So I gave up for a while. And then came along Erin with SweetFresno Photography. I found her on Instagram, my favorite app! Next thing I knew, we had a spring photo shoot scheduled.
Then I was onto photo composition planning. Yes, you need to know what you want. Natural and flowing, structured and balanced, or fashionably avante guard--all are options that you need to communicate to your photographer. Not sure what you want? Check out Instagram, Pintrest, and posts on our site, EquestrianLuxeStyle, for inspiration. Once you decide on your basic direction, you will want to work on wardrobe planning, hair/make up, time of day, as well as a grooming plan for your horse.
For Spring photo shoots, flowers are key. Whether you are laid back, or formal, work some gorgeous spring flowers in the mix. Roses, ranunculus, tulips, & peonies are all classic choices for spring. Work with a florist and they will guide you on color choice as well as what flowers are in their growing season and thus, more budget friendly. We had an entire email thread about what colors would work best with my dark brown mare Commit. I'll be honest, this is the decision I fretted over the most. Andrea at Beautiful Wild Design made the process simple and, as you can see here, beautiful.
Next up, hair and make-up. I recommend asking your hair dresser if they are available the day of your shoot. You can go into the salon or see if they would like to join you on site. There will be a price difference, but it is also a break from the wedding season. People are genuinely interested in horses, and let's face it, photo shoots are fun! My hair dresser, who also does make-up (BONUS!), unfortunately had to go out of town the weekend of my shoot. I didn't have a back up plan but probably should have hired stylists off beglammed.com or gone to the Dior counter at Saks because girl, it was HU-MID!! My make-up slid off, my hair frizzed out, & now I know for next time. I took this one for the team y'all!
Outfit choice is key. Go too trendy and you won't like your pic in a few years. You know I'll always recommend the classics, even when you are getting your high school senior photos taken. Nothing says class like the classics. Check out my previous posts--"Let's Rock Your Photo Shoot" will help you decide what to wear & "Photo Shoot Prep" will get you ready for the week before your shoot.
So you've made it to photo shoot day, hollah!! Do not minimize the need for help. You will need someone to help carry grooming buckets, press the app button for the horse whinny (gets their ears up every time!), and to run get water for everyone. Stay hydrated, keep your lip gloss close, and bring more towels than you think you will need. Here are a few not-so-obvious tips:
1) if you wear suede shoes, have them waterproofed or scotch-guarded
2) if you drink water, re-apply your lipstick or lip gloss
3) take a mirror in your groom kit & check you hair and make-up frequently
4) get all of your nails done, fingers and toes, even if it's just a clear or nude coat
5) baby oil gel--this will bring out the fine features on your horses face
6) use hoof polish: black or clear depending on your horse's hoof color because it will dry super shiny
7) have a back-up plan in case it rains. Black background photos, artsy interior shots, or even photos taken from above are beautiful
8) Watch the clover in spring; have a plan for the excessive drool such as towels, photo shop, and (see item #1) waterproof shoes
Last but not least is to have fun. I brought my BFF with me and we made an evening out of it. She is a seriously good sport, loves my horse, and I could not have done it without her. My mare Commit was an absolute dream until hour 2. She made it clear she was no longer interested in her flower garland, the non-existent horse neighing, and wanted her hay. Back to the barn we went with some fabulous film and great memories!