Want to know something funny? I was nervous as all get-out when the portrait session date rolled around to head out to LLL Quarter Horses.
Don't get me wrong, I get giddy-nervous before every session. I have my routine of jamming out to the latest tunes that speak to me, and mentally go through visualizing a bomb session with my client. It's how I ease my creative photography jitters.
But this one was more than creative jitters. While there was a TON of those, there was a joyful anxiety of photographing two people I really admire!
We captured a lot during their session - and they were so much fun, putting up with my ideas, prompts and all over craziness (I get super excited during sessions. When the creativity hits, I revert to the likeness of a crazed toddler full of excitement)!
Starting with Black Background Portraits
While the sun was blaring down hard with not a cloud in the sky (go figure, my luck!), we started with some classic black background portraits of them with a couple of their quarter horse mares. I love the look of these classic & timeless images. BBG portraits are a pretty universal look. They can be rustic or modern, and are very simplistic. These look great on a glossy metal print for your wall or desk, and can stand out as a woodblock images on a bookshelf. You'll find your eyes being drawn to them, no matter where they are placed.
The mare with the flaxen mane is "This Girl is Wicked", aka Ester.
The red roan mare is "Loving Her is Red", aka Pearl. Both very photogenic beauties!
Find simplicity with outfit choices
Let me just say, Kit knocked the outfit selection outta the park! Simplicity is best and she coordinated both of their outfit choices great! The solid, bold colors really set them apart for the black background images. The colors go great with both of their horses and kept the look classic and clean. Their outfits for the pasture portraits were beautiful too! Doc's outfit tied in the colors of Kit's beautiful cardigan just perfectly!
When selecting outfits for your portrait session, simplicity is always best (right alongside comfort). Don't go matchy-matchy, but rather coordinate. If you have a favorite jacket, wear it. And find ways to coordinate the colors into everyone else's outfits. I mentioned comfort - it's essential. If you're uncomfortable in your outfit choices, it shows. I'll say that time-and-time-again. It's also something you will find mentioned in my session prep and session planning.
Sunshine & location choices
After creating some classic portraits, we headed out to the arena to capture some riding photos while waiting for the sun to settle a bit more. We wanted to save the best golden hour light for their pasture portraits.
When planning a session, we will talk about what images you are wanting - whether black background, confirmation, movement/interacting or portraits, and what you have in mind as the end goal for your portraits. From there, we will plan the session start time accordingly, with sunshine and type of light being a big factor. Black background images can be done almost any time of day. Outdoors, not so much. Besides trying to miss the high point of heat for the day, we will want to skip the hard shadows midday lighting offers. Sessions are best either early morning or late evening.
In the arena we captured some more portraits, but we also had fun with some movement! Of course, we messed around with a little bit of roping too. As you can see, the sunlight changed depending on if I was photographing looking towards one end of the arena, with the golden sunshine filtering through the other end of the arena. That golden goodness is a photographer's dream!
We ended the evening in their back pasture, capturing the golden light on their westward hill. Still not a cloud in the sky, but the golden colors were beautiful! We nabbed portraits of just them & their pup, Pebbles, along with a little trail riding, and some cattle chasing. Boy what a great night it was!
Photographing people and their horses are some of my favorite things to do. Whether its classic equine portraits, the daily farm & ranch life, or having some creative fun horseback, we will create images, and you'll enjoy an experience, you won't forget!