YOUR PREP GUIDE
PREPPING YOUR HORSE
Your horse NEEDS be clean for your session! Bathing is recommended but not required. If it's too cold to bathe, use a horse vacuum or a shop vac to ensure your horse is clean.
You want to make sure your horse is free of dirt and stains. Some stains can be hidden in photoshop if they cannot be removed, but the less staining there is to remove the easier for me to create your gorgeous image.
If you bathe PLEASE ensure your horse is DRY before the session.
Clean out nose, ears, and the "eye goop" from the sides of the horses eyes with a damp rag.
Mane and tail should be brushed, dirt free, and bridle paths should be tidy.
If you bathe the day before your session, please put a sheet and/or sleazy on your horse to help keep them clean and cut your final prep grooming time down.
CLIPPING: If you clip your horse, please clip legs, and under the jaw and chin with a 10 blade 3 - 4 days before your session. The day of the session clip the inside of the ears, eye, and muzzle whiskers. You can use a horse shave razor for the muzzle. If your horse does not tolerate his ears being clipped, you can use Veet Sensitive inside the ears to remove the hair safely. If you choose to use Veet, wipe a thick layer of Veet inside the ear with a dry rag, being careful NOT to get any on the rim or outside of the ears (it will take ALL the hair off). Leave on for 3-4 minutes, any longer and your horse can burn. Wipe the Veet out of the ears with clean dry rags. Then, rinse the ear thoroughly with a clean wet rag, ensuring you get ALL of the residue out of the ear. Dry thoroughly with a new clean, dry rag.
GROOMING PRODUCTS: I have several grooming products that I use to create that show ring ready look. For shampoo and conditioner, I prefer to use Equifuse Products. You can purchase Equifuse Products at most tack shops, or Here. I like the Rehydrinse™ 1-Step Coat Protector + Conditioner to spray on manes, tails, and the body just after the bath while they are still wet. For shampoo and conditioner, I prefer the CFS™ Concentrate + Paste Horse Shampoo 1 lb, and CitraCreme™ Deep Conditioner + Rehydrant 16 oz. When the horse is dry I use Shine™ Perfect + Shine Spray 32 oz for a lasting shine. The day of the shoot I prefer to coat the horse in Show Sheen or World Champion Pepi just before we shoot and wipe with a clean dry rag. Cowboy Magic Detangler is excellent on manes and tails that tend to be frizzy or hav flyaways. For a great muzzle, eye, and inside the ears enhancer I like Silverado Face Glo
It goes without saying that a horses hooves should be clean and either freshly trimmed or shod and neatly presentable before a photoshoot. Chipped feet with jagged edges WILL ruin your overall look. Please schedule your farrier at least 1-3 weeks before your session. You are more than welcome to put on hoof polish, but it is not a necessity.
Please ensure that all tack you are wanting to use for your session is properly cleaned and polished, and fits properly. Dirty and/or ill fitting tack will ruin your overall look.
For Black Background portraits I have photography halters that are suitable for any horse and easily edited out if you want your horse to look natural.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
We don't all have access to our dream barn, I get it! However, an appropriate location is everything when it comes to sessions. Even if you are having your session done at a boarding barn, there are things you can do to ensure we have a clutter free area to work!
Simple barns and simple pastures are often the BEST.
Barns should be picked up and free from debris. Alleyways should be clean, swept, and anything hanging in the alleyway should be taken down for the duration of the session. We will be using the alleyway for your black background photos!
Fences should be clean and well taken care of. Pastures, if possible should be clean and mowed. If you do not have an appropriate location to do the photoshoot, consider hauling your horse to a pretty public grounds, or if local, I'm more than happy to accommodate you and your horse at my facility providing your horse has a current negative coggins and is UTD on vaccinations.
Timing And Lighting
Time waits for no one, including me!
When shooting...time IS of the essence. Being late, or not ready at the session start time can cause us to lose optimal lighting, which can ruin your photos.
If your session is an evening session we have about 1 - 2 hours before the sun is gone. Sometimes you can stretch to about 10-15 minutes after the sun has set, however photos don't always have the best quality then.
If you have a morning session it can be a lot of "hurry up and wait" and then a "rush" into the session as the light changes so quickly as it moves up over the horizon.
Therefore, it is best to have yourself, and your horse ready and waiting by the start of the session.
It's always a good idea to have 2 or more extra helpers.
They will be critical players for your shoot to help get ears,
place feet properly, run your horse around for action shots, or hold the horse while you post with him.
PLUS, it makes it 1000X more fun!
NOW FOR YOU!
If you're like me, you aren't the greatest at doing your hair or makeup. While it is NOT required, I highly recommend scheduling a hair and makeup appointment two weeks from the date of your session if possible so that you KNOW you'll be able to get it done. Make sure you schedule with plenty of time in between your appointment and our session.
You want your makeup to be heavier than you would normally apply it, and hair on point! Don't worry about blemishes, I will touch up blemishes, smooth skin, and highlight your best assets. After all, you deserve to look like you ooze confidence, class, and beauty!
Don't have fancy dresses? No problem! I have five STUNNING flutter dresses that will make you feel like a GODDESS! If you would like access to my client closet, just let me know!
READY TO BOOK?
If you're as excited as I am, with a million different cool ideas running through your head, click that button below and let's get you and your steed booked for the most fun session you will ever have!
Each of my packages contains a large amount of RELEASED, High Resolution Images, printing rights, and more! Enjoy the buy now pay later option with Klarna! Just click on Klarna on the payment page and enjoy splitting your session into payments. There's no reason you can't have EVERYTHING you want and making payments makes it easier!