I’m so excited to introduce Naturally Vivid Photography’s first Equestrian Ambassador, Shannon-Marie! Shannon-Marie has been riding with Holly Chester and Kevin Bruce, based out of the gorgeous CB Farm in Montgomery County, for 13 years and has been involved in the non-profit sector of the horse industry for much of her riding career. Equally beautiful and talented, Shannon-Marie is also one of the most genuine girls I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. At CB farm, she has the pleasure of riding “Here Comes The Sun” aka Sunny, and oh my gosh is she lucky! Sunny has the most gorgeous, floaty trot you’ve ever seen and is downright stunning! These two will go so far in their riding careers, no doubt about it.
Shannon-Marie and Sunny’s equine portrait session was one of my favorite shoots to date with all that gorgeous evening sun and summer heat. Click play on the first image below, and enjoy the full set from this awesome equestrian portrait session.
8 Must-Do's to Rock Your Equine Portrait Session
Getting ready to have photos taken with your horse means twice the preparation! To rock your equine session and get gorgeous images, follow these must-do steps before your session:
Before you book your session make sure to check with your instructor or barn owner to ask if it would be okay to have a photographer come to your barn for a photo session.
Scout out pretty locations on your barn’s property that we would be able to take your horse to photograph at. An area with lots of trees, a stream or pond, tree-lined driveway or a wide open field usually looks the best, and having an idea of where we are going to go will save time at your session and allow us to have more time for the actual photo-taking part of the session.
The day before your session, give your horse an awesome bath and getting them as clean as possible, as if they are going to a show the next day, and make sure to trim their whiskers, ears and fetlocks!
Make sure their mane is pulled to the proper length and tail is clean as well.
Keep your horse as clean as possible overnight and before the session so right before the session you can shine their coat up and be ready to go.
Give your bridle or leather halter a good cleaning the day before so it will look brand new in the pictures.
In regards to what you should wear, bringing a mix of casual outfits and slightly more dressy outfits will give good options for us to choose from. Also, make sure to choose colors that will stand out next to your horse’s coat, so if your horse is a chestnut definitely avoid any brown clothing.
Bring a parent (especially if you are under 18) or a friend to your session to help get your horse’s ears up for the pictures. If you are under 18, your legal parent or guardian will need to be present at the session to sign the photo release form and contract for you.
Lastly, always fill me in on any quirks your horse has, such as if they are more spooky or bomb proof, and if they get nervous on certain areas of the property. We want the session to be fun not only for you, but for your horse too! A happy, relaxed horse makes for a happy, relaxed client and gorgeous photos!
During high school I got my very first DSLR, a Nikon D3000 and was mostly just playing around and experimenting, not really creating anything worth noting. Then came my AP Art class where I had to choose a concentration to work on, which meant picking a story, a theme, or a style for a photograph series. I struggled for a while trying to pick something I could do well until I realized I should pick something that only I could really excel at. So since I had been riding horses for about 11 years and was passionate about it, I decided to do a photography series that could capture the connection between horse and rider. Since capturing the images below, my love and passion for photography has skyrocketed and moved me to wanting to capture the same magic with my camera every day since. So here you will find the photo series that started it all and led to Naturally Vivid Photography.