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My Approach To Equine Product Photography

So, my philosophy is basically this...

Research, Plan, Set-up & Capture. 

Notice something about that philosophy? It is heavily focussed on what goes on before I even pick up the camera. 
I like to know everything I can about a brand before I shoot it so that I can capture the brands values and point of difference.

 There are different photographic techniques that I employ to convey different emotions and appeal to different audiences. Sound silly? Let me break it down. 

PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLE

Fine Art

This is where the photographers vision comes first and work goes into making that vision a reality. With this comes planning and direction. While I’m in the research stage I think about a brands values, what I need to include to convey those values 

- Do I need a model? 

- What breed of horse would suit this brand?

- What location would be best?

These photos are the ones that catch people’s eye and they are great for pairing with blogposts, the front page of your website, or instagram posts. 

My love of what the fine art film industry produces lead me to try
wedding photography where I learned how to capture the best of people

Photojournalism

Where reality happens first and the photographer captures it.

I have a quote from my favourite poet Mary Oliver that encapsulates this perfectly 

“leave some room in your heart for the unimaginable” 

I can’t possibly plan for every single moment. Some things just happen and I like to be prepared and on the lookout for these moments, like this one:

WHAT LIGHTING I USE

Full sun

Perfect for products like horse rugs, horse tack, and action shots for professional horse rider & trainers.

I like my whites to be clean & bright and my shadows to be free from undertones so that the image is as true to how the human eye sees it in real life.

People are used to seeing this type of photo so it is more relatable. 

Evening/Morning Backlit Sun

Suited for brands that focus on the emotional aspect of horse ownership

Caring for your horse with supplements, veterinary care, and pet insurance can elicit some strong emotions 

Soft backlit lighting where the sun wraps around the subject encapsulates those emotions and communicates how we feel towards these beautiful animals.

Backlit also works well for any model shots for clothing brands. Backlighting with clean light creates beautiful skin tones that is very flattering for people.

Attention To Detail

We ask a lot of horses on these shoots. The final photos look the best when we get as many pretty pony elements in there as we can:

- Ears forward
- Feet square,
- Eyes open but relaxed 
- Mouth closed but not clenched
- Manes & tails where they should be. 

These things don’t occur together on accident very often and it can take a team of people working to get all these things happening at once. 

My approach includes a lot of direction at times. If something is not looking quite right (flyaway hairs, smudges) I will walk over and touch it up.

Horse Know How

Working with uncooperative horses is kind of a specialty of mine. In my horse training days one of my favourite kinds of horses were the ones who had float loading issues. 

Although I tend to be more picky these days with the horses I use for branding shoots, it’s never out of the question that a horse will have a brat attack mid session and become difficult. 

In order to continue with the shoot and still get good shots, it’s important to know what the horse needs in order to be as relaxed as possible. This could mean:

- Having a break to have a feed

- A quick lunge 

-Bringing another horse friend over to stand just out of shot 

- In the worst case using a herbal calming paste (this hasn’t occurred yet but I’m just waiting for the day)

Communication

Between horse owners, location owners, and brand owners (and anyone in between) /both/ before, during and after the shoot - this is the key to making sure all involved are happy chaps.

Brand owners may choose to come with me to the shoot or they may be far far away. entrusting me to carry the shoot out with my team so before the shoot I want to be crystal clear with brand owners about what is involved in the shoot and how we are going to execute it. 

During the shoot I’m in constant communication with all involved about what I want to happen and how it is looking. Sometimes this is by an involuntary squeal when I get an awesome shot but I like to keep everyone in the loop - shoot days are such a team effort!

CLICK HERE to get in touch with Bridie about your product or brand photoshoot today



 

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