Ten Steps For A Successful Equestrian Portrait Session

1) Give yourself plenty of time to get you and your horse ready on the day of your scheduled portrait session. Get your horse ready first. A relaxed and freshly groomed horse will make for beautiful portraits.

2) The day of the session it is good idea to lunge or ride your horse. Horses always have more energy when doing something new or different. a good ride the day of your portrait session will help your horse relax.

3) After a good ride or lunge it is time to groom your horse. Give your horse a thorough bath and work out any stains in white areas. Use a detangler to comb out the mane and tail while wet. Make sure their stall is cleaned out. Nothing worse than spending hours cleaning your horse to see them dirty again.

 4) I highly recommend hiring a professional braider. If you prefer to braid your own horse, I recommend practicing your braids prior the session to ensure that your day-of-session braids look their best.  Button braids are the easiest and quickest to do by yourself

5) When using products on your horse stick to one that you have good experience using. Portrait day is not the time to experiment with new products. Use a mane product or hairspray to tame flyaways for a neat appearance. Use hoof oil and body products to achieve extra shine. 

6) If you plan to clip your horse, be sure to do so a couple of weeks prior to your session so that the hair has time to even out.

7) Now that you have your horse ready it is time to get yourself ready. It is good idea to plan in advance what you are going to wear on the day of your Equine portrait session.

8) What disciplines are you involved in Western, English, Dressage, or Hunter/Jumper. Your  special equine attire should be part of your portrait session. Having these outfits cleaned, pressed  and ready to go before your session will add to the beauty of your portrait. Match your attire with you horse’s bridal and accessories.

9) Picking the right colors  for your Equestrian Portrait Session will help make your images pop with beauty and grace. The colors of your outfits  should compliment your horse’s colors. Pick colors that are a few shades darker or lighter than your horse’s color. Bold and dramatic colors work great with Black and gray horses. Grey horses pair best with dark colors  like deep sapphire, emerald, or burgundy. Stay away from neutral colors as they will blend in with your horse. Lighter colors are best for dark horses to contrast their coat. White, light pastels, icy colors, even light vibrant colors work well. If you have a chestnut or Palomino, go for complementary colors in shades of blue or green. Like aqua, teal, royal blue, navy, and hunter green. Or shades of purple like violet or plum.If your horse is brown, Buckskin or a Paint, try dark blues, greens, and reds.

9A) Where is your equine photo session going to take place? At a stable with huge green barn doors and white barn walls?  Or In a meadow with wild flowers  and stone walls. It is important to compliment your outfits with not only your horse’s colors but also the background of the area you will be photographing in. Practice handling your horse, mounting, and dismounting in your outfit of choice. 

10) Getting everything ready for your equestrian portrait session takes time and can be very stressful. Deciding on outfits, where the session is to take place, cleaning tack, grooming your horse are just some of the chores necessary for creating beautiful portraits. We recommend having your hair and make-up professionally done the day of your photoshoot. Even better if your hair stylist and makeup person can come to the barn to help you get ready. This step alone will save you time and stress. Giving you time to relax before the equine session takes place

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