Preparing Your Horse

    Spend some time hanging out with your horse in the location where the session will take place so they will feel at ease spending time there.
•    Day of the Session: Relax your horse! If you are able, ride your horse the morning of your shoot date. If you don’t have time to ride, you can also lunge them before you start getting them ready. This helps get out that extra energy so they will be calmer in front of the camera.
•    Plan to give your horse a bath on the day of the photo session but give enough time to make sure they are completely dry before the session starts. Horses with lots of dirt under their coats tend to appear dull in photographs. Pay attention to the head area, as that is where I’ll be focusing - clean around their eyes, nose, muzzle and ears. Pro Tip:  Keep a towel, brush and fly spray nearby.
•    Clean your bridle and shine your bit. 

Preparing the Location

    Remove distracting or miscellaneous elements from the barn aisle. These help with decreasing editing time after the photo is taken. 
•    Have a broom handy to sweep the bar aisle if needed.
•    Many times an actual black backdrop will be used.  This is attached to the barn sides of the alleyway.


Holiday-Themed Black Background Session
•    A majority of these are headshots, but we still will see the top line, shoulder, chest.
•    One of the best things you can do to ensure a good holiday image is to practice! Spend some time desensitizing your horse to holiday themed props. 
•    In addition to a wreath or garland, you can choose to add other holiday themed accessories. Craft stores and online equine merchants have many options available. Look for colorful ribbons, holiday garlands, and ready-made horse holiday apparel such as Santa hats, sleigh bells, and reindeer antlers. 

Outfits 

•    Families: Don’t be matchy-matchy! Instead, choose complementary colors.
•    Colors: Earth tones, textures, and solid colors are always a good choice. Look for colors that are a few shades darker or lighter than your horse's color. Pro Tip: Avoid patterns.
•    It's also a good idea to try adding layers in your outfit to provide visual interest. Pro Tip:  Wear horse safe shoes.
•    Black and gray horses can easily pull off bold and dramatic colors. Grey horses pair best with dark colors like deep sapphire, emerald, or burgundy. A black or dark colored horse looks great with many colors; red, magenta, pink, ivory, white, blue and green. Stay away from neutral colors as they will blend in with your horse. Pro Tip: Black is not suggested
•    Lighter colors are best for dark horses to contrast their coat. White, light pastels, icy colors, even light vibrant colors work well.
•    Bay horses: bright jewel tones like pinks, reds, blues and purples
•    If you have a chestnut or Palomino, go for complementary colors in shades of blue, green, aqua, teal, royal blue, navy, hunter green, shades of purple like violet or plum. 
•    If your horse is brown, Buckskin or a Paint, try dark blues, greens, and reds.


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