Bridal equine photoshoot
This blog has been a while coming with May and June being so busy here, but we’re proud and really excited to share images from our Bridal Equine photoshoot at Crowcombe Court in Somerset this spring!
A little bit about this shoot. Its been a couple of years now since we added equine photography as a new string to our bow, and over the last 13 years Nic and I have shot over 350 weddings together. It’s been an exciting, fabulous journey getting to grips with completely new subject matter, and over Christmas I was reflecting on how amazing it would be to bring these two elements of our work together. I am completely fascinated by the beauty, shape and majesty of the horse – combining this with a bridal shoot in a great location was just too good to resist as a creative opportunity!!
We started planning the photoshoot after Christmas, and looked around for a location that would offer what we wanted – and that would be willing to have some horses on location. Obviously not every wedding venue would want a horse on its front lawn!
We had been approached by one of our equine contacts and friends, Zoe Paramore of Southey Farm about doing a promotional shot of her horse, black Lusitano, Atinado. She mentioned doing it inside the Great Hall of Crowcombe Court, a Somerset wedding venue. For various reasons the shoot didn’t go ahead, but having heard that there was a venue willing to have a horse outside AND inside, I had to ask!! We had done this once before, with our shoot with the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in 2014 – you can see one of the resulting photographs here.
Having met with the team at Crowcombe, who agreed to let us use their beautiful location, we then began looking for horses, models and wedding suppliers. Zoe had mentioned that she had a lovely white Spanish stallion, ‘Miro’, based at her yard in Wellington, and also offered to bring along a couple of other horses – her horse Ati, and black Friesian Zefyr, owned by Trischa Ellis. The offer was too good to resist, so with the horses sorted, we focused on finding 2 ‘horsey’ models for the day. We had photographed Flo Dawes, a young dressage rider and one of our Young Sponsored Riders, several times and we knew she was a complete pro in front of the camera, and beautiful to boot. She agreed, and our second model was Zoe’s gorgeous daughter Charlotte, who loved horses and was in Somerset.
We asked around for local wedding suppliers and before we knew it, we had a fantastic team – dressmaker Lisa Keating Bridal, hairdresser Chris of Fordham Hair Design, makeup artist Nina Norman, florist Emma from Brompton Buds, and headpieces from Hermione Harbutt.
We planned several different ‘looks’ for the shoot – my main motivation was to create some beautiful ‘bohemian’ images of a white horse with a stunning girl in a dress, in a lovely natural setting, showing love and connection, as well as the beauty of both. As we planned the shoot Lisa Keating, our amazing dress maker, came up with a few different dresses so we decided we should diversify and create several different styles. So as well as our whimsical boho theme, we also planned a gold dress to go inside the beautiful historic setting of the Great Hall with Atinado, one of the black horses, and a blue coloured corset and skirt to be worn by Charlotte around the exterior of Crowcombe Court with Zefyr.
When the day dawned, we were hugely relieved that the weather forecast was ‘ok’ – a few possible showers but mainly cloudy – we knew this would give us soft light to work with and in UK terms, this has to be classed as good weather!! The venue’s location is fairly exposed with few covered areas, so we had planned the shoot for late April, just before peak wedding season, yet late enough to have some green on the trees and a few daffodils and spring flowers popping up.
The shoot day itself was brilliant – we wanted an easy-going fun day as well as being productive and creative and as we directed our way through our shoot list with the three horses, our two girls and our amazing team all working away on the set, we were relieved to see everyone having fun!
We hope you like the results, we love them! Inevitably there were one or two shots we wanted that just couldn’t be achieved and in working with horses, you learn to be adaptable and flexible – but so many did come together. One of the favourite moments for me, was Flo wearing the gorgeous Boho gown, in the woodland with Miro….having never met Flo before, this horse seemed to take a shine to having his photograph taken with her, and was so calm and well behaved. Zefyr, who is normally a gentle giant, was less negotiable on the shoot than we expected, but his stubbornness has to be forgiven as he just looks so incredible and majestic with Charlotte in the outdoor shots.
Special mention has to go Atinado – we did have some worries about taking him into the Great Hall of Crowcombe for obvious reasons. In the event, he was incredibly collected and took the whole thing in his stride, if anything after 5 minutes he seemed to just get bored (‘can’t we just do something more exciting now?!’). From an amazing and exciting ten minutes, Ati with Charlotte gave us the shot we wanted. Phew!
We hope you like this blog – please feel free to share it on social media.
If you’re planning a wedding – with or without a horse – we’d love to hear from you! You can message us here, or just email email@example.com.
With thanks to our amazing models Charlotte, Adam and Flo and to our fantastic team of suppliers who gave time and creativity for this shoot! They included:
Crowcombe Court wedding venue
Southey Farm livery
Jo and Nic Hansford are based in Bristol, Bath, Somerset and are available to travel nationally and internationally.
01179535801 | 07876344866