At the tail end of last summer we headed to beautiful Painswick to do some equine photography with Rachel and her stunning horse Shimmer.
Rachel was one of our 2018 Young Sponsored Riders, but had a nasty accident at the beginning of her year, so was unable to do her photoshoot. In June 2020 she got in touch, as her parents were in the process of selling her beautiful childhood home, Tocknells Court. She was keen to capture some memories of her with Shimmer at home, before they moved. They had just one month to pack and leave the house, so time was short!
We booked a July date, and cracked on with some planning!
“I had never done a photo shoot before and I was very nervous! I’m so glad that I was brave enough to do this, as I’ve got a completely different, amazing set of photos to treasure now. They show the parts of horse ownership that are not about competing, and the reason why we all got into horses in the first place – because we love them!”
Capturing the beauty
Equine photography for us is always about capturing the beauty and magnificence of the animal, as well as a horse’s bond with its owner. Presence and beauty are definitely things Shimmer has in abundance! Standing at an impressive 17.3 hh, he is an 11-year-old Oldenburg, whom Rachel has owned for 3 years. Rachel tells me he is a bit of a ‘Diva’: “He knows he’s beautiful and he loves attention. I swear when we are out hacking he waits for people we pass to stop and admire him!”
We get that – who wouldn’t stop to admire this towering beauty??
Before the shoot, I spent some time planning ideas with Rachel. One of the key elements of this session was to capture the family home as a backdrop to the photos, as well as Shimmer and Rachel with him. We asked Rachel which image/s were her favourites, after the shoot:
“My favourite image is the one of me reaching up to kiss him on the bank above the house. I think it sums us up really well and it also has the house with all the memories in the background.”
“The 3 shots of Shimmer with the dark background, which we have framed now, are also absolutely stunning. I love the shapes he’s making and they’re a beautiful piece of artwork – but even more special because it’s my own horse!”
“I also love the shot with the reflection from the pond. I hadn’t even thought of doing a shot there! I think both Jo and Nic thought of it immediately when they saw the pond. “
Confidence in front of the camera
Rachel had told me beforehand that she was pretty nervous about the shoot. On the day, the session started off a little frantic, as Rachel’s dog Rupert went missing, chasing after the local wildlife! He soon turned up, and things then fell into place: Rachel said “Once Shimmer and I had both settled into it, it was really enjoyable. I loved doing the shots in the barn as well as the late evening photos, my favourite time of day in the summer. We were up on the bank looking down on the house, it was beautiful.”
We loved all the long, grassy fields around the house, and the long treelined driveway. We added in some lighting to a couple of the evening shots to create some additional drama!
Rachel commented that the shoot has really helped her self-confidence: “An equine shoot is such a lovely way to make memories, to look back on for years to come. It captures the relationship between horses and owners so much better than competition photos, and it’s also a lovely way to decorate your home!
It has also really helped with my self-confidence! Having the horse to concentrate on makes it so much easier to forget about the camera and Shimmer and I have since done another shoot for a friend’s clothing brand, which I never would’ve been brave enough to do if I hadn’t already done this.”
Thank you Rachel, such a great shoot!
If you’re thinking of booking an equine shoot this year, feel free to drop us a line, here.