Equine photography in Wiltshire – Jemima, Rambo and the piano!

This blog has been a while coming but this was one photoshoot we really didn’t want to miss sharing! Its not every day we have a pretty girl in a lovely dress, playing a piano outside a beautiful home in Wiltshire – with her pony cheekily eating apples from a silver platter on top of the piano!

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

In Jemima’s words: “I loved my shoot, it was fun & so different to any photoshoot I have done before, and I love the results! It was such a great experience working with Jo & Nic – photographing horses can be challenging as they get so fidgety, they made sure we got just perfect shots from each part of the session.”

Why have a piano outside on the lawn, with a pony, and a pianist, you may ask??! We can forgive you for wondering!

Those of you who know Nic & I well, will also know that we’re always up for creative, fun or different ideas – which sometimes involve horses inside houses – think anything from a homely kitchen, to stately homes & palaces! As long as its possible and safe – we love running with an idea and creating something different. If any of you out there have a quirky idea – feel free to contact us!

The piano idea came about when we first met Jemima early last year. A talented 14 year old eventer, she was one of our 3 amazing 2017 Young Sponsored Riders, and at our first meeting, her parents Jennifer & Josh came along and we bounced a few ideas around for Jemima’s photoshoot. We mentioned that we’d photographed a horse inside the palace at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Spain a few years ago, and also a horse inside the Great Hall at Crowcombe Court,  with a bride.  Jemima mentioned that she loved playing the piano (second of course to riding Rambo, her pony!) and  Jennifer said that could perhaps use the piano for a shot with the pony. We bounced ideas around, made a plan and set a date, and in August, we headed to the Wyle Valley for Jemima’s shoot.

This session was a part of Jemima’s sponsorship with us, so as well as the piano shot, we were keen to capture the lovely close bond she has with her pony, ‘Jefke’, AKA Rambo. Rambo is a 9 year old Welsh x Thoroughbred who Jemima has owned since 2016, and she clearly adores him! We also wanted to include a few pictures of the family dogs – Smartie, Buzz & Martha, and Rambo’s companion Shetland pony, Cracker. After a few stable shots we headed out into the afternoon sun and used some of the beautiful areas around the family home.

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

It probably goes without saying that everything doesn’t always go to plan on a shoot, and this was the case with the piano shot! We had carefully planned where we wanted to piano to sit on the lawn to accommodate the position of the sun and the light on the house and our models. However – moving a small grand piano across a lawn, even with a few sets of hands, wasn’t that easy! And obviously we didn’t want a broken piano, or an injured helper! In the end, the piano had to sit on a spot we didn’t plan, close to the house. This did throw our plan for lighting, and we had to quickly rethink! We decided to take multiple shots, which we knew we could merge together in post-production to make a final picture. This way we could gain the best of our lighting, combined with the strong sunlight on the house.

Below – a fun behind the scenes phone set of the set with Nic!

horse photographer Wiltshire Jo hansford

The other challenge was getting Rambo to stand close by on his own, while Jemima played the piano. Again – not as simple as it may sounds! I had the idea of a platter of apples – most ponies I know can’t resist a big pile of apples, so it seemed an easy way to keep him on the spot while we took the shot. Inevitably though, in his attempts to down a whole ten apples at once, he managed to push the platter off the piano with apples falling everywhere (see below) – we do sometimes wonder why we work with animals & children?!?

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

Below is the resulting shot – do you like it? The irony of this story is that despite all the planning, ideas, and work it took – I initially didn’t like the shot. Like a lot of artists, I had a vision in my mind of what the shot would be, and this wasn’t it. That said, its grown on me immensely, and we’re thrilled that it also has pride of place hanging inside Jemima’s home!

Horse photographer Wiltshire Jo Hansford

We’d love to hear your comments, and feel free to share this post!

If you’re interested in finding out more about our equine shoots, do contact us for a chat.

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CONTACT

Jo and Nic Hansford are based in Bristol, Bath, Somerset and are available to travel nationally and internationally.

01179535801 | 07876344866

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