Why Autumn & Winter Horse & Dog shoots are amazing!

As winter approaches, one of the questions we get asked all the time, is whether we photograph horses and dogs with their owners through the winter months? The answer is yes yes yes, we love autumn and winter shoots as much as we do spring and summer!

winter equine shoot Jo Hansford

winter equine shoot Jo Hansford

Why you may ask, isn’t the UK cold and drab in the winter months? We know all of you love summery shots with your fourlegged friends, whether horses, dogs or both –  you have visions of yourselves, standing in the long green grass with the sun on your back, holding your steed (or pooch), in his or her shiny summer coat! But thinking that this is the only time of year you can get amazing shots is wrong! On the contrary, some of our most loved portraits have been created in autumn or winter….


For a start, this is the UK, and the weather can be as unpredictable in the summer, as in winter – there just is no guarantee, regardless of time of year! Some years, we get rained on as much in the summer as we do through winter months…..frequently a wet weather forecast in UK means a few showers, which we can work around! If you have an indoor arena or a big enclosed barn at home or on your yard, we can also set up a few lights inside, to create some beautiful, fine art portraits.

equine winter shoots Jo Hansford

Equine winter shoot Jo Hansford

And we honestly believe, you can’t beat a gorgeous, crisp fresh wintery day, with a little rolling mist in the distance, it just creates a magical atmosphere. As the sun is lower in the sky in winter, we’re also not battling with harsh midday sun, instead we have a lot of soft even light to work with, which is very flattering for human models especially! As the nights draw in,  another big advantage with a winter session, is that the sun sets much earlier. In summer, we often have to wait until 8-9pm  to hit the ‘golden hour’ of a glorious sunset and beautiful backlighting, which we love – but which makes for a very late shoot time. In autumn this is 5-6pm, and after the clocks change, 3-4pm, so you can capture everything from soft afternoon light to sunset within a couple of hours from 2-4pm. If you’ve booked a winter shoot, watch out for where the sun sets on your stables or yard and we can time the shoot to get some gorgeous sunset shots!

winter equine shoot Jo Hansford

winter equine shoot Jo Hansford

Wintertime especially, also opens up the opportunity for a whole new wardrobe of different textures and colours. We love the fabrics and styles winter affords – tweed, leather, wool, fur – think Barbour jackets, hats, scarves, soft warm jumpers and gorgeous long leather boots! We always give you advice on clothing ahead of your shoot – and in winter, our advice is always wearing layers, so you’re warm but not bulked by a big coat or thick jacket. See below, a few great examples of clothing which has kept our models warm yet still looking beautiful, in winter attire!

winter equine shoot Jo Hansford

winter equine shoot Jo Hansford


Finally if your horse is clipped in winter, we suggest clipping him or her a week or ten days before the shoot, allowing time for the coat to settle down and get its usual shine back – he or she will then look as great as in the summer!

winter equine shoot Jo Hansford

If you’re thinking of booking an equine shoot feel free to drop us a line here, we would love to hear from you. Our standard full equine photoshoot is 2-3 hours and includes a first 10×7″ mounted print @ £150, we also offer a shorter shoot of 90 mins with @ £85.

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

01179535801 | 07876344866


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