By Rachael Louise Fisher:
In July, I entered a competition to win a photoshoot with the Horse & Dog Photographer, Hereford run by Hereford Equestrian. From about 50 people who submitted pictures of their horses onto the facebook post, my morgan mare Dior was chosen at random as the winner! I was pretty excited as I’ve never won anything like this before!
Mel Betts from the Horse & Dog Photographer got in-touch to set up a date for the shoot. She sent me some ideas for outfits and some information about how to get the most from my photoshoot.
So one warm evening in August I left work early to get Dior ready. I groomed and plaited her and made sure all her tack was clean and my outfits were ready.
The photoshoot was to take place at the yard where I keep Dior at livery, south of Hereford. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but Mel was really friendly and explained everything. We started by having a look around to work out where the best places would be to take pictures. Mel said we were looking for good backdrops, which didn’t create too many shadows as it was such a bright evening. We chose a big tree and a hedge line in the lane, plus an area on the track up to the main yard which also had some trees. In one of the barns there were some stacked round bales which Mel said would work really well too.
First Mel took some individual shots of Dior in her own barn area to get some ‘black background’ images. These are where the photos are sent off to the studio and the black background is painted in afterwards to really show off the subject (Dior!!).
Then we moved around our scouted locations while Mel took a varitey of different photos of Dior and myself in my ‘horse show’ outfit – which is really my dressage attire but less the jacket and hat. At ‘half time’ I changed into a blue dress which I had originally worn as a bridesmade. We went for some more ‘black background’ shots as Mel said the light in the barn was particulalry flattering for skin tones! Then more pictures this time of me riding Dior in my beautiful blue dress.
Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable and fun experience to get dressed up and get some really lovely pictures. Mel was proactive in directing the shoot to get me stood in the best way and in the place which would make the best pictures.
After the shoot, Mel went away and edited all the images. I didn’t realise this process is so detailed! Any stray strands of hay are removed (there were a few of these after perching on the bales!), any marks on the horse are erased, any eye bogies (from the horse!!) or other unsavories are also digitally removed, then the colours and light are carefully balanced and enhanced within each image to create the perfect picture. In the barn there were a couple of large girders holding up the roof which were also edited out of the final images too, plus I noticed some cars which were parked on the track to the yard had also disapeared!
About 2 weeks later Mel came to show me the pictures on a slideshow. I was amazed and delighted with the results. As part of my competition prize I got to choose x5 digital images to share on social media plus a card mounted print. I hope you love my pictures as much as I do!!
If you are considering creating some special memories of your horse or dog then I would totally recommend Mel at the Horse & Dog Photographer.
For more info please see: www.horsephotographerukhereford.co.uk or find on facebook