Senior Portrait Session on a Horse

iKokomo

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I have done a few Senior portraits before, but all of them were more traditional, this one is different. The client said that she has a friend that has a horse that she would like some pictures on.
I have never done a photoshoot with an animal before and I was wondering if I could get some tips and tricks and poses for a portrait session on a horse?

Thanks a lot
 

tirediron

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On a horse, or with a horse? Either way can be challenging, but I would go more for 'with' rather than on. What comes to mind is the client standing, with the horse, head sort of on/over her shoulder, sort of like this (not my image, just as a reference for the general idea). Regardless of the pose, this is made a bit more difficult because you have to attract the attention of the horse at the right moment, and since horses don't always know when the right moment is, you're going to have be patient.

For the mounted shots, make sure you bring a step-ladder so that you can get up off the ground and get a more eye-level perspective. I would ask her to have someone with her who knows the horse and can do some of the chores, so that if the horse gets skittish, or doesn't want to play, she doesn't have to get sweaty and dirty convincing him (You should probably also have a few horse cubes in a pocket to get his attention at the critical moment). If this is going to be 'western style' and she's planning on wearing a hat then you're going to need a reflector to get some light under the brim.
 
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iKokomo

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I was thinking both, on the horse and with the horse!
And thanks for the advice!
 

Designer

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I would suggest that it is the senior that is your primary focus, and the horse is just there. If the horse will just stand in one place, ask the client to pose in different ways on and beside the horse. Even if someone else is holding the horse, just out of the frame. Use your flash if there is harsh sunlight.
 

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Check with the horse owner before using flash. You'd be surprised some of the little things that can frighten a horse.
 

runnah

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Check with the horse owner before using flash. You'd be surprised some of the little things that can frighten a horse.

Good tip.

They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle.
 

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