It has been a very long time since I posted a blog on here and for once I have something worthy of a post.
I have wanted to try my hand at horse and rider portraits for a while, so I spent the October Half Term week photographing horses and their owners. I picked the autumn as I thought it would provide me with a good opportunity for my first portfolio especially with all those soft and warm tones up for grabs.
The equipment I planned on using was a 135mm f/2 lens and either a 85mm f/1.8 or a 70mm-200 f2.8. So for the first shoot I opted for the 135mm f/2 lens and the 85mm f/1.8. For me personally the 135mm turned out to work really well for the look I was after.
For additional light, I used a 48inch soft silver umbrella with a Godox Whistro flash on a hacked tripod as a light stand. This hack, proved very adaptable to the uneven ground and with small sand bag provided a good balance between portability and weight. However, one shoot I did, this turned out to be impossible due to the wind, so I ended up using bare bulb flash as a last resort.
Initially, my main concerns were how would the horses would react to the flash and would the light stand and umbrella cause any problems. So far these have not caused any issues and the horses have been fine as long as you take your time moving things around.
From the shoots that I have done, only a few threw me curved balls in terms of backgrounds or lack of them. Wooded lanes and paths have worked exceptionally well and provided me with beautiful backdrops that really set the scene when the colours are right.
The main difficulties I have faced are getting horse in the right position that I still need to work on, but for my first attempts I have been really pleased with the results.
I have found that Polo mints can come in handy to encourage the horse to turn slightly or step to the side. Rattling things also can help to get the horses ears to prick, but occasionally horse just don’t play ball.
The canon 70-200 f/2.8 although very versatile, I prefer the look of the 135mm prime
The 85mm f/1.8 works well for the tighter shots, but I just love the 135mm.
Anyway, here are a few examples.
If you have any questions, please contact me and I will do my best to answer them.