Introducing the perfect showcase

 

 

You might have seen my recent video on my Facebook page that I just couldn’t wait to film, so that I could share my latest addition to the product catalogue – my gorgeous photo albums!

I’d been delaying getting album samples for some time as I’ve been wanting to find the perfect product for you all, so when I put together my demo book and sent it off to be made, it was with both excitement and trepidation. Now, there are a number of options available on these, but I have chosen what I believe to be the perfect finish to compliment my style of editing, and also provide a beautiful final product that you will want to look through time and again.

When the package arrived, I was firstly impressed with how fast it arrived with me (coming from Germany I had expected it to be 10-14 days, but it arrived within the week!) so no long waiting times. It was very safely packaged, and I was a bit nervous when I got to the gift box. I needn’t have worried, it was every bit as tactile and fabulous as I’d hoped. With a smooth matte finish, and soft padded cover, it’s a product that you will love to hold.

Images can start from the inside cover as I have done with the sample book, or I can start images from the right page and leave the inside cover clear if you would prefer. These albums allow 100% customisation for your requirements, and I have full creative licence over how your images will be laid out so you can rest assured your final album will be exactly as you’d imagined it.

The pages are supported by a cardboard substrate, resulting in a luxurious strong finish, and I honestly think I could flick through them for days on end and you wouldn’t see the wear you find with normal papers. On top of this, your album is lay-flat bound, meaning that you can have one photo that crosses from one page to the next, but you won’t get any seams or breaks in the image. I love this, as it gives great flexibility with your layouts, with no fear of a crease ruining the aesthetic.

Albums start from 10 pages (5 spreads) and I suggest using around 20 – 28 images for this number of pages, so that your images don’t get too cluttered. As a guide, my sample album contains 24 photos. My standard offering of album size is 19 x 19cm or 28 x 28cm, however there are landscape and portrait options available which I can provide pricing for should you wish. You can add extra pages up to a maximum of 36 (18 pages).

This album will come with me to all photoshoots so if you’d like to see and feel the quality, don’t just take my word for it, I absolutely invite you to take a look for yourself!

My only regret? I wish I’d gotten the images of me and Rio in the album instead!

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Caitlin, Saffron & Bea, Chelmondiston

 

A couple of months back, when it was all warm and sunny (nothing like today!) I had the pleasure of meeting Caitlin, mum Hanna, adorable pooch Bea, and Caitlin’s childhood pony Saffron. We had a fab support team on the day, prepared for outfit changes and trying to get those ears forward! I do love it when it becomes a group affair!

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Hanna contacted me back in April to arrange a gift voucher for Caitlin’s birthday, and I was super excited when I found out that Saffy was not only a Welshie, but palomino! Call me cliche, but I’ve always wanted a palomino, and of course I have a soft spot for Welsh ponies. If that wasn’t enough, their story together is wonderful too.

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Caitlin has had Saffy as long as she can remember, and for a pony in her mid twenties she was certainly not short of character or energy! Hanna rescued her from the meat man at Cambridge market around 15 years ago, and they’ve never looked back. She’s taught several youngsters to ride properly, and loves to get out hacking, especially where there’s water involved, and from what I’ve heard, can still give her buddies a run for their money when there’s a stubble field to play on! Saffy has also played her responsible pony part though, and will be the sweetest when you put a little person on her. Sounds like my perfect princess pony!

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We did try to get a photo of Saffy with her Twister lolly, as she used to steal them when she was growing up! She wasn’t going to perform her trick for us on the day though, much to our disappointment, and I think Caitlin’s surprise! It’s always good when we can have a play around with slightly different images, and despite the grass still being a little damp, Caitlin was game to try a bit of an alternative angle… Bea even managed to sit with the girls for a minute so we could get her in too!

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We had a perfect day, with some gorgeous open fields to play in, and I couldn’t finish my blog without a little mention of Bea the Jack Russell who came out to play too. She was so sweet, and we all had a lot of fun, not to mention even more of a giggle towards the end!

Thank you ladies for having me, and I look forward to getting your images & cushion out to you!

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Behind the Lens – Badger the Percheron

Lots of things go on behind the scenes here, and not just the obvious photo editing and product ordering. As part of my branding, there were lots of decisions to make, and one of these was naming my photo packages! I wanted to get away from the usual package classifications, and go for an equine theme (naturally!) Whilst I already had images in my portfolio of shetlands, welsh D’s & warmbloods, I suddenly realised whilst editing my website graphics that I hadn’t photographed any percherons whose image I could use!

Cue the wonderful Facebook horsey community, one model call later and I had found Badger – a retired young man who is now eating away his days as a very handsome lawnmower.

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Unfortunately Badger’s ridden career ended prematurely after he was diagnosed with kissing spine, and between him and Andrew’s own bad back, they decided to call it a day and just enjoy each other’s company! Sarah kindly brought Badger in and spruced him up for me, and Badger did a super job, with those ears coming forward perfectly. He was a real gentle giant – I’ll never call Rio wide again! My favourite moment was seeing Badger turned out with his friends – if only we’d taken the camera down to the field that day, they all had a massive hoon around the field, with Badger wanting to prove that his back can’t stop him having a good time!

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Thank you again to Sarah for having me, and to Andrew for letting me borrow your gorgeous boy! He looks very at home on the website!

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Sarah, Silver & Jeffrey, Bentley

Last year I ran a competition to win a photoshoot, and the lucky winner was Sarah with her two handsome boys, Silver & Jeffrey. Just down the road from me, Sarah’s livery is on a gorgeous apple orchard – one I used to ride around as a child! It was wonderful to be able to come back, and provided a perfect backdrop.

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Silvern Crown is 21 years young, and has been with Sarah since he was just four years old. He has stunning bloodlines, of an old English line – the Crabbet Arabians – and was bred by the Duchess of Rutland of Belvoir Castle. He certainly holds an air of royalty about him!

Silver used to be out and about with Sarah on the showing circuit, and would often see his brothers. They were also no strangers to a bit of dressage, competing up to Medium together, and even winning a one day event! It sounds like he has turned his hoof to a bit of everything – if only he didn’t keep eating his bridles (6 at the last count, Sarah??!)

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Nowadays the boys keep Sarah sane; having two young children, the yard is a bit of a retreat!

Jeffrey is a totally different character altogether, and boy does he know he’s handsome. He joined the family 7 years ago, and is now in his prime aged 11. Once he’d had a quick check of my camera, he soon figured out the game, and forward popped the ears. With a very posh name like Rushton Bali Prince you’d be forgiven for thinking that he too is of royal descent. Sadly we don’t know as much about his heritage so it will remain today’s mystery! All I can tell you is that, like Rio, he has an awfully girly neigh!

Sarah and Jeffrey have been out together doing cross country and showjumping in the past, which is something that hopefully they can get back to soon, and Sarah tells me she has learnt a lot from him. In turn, she has become a much braver rider, and they’re a great team together, when he’s not trying to eat people’s fingers.

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I had a great time meeting you all, and look forward to seeing you get back out and about soon Sarah! Thank you for having me!

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Togs in Tidmarsh

Raspberry and I took a day trip to Tidmarsh last month, where we caught up with fellow equine photographers Rose Lewis, Katie Mortimore and Louise Groom. You can tell it’s going to be a good day when the only delay on the M25 is a mere 15 minutes and still moving at 30mph!

Rose had kindly offered to arrange a client and location for us to all meet at for an afternoon of photographing and exchanging ideas. Unfortunately our original model Ed had an accident and was rushed into the vets – I hope he’s on the mend now Michelle! Luckily Becky and Holly came to the rescue with Breeze and Gypsy, and we caught up with them after a spot of lunch ready for some shoot time.

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It was so interesting seeing how the other ladies worked on shoot, and a fantastic opportunity for me to improve on your photoshoot experience and make my job even better moving forward! I’m very lucky to have found a group of photographers who enjoy sharing knowledge, and helping one another out, which can be very tough when there’s so much competition out there. It’s also great fun when there are other photographers to catch you in action – Goofy decided this was a great time to come over and join in with the advice-giving. Thanks to Katie for this goofy image of me!

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The best thing about the day was learning, and despite there being four photographers in the same location, shooting the same subjects, it’s been great to see the different results. It’s also this difference in final images that prompts me to encourage you all to choose the right photographer for you! My clients choose me for the images I produce, in my style – that’s not to say that you will all want images that look like this, and that’s OK! Life would be pretty boring if everyone liked the same things. If in doubt, pop me a message, have a chat, and we can take it from there.

It was also the perfect excuse to test out my wonderful new bit of kit, and get to grips with my camera mount to allow me to record your photoshoot experiences. You can see the footage below:

 

Sorry ladies – you’re all in front of the camera this time! I even got some snaps of Katie, Rose and Louise making friends with everyone on site too.

The brainstorming hasn’t ended here though, we still keep in touch regularly and support one another, and I’m so pleased to have an amazing group of people I can turn to for help, advice and a good old natter! It’s all about the collaboration, not the competition – we are each our own USP, and I love it!

Raspberry and Dollsberry even posed for their own photograph at the end of the day – before deciding that posing was far too much like hard work!

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Fashion Friday – Apt Cavalier

Recently I spoke to Sarah Johnstone of Apt Cavalier, to find out a bit more about the brand. From keeping comfy at the yard, to looking super smart out competing, the brand focus is to combine function and fashion, and it does a super job!

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With factories based right here in Britain, you can buy knowing you are supporting our own economy, which is something I love. I also love their strapline – winners wear Apt Cavalier – because we all want to be winners, right? Whether that’s out showing or just tacking up and getting in the saddle!

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The AC performance skins are lightweight, and ooze quality in both appearance and performance. In practical terms the tops encourage oxygen flow to muscles, whilst transferring perspiration away from your skin. The sports mesh panel at the back relieves that sweaty back problem when out on the cross country course under your body protector, and on top of all of this, you can match it with a smart pair of jeans or jods to be photoshoot ready in a jiffy!

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Sarah was inspired by her own cross country rounds coming back feeling hot, sweaty and red in the face, desperate to get her body protector off, and has enlisted multiple riders throughout development to test the product – all of whom have fallen in love with it!   apt-cavalier-essential-saddle-cloths-1498213680SC-1

As well as this, AC provide performance leggings, t-shirts, jackets, gilets, wintery woolly hats, and even saddle cloths so you can dress your horse up too.

You can find out more about Apt Cavalier, or buy your own at the links below:

https://www.aptcavalier.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AptCavalierEquestrian/

https://www.instagram.com/aptcavalierequestrian/

Thanks to Sarah for speaking to me, watch out for the next feature with Lydia of LD Equestrian next month!

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Me and Rio strut our stuff

After weeks in the making, spending time preparing Rio for his time in the spotlight, and nowhere near enough time thinking about my own outfits, at the end of last month, we welcomed Gemma to the yard for our very own photoshoot! Three baths, 2 clipping sessions and strategic rugging in the days beforehand, Rio was looking beautiful.

I never have a second thought about telling you all not to worry about your shoot – whether you’re worrying about your outfit, your horse misbehaving, the weather, or just don’t know what to expect. That didn’t stop me from experiencing last minute nerves, even though I knew we would have a fab time!

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Once Rio had got through his initial munching of the plentiful grass around the yard, getting me a bit warm in the process, we managed to get some sensible shots from him. Number one tip learned – have a tissue with you to dab at shiny spots on your face! After we headed out and had some fun in the long grass, we went back into the barn for some quiet time and some cuddles, resulting in my absolute favourite image of the shoot.

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I had flower garlands to hand (watch out for these to pop up in some of my own shoots) and Rio did a great job of posing with the help of the All Ears Selfie app. He was particularly fond of the donkey noise! I’m pretty sure he was almost falling asleep by this point, so we decided it was time to head out and try some ridden shots as he was clearly nice and relaxed.

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The boy did me proud, and stood like a total rock whilst I wobbled around on the straw bales stacked in the jumping arena to get on him. I’m just so graceful! He posed patiently whilst I lounged all over him and gave him lots of cuddles, and even popped in a bit of fun when he stepped up on the straw bales stacked up out on the stubble field!

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All in all, we had a fantastic time on the other side of the camera, and I love the results. Thank you Gemma – I can’t wait to return the favour on the weekend!

Gemma is an equine portrait photographer, and country wedding photographer, covering mainly Suffolk and Bedfordshire. If you’d like to know more about Gemma you can find her at https://www.heelsandhorseshoes.com or on Facebook and Instagram.

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Fashion Friday – SXC

Welcome to this week’s Fashion Friday – today’s spotlight is shining on SXC, or Super X Country. But I’m not a cross country rider, I hear you shout. That’s ok my lovely readers – Becci is also constantly developing new and wonderful everyday clothing.

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SXC has been running for 7 years, and Becci originally launched the business in 2010 to fill a gap in the market for technical custom cross country colours. You can rest assured that any pieces you purchase will have been tried and tested, as alongside running SXC, Becci has two event horses of her own, whom she is out competing most weekends! If you are looking for cross country colours – look no further!

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I particularly like the look of the SXC cowel neck, and paired with these breeches makes for a perfect autumn photoshoot option. I love the thumb holes in the sleeves for that extra bit of snuggle! It doesn’t have to end with you though, you can also get matching sets to give that bit of synchronisation between you and your horse.

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Becci tells me that her favourite piece is the SXC contour breeches. Designed to be super soft, and comfortable to wear all day, these breeches are high waisted and really hold you in. Who doesn’t like looking a bit slimmer in breeches?? Yes please! They also have a phone sized pocket, which nowadays I personally think is a must. Made with performance fabric, to improve wicking and Suedetech flexible knee patches we will be ready to get out on those stubble fields for the perfect action shot with these!

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Happy shopping everyone! You can find SXC at the below links:

http://superxcountry.co.uk/

Facebook: @SuperXCountry

Twitter: @SuperXCountry

Instagram: @superxcountry

Thanks for reading, keep an eye out for the next instalment in a fortnight! If you have any questions, or would like to see something specifically do drop me a message.

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Summer & Mitch, Trimley

Last month I took a jaunt down the road under greying skies to Trimley, where I met Summer and Mitch, mum Sophie and siblings Deacon and Leah. We had great fun and Leah did a great job with the squeaky carrot helping to get Mitch’s ears forward!

Before we got started with adorable little Mitch, we had arranged to borrow Carrie’s horse Ron who Summer had the pleasure of riding recently, and is very fond of! He was very happy about coming out to graze and pose for us, before heading in for his teatime and carrots. Carrie has played a big part in Summer and Mitch’s development in the last five months since Sophie took the plunge and bought him for her daughter. Most recently, Summer has been jumping, and even entered the local dressage competitions with Carrie’s guidance and they’ve been doing amazingly. Thanks for letting us borrow your handsome boy Carrie!

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Summer and Mitch have been together for just five months, and it’s clear to see that this cheeky pony already means the world to his little girl. Sophie tells me that Summer’s first ever riding lesson was on December 3rd 2016, and they bought Mitch having not owned a horse before. She took a chance on him for Summer, and they are already becoming an unbreakable team (even if he does like to see how well she bounces!)

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Summer’s favourite thing to do is ride, and enjoys getting in the saddle when she’s feeling overwhelmed with her autism, and what better way to relieve it? We took a little walk down to the jumping paddock so that Mitch and Summer could show us what they’ve been up to, but Mitch wasn’t feeling it to begin with! Luckily Carrie was on hand in the wings, and after a few bits of advice and encouragement they were off.

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I absolutely loved the cheeky character that Mitch showed at every turn, if you give him an inch he tries to take a mile, but as many of us know, it’s these cheeky traits that will teach us so much more. He also likes to try and have a nibble of anybody who gets to close, so you’d better keep an eye out!

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Sophie thank you for inviting me to photograph these two, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you all. I had a blast, and I hope you all enjoyed it too. I look forward to seeing those red rosettes coming home!

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Fashion Friday – Tail End Jewellery

Welcome to the new series – Fashion Friday. Here I will be sharing fab options and outfit inspiration for your shoot and beyond. If you have a product, item or must-have that you think could be featured, please pop me a message at laurafiddamanphotography@virginmedia.com and I would love to find out more.

So, our first feature is Tail End Jewellery. This wonderful business has grown from strength to strength since Alison started up over 17 years ago. Her aim was simple, she wanted to help horse owners keep a little piece of their horse close to them, whether they were sadly no longer with them, or not. Much like the photographs that sit unseen on our phones, people often would take a lock of hair from their horses, which would sit, dusty in the bottom of a sock drawer, forgotten. Now you can have it transformed into a beautiful piece of jewellery – a tangible memento of your equine friend.

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Over the years the jewellery range at Tail End Jewellery has grown substantially. Customers have played a huge role in this, with bespoke requests and designs as well as new trends paving the way forward. Today you have the option of over 40 different designs to choose from! Whether you would like a bracelet, necklace or stockpin to accent your outfit, there is something for everyone, and almost all come with the choice of sterling silver, rose gold or 9ct gold (I personally have always loved rose gold!)

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If you’re not in the market for a bespoke horse hair piece, you can always browse the wonderful range of equestrian themed jewellery, and treat yourself before your shoot! Why not have a look for yourself and see if anything catches your eye?

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I asked Alison which her favourite piece is; “my favourite piece (and our customers) is the Inlaid Forever Heart Necklace, simple yet striking, the hair is braided and inlaid into either a silver or rose gold vermeil heart worn on a chain necklace. I also love our new robust and stylish Double Wrap Bracelet that features leather and horsehair entwined.”

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My favourite thing about Tail End Jewellery is their “The Tale Behind” page on their website, where customers can share their memories of their horses. You can take a look here.

So, there you have it – some fabulous options to add a little extra to your outfit. Find out more about Tail End Jewellery at the links below:

www.tailendjewellery.co.uk

Twitter: @tailendjewellery

Instagram: @tailendjewellery

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TailEndJewellery

Thanks for reading, and look out for the next instalment in 2 weeks time! If you have any questions, or would like to see something specifically do drop me a message.

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Useful links:

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