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 – 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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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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Location hunting

Hi guys! I just wanted to let you know that if you’re out hacking, or even driving to and from your yard and spot somewhere that’s not “on the doorstep” that you should still mention it to me!

As a horse owner myself, I’m no stranger to walking (back and forth, forgot the hay, better go back again… headcollar is still on the peg in the barn, off I go again… and long lining, whose great idea is that one when you get half way around??) so I really don’t mind walking to get you that perfect shot. If you’re not sure if it will work well for your photos, why not snap  it on your mobile phone and I can soon advise if it will be worth the walk!

Bookings now being taken for Spring/Summer 2017 – limited dates available for April/May

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Put a Spring in your step

Hello Spring

There’s a faint earthy scent in the air, and that glorious waft of freshly mown grass from down the road. The bluebells are starting to peer out of their buds, ready to create a stunning purple blue bed for us to find. Trees are coming out in all shades of green, and the blossoms are starting to emerge. Those bare hedgerows are filling out, and make for a perfect backdrop, the fields are lush with grass, and all manner of crops fill the landscape.

Spring has sprung, and as you brush away the last loose hairs from your horse’s coat, tidy up the once wild mane, and brush the mud from their tail, a gentle breeze picks up and blows the cobwebs away. Nothing feels better than the fresh start that Spring brings with it. The longer nights mean that sunsets and the golden hours before sundown are perfectly accessible for an evening photoshoot, and what better way to wind down after a long day?

Sunshine is coming

So wipe the dirt from those boots, get out your glad rags, and call me to book your Spring 2017 photoshoot today.

Bookings now being taken for Spring/Summer 2017.

Limited weekend dates now available for April.

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Mum’s the word

Mothers Day is fast approaching (March 26th if you didn’t know!) If you’re just not sure what to get for your mum this year, consider getting her a photoshoot! You can always join her and her horse for some photos on the day, and what better way to show her how much you love her?

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We are all guilty of perhaps not showing our appreciation for our mum’s over the course of the year, and suddenly we can realise it’s almost been a year since we did anything special for her. This way, you can surprise her with a wonderful and personal gift, and then she gets to enjoy it on another day – why not make it a mum/daughter shoot, or even better, a mum/daughter day? Throw in a nice lunch, a makeover in the morning before the shoot, or a nice massage to round it off and make a day of it!

You can either book a shoot in, or I offer gift vouchers, which come boxed and gift wrapped, for just £5.00. These can be sent with a booking letter to yourself to give, or if you prefer I can post them direct to the recipient.

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So let’s celebrate our mum this year, and say thank you for getting us into this horsey world, supporting us through our own ups and downs, highs, lows and everything in between. Even if you’re not a horsey person yourself, let your mum celebrate her sanctuary that is the yard, with her horse, where she gets that 5 minutes to herself and away from all of the craziness we give her, whatever age we are! I know now that as a mum myself, it doesn’t matter how old my little girl grows, I will never ever stop loving her, worrying about her, and looking after her, wherever she or we may be.

Mother's Day 2017

Quote “ILOVEMUM” when booking, to receive £20 off a 2 hour photoshoot. Vouchers available, and valid for 12 months. 

Bookings now being taken for Spring/Summer 2017

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Yards – on location

#equinebusinessalphabet – letter Y – Yards

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When you book a photoshoot, it’s completely up to you where we capture your images. Obviously I’m not going to turn down a day at the beach, or in some lovely woodland, but often the easiest and safest place is at your own yard.

Your horse is quite literally at home on the yard, and where there is familiarity, there’s usually more relaxation, and less spooking. You may think your yard has nothing special to offer in the way of backdrops, or you may be lucky and have some stunning scenery. Either way, I can assure you that there are spots we can create some beautiful photos.

Open fields, hedgerows, wooden fencing, gates, walls, doorways… These all give us opportunities. The one thing best avoided is electric fencing, and unless absolutely necessary I will try to avoid shooting in an arena. There are some situations where photographs being caught in an arena make sense, eg; ridden dressage etc. if this is what we are shooting! As with all photo sessions booked, you will get a telephone consultation before the day, so we all know what to expect, and what we are looking to capture on the day.

Bookings now being taken for Spring/Summer 2017

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(not quite) Kisses

Letter K – kisses on your equine shoot #equinebusinessalphabet

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Just a quick little insight on puckering up with your horse on your shoot. We’ve all seen (and probably done intentionally!) duck face posing when you’re out having a laugh and take a selfie, but that’s possibly not the look you’re after for that 20 x 30″ canvas in your living room. I would suggest that when you go in for these poses you don’t exactly pucker up, but more give the impression of a smooch!

Get in close to your horse, make contact with their velvety soft nose/head/neck, but maybe leave the face scrunching at the gate!

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Jumping

J is for Jumping #equinebusinessalphabet

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If you want to get a selection of images of you and your horse jumping, that aren’t just the standard couple of jumps that you’ll get at a show, why not contact me and book a Mini Shoot? You’ll get an hour of shooting time, which will get a you a selection of images over multiple jumps, including some portrait and impromptu shots.

You could arrange this to coincide with a show, or I can travel to your yard or arena of your choice and capture your training session. If you’re heading out to have a practice on the cross country course, I’m happy to follow you round and catch some of your jumps on camera. I have a lot of respect for those of you who jump, and love watching (and photographing!) showjumping and cross country.

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Winter or wait?

Why you should book a winter portrait shoot with your horse.

I know; you’ve been thinking about booking a photoshoot, but Christmas is coming up, and the weather isn’t any good, and your horse is hairy and covered in mud, and the ground is sticky, and you want that golden glow, and… Just stop right there.

Firstly, now is a great time to suggest a photoshoot voucher as a Christmas gift (if you’re anything like me, there’s nothing you really need that you can think of, and you’ve just restocked your horse’s wardrobe!) A voucher can be redeemed immediately, or saved for that promising Spring/Summer shoot. Just hold that thought.

You wouldn’t believe me if I said that there are as many opportunities throughout Summer for a shoot to be cancelled as over Autumn/Winter, right? Well, this is Great Britain, and trust me whatever time of year it is, if the weather puts our plans on hold we can reschedule. Don’t let the weather be a deciding factor in your shoot.

That golden glow that you have fantasised about when browsing through photos of people snuggled up to their horses, that’s found at sunset. Guess what? At this time of year that means no late nights! Winter sun is much softer, and often reflects beautifully through sparse tree branches, off early morning frosts, and through the mystical fog and mists that descend at this time of year. It also has a magical softening effect on your skin in photographs. Are you starting to like winter shoots yet?

You can layer up your wardrobe, get snuggled up and accessorised with your hats, scarves, jackets, gilets and boots. I love layering up, and hiding those chocolate bar sins, I don’t know about you! I am building up a selection of outfits to inspire your photoshoot wardrobe over on Pinterest – take a look here. This is something I will add to regularly, so if you’re preparing for a shoot, do check back.

Whether you opt for a woolly teddy bear look (hopefully with mud brushed out to silky-soft perfection!), or decide to clip your horse, their coats can still look shiny and beautiful. If you are going to clip your horse, the best time to do this is 2 weeks prior to your shoot. This will give the natural oils in their coat time to do their thing, and any wayward lines or tufts will be hidden as the clip begins to grow back through.

Less than perfect ground? Don’t worry about wet and muddy conditions. I can assure you that these won’t come across as you would expect in your images, and you’ll probably not notice muddy fields at all. If you’re super worried that your yard isn’t going to provide suitable conditions, then the beach is a good alternative to consider if you feel safe doing so!

Also, I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but I have a waiting list for snow shoots – there’s been none for the last three years and I would absolutely love to capture some magical snowy photos for you if the white stuff decides to make an appearance.

So if you want to book your photoshoot, don’t put it off just because it’s November. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

 

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