Supporting your event photographer

We all love to see our horses out there strutting their stuff, and looking fabulous doing it. If you’re out competing, you like to know that there’s a photographer on the ringside capturing your best dressage test to date, that massive oxer your horse made to look like a warm up fence, or the leap of faith on the cross country course that sent you double clear. At least, if I was out competing that’s what I’d want.

Rebekah Booker Collage 10 x 8

Event photographers really appreciate your support. It’s a long and often testing day with changing weather (I’m getting sunburnt.. oh wait, grab the waterproofs I’m now getting soaked..!) but because you are all committed to the cause and gallantly get on with your competition, we are equally committed to capturing your achievements on camera.

Yes, it’s a long day, with early starts, and sometimes an hour or more of driving before the first class. We can often be found wolfing down half a warm sandwich between tests or classes, and dashing off to the loo in a whirlwind of running times and camera lenses. Sometimes you might even catch us having a two minute sit down in the camping chair before the next rider comes along, and we’re up ready to shoot again.

Norton Heath Intro B-98

Personally though, I love the buzz of photographing equestrian events. Everyone is in good spirits, doing what they love to do, although it doesn’t always go to plan, and there’s so much to learn. It’s inspiring to see you all out there and striving to do better, be better, and just kicking some butt! One day I may even be ballsy enough to try and join you. Until then, I’ll be there behind the camera lens capturing those moments that I hope you want to remember.

It’s not just what you see at the events that goes into these images though. A day’s shooting can produce anything from 500 – 1500+ images, which all have to be checked, straightened and tweaked to produce what you see in the galleries. It’s a labour of love, but unfortunately that doesn’t pay the bills! When you purchase a print, it’s not just money that goes into your photographer’s pocket – once the print, postage and any handling fees are covered, what’s left comes to us.

Hastingwood-Prelim-12-169

Every photographer will value their time differently, but again I say event photographers really appreciate your support. No matter what your photographer is charging, they will have priced their time and work as fairly as they believe possible to make these long days and editing worthwhile. So if you see an image you like, please don’t screenshot it and share it – watermarks may tell others who took the image, but that doesn’t generate us revenue. Please support your photographer and purchase it, so that we can continue to cover your events in the future!

Thank you so much to everyone who makes doing this so enjoyable, and to all of those we will be photographing at events to come!

Hastingwood-Intro-B-137

Stratford Hills – Clear Round XC

Yesterday I took a short trip down the road to Stratford Hills Cross Country course for their clear round XC day!

The weather was perfect, save for a bit of a chill from the wind at times, and everybody was in good spirits enjoying themselves. We overheard a few funny conversations between rider and horse over the course of the day, and there were plenty of you going round the course positively beaming. Rightly so!

A mixture of jumps. Freedom to mix and match; all a recipe for success, and that’s what the day was all about.

Stratford Hills Clear Round-3

Thank you to Lauren for inviting me down for the day, it was a pleasure and turned out to be a lovely sociable event. I look forward to seeing more on the calendar.

If you’re interested in hiring the cross country course to have a play yourself, head over to Stratford Hills’ Facebook Page and give them a call or drop them a message. The scenery is beautiful and the rolling hills won’t fail to give you a challenge along the way!

Well done to everyone who rode yesterday – you were all fab! Images are now published, and you can view them here

Stratford Hills Clear Round-4Stratford Hills Clear Round-5

If I could choose a photo of the day, it would be this lady and her wonderful honest pony! They jumped the brush from standing, and then managed to make it away from the other side of the jump at speed.

Clear Round XC- near miss.png

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BSPS Area 16 Spring Show

Telephones. I can’t tell you any good reason for it, but I’m not their biggest fan! So when I returned a call for help from Lauren earlier in the week it was with a little trepidation.

As a portrait photographer, I capture moments between horse and owner, and although I’ve dabbled in showing photos for friends, it’s all a bit different for me. So I was free this Saturday, and decided a change of pace would be a great idea – BSPS Area 16 here I come!

I’m so glad I said yes to doing this. Despite the sunburn (yep – bright red!) and a mega long day of shooting, it was a fab experience. I can’t stop myself from grinning when I’m surrounded by horses and ponies, so everyone must have thought the cheshire cat was on the loose!

Speaking to judges, hearing their feedback, and gaining an insight of what goes into choosing a winner – it was all super interesting, and made the running up and down between 5 rings worthwhile.

I will apologise now to anybody who we did not get photographs of on the day. Sam Duncan kindly stepped in as my second shooter on the day so that we could capture as much as possible, but some classes were missed. If you are interested in having some photos with your horse, please do contact me to discuss a photoshoot! The bluebells and blossoms are out, so it’s the perfect time of year for it. 

I adored watching the lead rein and first ridden classes; I was pleasantly surprised how lovely the judges were. Every communication was intended as a positive, and the judges encouraged them throughout every class. It’s really made me want to take Eliza out when she’s old enough. Sam – I will be keeping in touch about that pony in a couple of years!

The reserve supreme champion Zeraphina was the sweetest little girl, on lead-rein, and I was so glad when they called her in! We got a super image of her and Thistledown Lorenzo next to the Supreme Champion Lord John who was, let’s say, a tad bigger than her dear little pony. I was made up for her after all of the effort of the day (and it was a long day – they were up at 4am in order to get to the show!)

It’s certainly been a learning curve, and the editing took a little longer than expected (you lovely lot take some great shots!) but I have had a blast. Thank you BSPS Area 16 for having me; once again an extra special thank you to Sam Duncan for your support on the day.

All images are published at www.laurafiddamanphoto.com/events – if you find any images that are in the wrong ring, please let me know so that I can correct them! If you wish to purchase any images, 50p for every digital or print sold will be donated to Sam’s choice of charity, Greyhound Gap as a thank you for her assistance.

I will leave you with our Supreme Champion and Reserve! How blinking cute?!

BSPS Spring Show - Supreme Championship-97

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Poplar Park ODE Part 1

Earlier in March I had a wonderful afternoon out walking the course at Poplar Park with friends for the first of their one day events of 2017. It goes without saying (there were horses around…) that my camera accompanied me for the trip!

The weather forecast was for showers, but it turned out to be a pleasant afternoon, and ideal going for the day’s event. After a quick pit stop for a tasty cheese and pickle toastie from the toastie truck (best thing ever!) we had a quick browse round the stalls and watched the showjumping ring, waiting for the scary-big cross country rounds to begin.

Approximately one nutella pancake later (are you sensing a food-based theme here?) we headed out on course and had a great time. There’s plenty of talent coming up through the ranks, and we even had the pleasure of catching Pippa’s rounds on the two Billy’s & Sandman 7!

It was great to be able to get some photos of the day, so if there’s anyone here you know, please feel free to share this post so that they can see them!


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

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Hedge hoppers

Let me set the scene. 

It’s a brisk but bright Sunday morning. You’re looking out over your beautiful rolling hills, complete with well kept hedgerows, having a cuppa after you’ve turned out your horses for the day. The breeze is chilly as the first horseboxes arrive, and you can start to feel a buzz of excitement and trepidation building. Horses are unloaded, more boxes arrive, and the hum is taking hold. People bustle around tacking this horse up, putting those boots on, getting numbers. Off to the warm-up to get everyone in sync, and then to pull each other round the course, words of encouragement and “keep up!” ring loud and clear (and a few “I don’t know where I’m going!!” “LEFT! GO LEEEFFTT!”).

Yes, spirits run high. As high as the fences. This isn’t just any event – this is team chasing. 

You’d be forgiven for thinking that these riders were here to pop the cross country fences scattered throughout the fields at Semer, should you have arrived on the off-chance of catching some fun horse riding. What these riders come out for is something much more than that – the hunt without hunting, the challenge of being against the clock, against the other teams, of making it around the course as heart-stoppingly fast as possible, over dense hedgerows lining fields, that snake up and down across the rolling countryside. I can only imagine the adrenaline rush at the end when you’ve made it round with your team members alongside you! For jumping is something I love to watch, but will likely never do to any dizzy heights.

This is an event I first discovered last year, and waddled around in my 5 months pregnant state, and when it came up again this year there was no debate on whether I would be coming back! The aim of the game is to get your team (minimum 3 people, ideally 4!) around the course in the fastest time. If you’ve never experienced team chasing before, I strongly urge you to get out and watch it when they’re competing in your area. I promise you won’t regret it.

I was most excited that I undertook my first two live facebook broadcasts whilst we were at Semer. Whilst I apologise that they weren’t groundbreaking or hugely exciting, this was a big step for me – there will be more videos to come in the future! Keep an eye on my facebook page, you never know when I might pop up next.

Of course I couldn’t attend without my camera to capture some of the action, so here are a few of my favourites from the day. You can see more on my Facebook Page, link below.

If you like these images, you can find more on my social media pages and website:

Website – http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

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Waiting list available for snow photoshoots – subscribe below! Don’t forget, if you also subscribe to my mailing list on my website you could win a FREE 2 hour photoshoot!

Submit now to avoid disappointment, and hopefully I will be in touch!

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