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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Useful links:

http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

http://www.twitter.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.instagram.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.facebook.com/laurafiddamanphotography

http://www.pinterest.com/laurafiddaman

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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