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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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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Stubble Trouble – Sarah & Millie

A couple of weekends ago we finally got to make this shoot happen. It had been on the cards for a while, but what with a whole lot of life getting in the way, and then Millie chipping a bone in her ankle (amazingly non-horse riding related!) it just hadn’t quite come to fruition.

It was a last minute decision on the day to go out whilst we still could, before all of the golden grounds are ploughed for the winter. This was how it started on location:

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It wasn’t quite what we were hoping for, but the girls sat it out in the trailer at the parking point whilst I watched on closer to our shooting location, waiting for the patch of blue sky to come to us! About 15 minutes later, I got a Whatsapp of Franks tacked up and gazing across the fields and the shoot was on.

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Sarah and Franks have been together for a long time, and you wouldn’t imagine that he’s the same horse that she was told wouldn’t be able to do much 10 years ago. Sarah has put in a lot of time and lessons to learn how to teach him to move correctly, and it has truly paid off. After a recent dressage holiday, Sarah came home inspired and raring to go. Franks has been returning to his fancy dressage moves, and is currently very proud of his developing Spanish Walk! He’s also very good at sniffing out pocket treats and loves a good pocket snuffle, but you just can’t say no!

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Millie has had Bailey for a couple of years now, and has already done a lot of work with him. As a 5 year old he had done some showjumping, and was used to being ridden out on his own. He’s had to learn to share his space and trust Millie and other horses out with him. He has a cheeky attitude, is a natural born poser, and even managed to smile for the camera whilst cantering across the stubble field. Now there’s a talent! We were also very lucky to get this shoot in before Bailey injured his foot, as he has since been in on box rest, and only been back out for a few days. Thankfully he’s on the mend, and hopefully Millie will be back in the saddle very soon.

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Bookings being taken for Winter 2016 – contact me for more information, or to book your shoot today.

Waiting list also now available for snow photoshoots.

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

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Posing with your pony

Don’t point that camera at me!

Sound familiar? I know it can be daunting getting in front of a camera lens, but this is your shoot, and we all want you to get the best out of it.

My main bit of advice to you is to relax. I like to think I’m quite personable and easy to get on with, so just treat it a bit like any other day at the yard/beach/forest and relax. If you’re relaxed your horse will be more at ease. There is no time limit to your shoot so there’s no need to stress about your horse being tricky, we will take the time it takes. Rest assured you will come away from your shoot with some beautiful images.

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Whilst I don’t expect your equine friend to be polished and preened to HOYS standard, I would recommend that you spend a bit of time preparing them for their moment in the spotlight. There are things that I can tidy up in post processing, but I don’t want to spend hours cleaning your horses stable stains up – I get to do that in real life with my own horse!

Talk to me. I absolutely love hearing about your pride and joy, your highs and lows, their niggles and habits and how you came to be a pair. Not only do all of us horsey people love to talk about our neddies, it will also help put you at ease. Win win! This also helps me when I come to write up my blog about your shoot.

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Posing really is the last of your worries. The wonderful thing about your equine photoshoot is that you have your horse with you. The usual question in portrait photography is what to do with your hands and arms. With your shoot you’ll have no such problem as you will likely be holding your lead rope or reins. Even at liberty we would stick to keeping it natural, whether this be holding your horses head to go in for a smooch or leaning in for that cuddle.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss further and book your photoshoot. I will always contact you once your booking request is received to discuss location, participants and any special requirements you may have.


Laura Fiddaman Equine Photographer

In the beginning…

I wanted to let you in on me a little. Why should you commit such a special experience to an absolute stranger? How did I start this anyway? Am I really an actual person behind my laptop?

It’s all thanks to my friend Sarah and my sister that I have set out on this adventure. I’ve always had an interest in photography, and love taking photos (obviously, this goes without saying!) My little sister’s Nikon DSLR was regularly “borrowed” to mess around with different images and ideas, before I took the plunge and bought my own. My journey with capturing horses on camera began with some fun trips out with Sarah and our boys, having them play supermodel in the bluebells. This didn’t involve people and ponies, just the boys striking poses in the dapples and looking darn handsome. I’ve had to rope the people in and convince them that it’s really not a big deal, and if their horse can do it then so can they 🙂 I think they bought it!

Since then I’ve been having fun photographing various lessons, clinics & friends with their horses to try and establish my own style. I am the first to admit that I love a good crop – I like close ups, details, and trying to show the emotion between horse and human. Fear not, there will be shots that show your whole horse too!

After the arrival of our little girl in May this year, my husband Jim and I had a few wonderful days of being new parents before complications arose and I suffered severe blood clotting through my left leg which put the brakes on our lives for a few weeks, stopped Laura Fiddaman Photography getting out there, and ultimately wiped out my summer calendar. Fast forward to October, and I’m back in the saddle, and well on the way to getting back to normal. I can honestly say it was a pretty scary time, but it’s really made me appreciate so much more in life. It’s also made me even more determined to get out there and do what I love to do.

Being around horses is my time to relax. Having a Welsh D cross cob myself, I’ve learned a lot about patience and calmness. I’d like to think that this would reflect in photographs of us together if I were to get someone to do a photoshoot starring us. I’m a sucker for horse talk, and I love to hear people gushing about their horse and this wonderful thing that they’ve done together, the milestone that they’ve made it to, or that exciting thing they’re going to do next weekend. A new term I’ve started using for this is “yarding” – why? Because it sounds better than “chatting and getting nothing practical done”! What do you think of when you think about you and your horse? Do you see a ball of excitability, a quiet trusting cuddle, a flat-out hoon across that awesome stubble field, or maybe you see years of work and love, and blood, sweat and tears? Leave me a comment below.

When I’m not around horses, you can now find me singing nursery rhymes to my baby girl Eliza, watching Masterchef Australia, or eating too much chocolate whilst drinking too much coca cola (the full fat stuff – gasp!). Generally, you might even find me doing all three of these things at once!

So this is me in a nutshell! I look forward to getting to know you and your horses, and hope to hear from you soon.


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Grooming must-haves!

I felt compelled to write this blog after I discovered Hands On Gloves, and found them to be ah-mazing! So I thought why not have a look through my kit and see what other goodies are available on the market now to help us keep our neddies looking beautiful.

#1 – Obviously – Hands On Gloves

These were priceless to me when I was pregnant (how many times did I drop a brush and have to bend down to pick it up before I got these??) They have a velcro strap to fasten, much like riding gloves, and the nobbles on the palms and fingers lift dirt quickly and easily. You can find out more at http://handsongloves.com/  – they can be bought at Horse Health for £18.95

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#2 – Backpack Groom n Vac

Are you kidding me? You can now vacuum your horse clean – this sounds much quicker and easier than scrubbing away for hours after your horse comes in caked in dust and dirt. I’m not how sure this would fare in the wetter months, but what a novelty! Learn more and buy at Backpack Groomer – £199.00

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#3 – SleekEZ

Much like the HandsOn Gloves, the SleekEZ blade is a simple concept designed to speed up ridding your horse’s coat of that pesky dirt and dust, and comes highly recommended for shedding your horses hair. The reviews have been fabulous, and you can even use it on your dog or cat so why not learn more at SleekEZ.com or purchase online at Wright Equine – from £19.95 RRP

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#4 – Silverfeet Hoof Balm

A natural hoof balm with silver ions to help keep your horses feet looking and feeling great. Please note that this alone is not a guarantee of healthy feet, but supports a healthy feeding and care routine. The tubs of balm go a long way, and come in four different colours! For more information, visit Silverfeet.com or visit your local stockist (your farrier may even be able to supply this to you!) from £10.50 RRP

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#5 – Masterclip Showmate Cordless Trimmer

These little clippers are great for tidying up fetlocks, legs, hogged manes and faces. I recently chopped my Welsh cob’s feathers off with scissors and took off the last inch or so with this little beauty. The battery life is fantastic, they’re very quiet which is great for nervous horses, and I think they prove great value for their £54.99 RRP. Replacement blades can be purchased from £18.99. They also come in a choice of three colours! Find out more at Masterclip.co.uk

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#6 – NAF Silky Mane & Tail D-Tangler

I wouldn’t be without this in my grooming kit. Even if you’re in a rush and won’t be brushing it through, this works wonders with my cob’s thick tail. It has a pleasant smell, and leaves your horse shiny and tangle free with minimal effort – RRP £11.60/750ml spray bottle

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Happy purchasing and grooming! If you have a gadget or grooming tool that you just can’t live without, please share in the comments below so that we can all enjoy the goodies.

Now that your horse is ready to be beautiful, shiny and clean, contact me to discuss and book your photoshoot today!


Laura Fiddaman Equine Photographer

Spring has arrived!

Spring Blog ImageOwners rejoice – Spring time is here, and the nights are getting longer.

Horses and ponies are out for longer, and without rugs. That thick winter coat is starting to moult (but you already know that, from the copious amounts of hair stuck in or on all of your clothes!) and rides after work are no longer a mad rush before sunset.

Spring grass is coming through, and those April showers aren’t slowing the growth! Prepare for the gymnastics and above-airs dance moves, and remember that all experience is good experience. Enjoy the extra pennies you’re not spending on hay or feed now that there’s so much greenery to take in.

Babies are on the way! I’m talking about foal babies, not babies like mine! Although there are plenty of those expected too. Watch those long legs frolicking around the paddock, and I challenge you not to smile.

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The bluebells are blossoming, as are all of the other beautiful plants that create the gorgeous scenery around the yard, and surrounding area.

Spirits will be lifting along with the clouds, and despite the showers, we will generally have drier fields and tracks – and less slip-sliding around on trampled ground.

Enjoy the milder weather for the next few weeks – it won’t be long before we’re saying it’s too hot! I for one am looking forward to some summer riding, just as soon as this little one makes an appearance, and I can get back up into the saddle.

You can follow me and my clients’ here, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. For full details on how to book your own shoot, please visit my website.


Laura Fiddaman Equine Photographer

Welcome to Laura Fiddaman Photography

Welcome Blog ImageHello, horse lover!

Welcome to my little corner of the interweb, where you can learn more about me and what I love to do. I’ll be sharing a selection of images from each shoot, and talking a little bit about my clients and their horses, their history and their hopes and dreams (and a bit of my own!).

As a child growing up, I’ve always loved horses and as with most equestrians they have run in my blood since I had my first ride. 25 years on and circumstances now allow me the opportunity to combine my passions for horses and photography.

Horses and owners have a special bond that completely intrigues me, and every relationship is unique, beautiful and deserves to be captured, and remembered forever.

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Seeing the trust a horse and rider have in each other might be more easily seen out jumping, or in a dressage arena. It’s the quieter moments that interest me most – the day-to-day interactions in the field, or over the stable door. An exchange in hand, a quiet cuddle or a little chat between horse and owner. These are the golden moments that I will catch on camera. That quiet indescribable bond.

You can follow me and my clients’ here, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. For full details on how to book your own shoot, please visit my website.


Laura Fiddaman Equine Photographer