Every once in a while I really enjoy getting to do something different, especially for a friend. I had been looking at Western and English clothing ads on occasion, wanting to try and do something similar. I realize that most people are probably lost at what I’m talking about. Most people know what western clothing is. Well the horse world in mostly broken into English and Western styles. The ads I’m referring to are clothing ads. So hopefully this makes a bit more sense now.
I’m not on Facebook much. Usually if I’m on I’m looking to see what Amanda has posted, but doing so on my phone means I’m going to see the newsfeed first. Well, our friend Ali had just posted that she was looking to get some updated images of her horse Classic so she could use them in an ad to lease out Classic. Of course I started thinking that this might be a good opportunity for me to play, so I contacted her and offered to do the basic ad photos she needed if she’d let me try a few things for myself as well. I know I’m being selfish, but who could say no to that?
We did have a couple of challenges during the shoot, but it’s always things you learn from. My first obstacle was that my main light wasn’t firing. I checked my triggering system and all was good, so eventually I just reset everything in my flash and then everything was fine. The second obstacle was trying to get Classic’s ears forward and to stop attacking the imaginary flies. Classic is so bomb proof that the only way we could get his attention (get his ears forward) was for Amanda to get a grain bucket. When all else fails with a horse, try food.
For the under-hang shots, my biggest challenge was positioning and balancing the flashes with the incoming side lighting from the sun. Because the clouds where moving as they were, we kept getting the mix of hard light one moment and soft subtle light the next. But as always, we adapted and overcame. Ali and Classic did great showing some personal connection with each other also, which really is going to be the life of all the pictures anyways.
In the arena, I did get ONE image with the light completely wrapped around them without any Scooby shadows, but then never could get it again. So instead of fighting it, we embraced it and went for more of a dramatic horse show lighting. No, it’s not completely the same look, but as long as the pictures look great, who cares. We just had Ali continue riding Classic for ten or fifteen minutes till I was satisfied I had plenty of good images to choose from. Oh yeah, our little helper (Zachariah) was there trying to keep Classic moving. He took Ali’s crop and kept smacking the ground with it. Again, bomb proof Classic could care less, but it was cute all the same.
Photographing horses is a lot different that shooting people. You have to worry about the body angle to the camera and the position of the head, neck, ears, and feet. Then if all of that is good, you look at the rider to see their form. I’m by no means an expert at nailing this. I’m usually reminded after the fact by Amanda, who is more of the expert than I am with horse images. But in the end, if it all looks good, who cares. I got to do something different and Ali got her photos for creating a lease ad for Classic. It was another good day behind the camera.
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