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About Me Photo Credit: Scott Trees

I have always had a passion for two things: horses and the photographic image and spent most of my youth pursuing both passions – riding first, photography second. After a hiatus I returned to phonography, and naturally horses and equine pursuits have become my focus. Naturally I was drawn to portraiture, I love working with people and the beloved horses to create a memorable and lasting image that portrays their relationship with each other. In addition to my work in portraiture, I photograph fox hunting, eventing, driving, dressage, polo and just about any equine sport that I come across in my travels. I also have a body of work in western images – ranchers, cowboys and cowgirls and scenes from the West which can be seen on my @East_Shoots_West Instagram account. While fine equine images are a passion my work in not limited soley to the horse; I also do pet and family portraits    On going education is very important to me in order to abreast of new trends as well as improve my skills in order to provide my clients with the very best possible. I have studied with equine photography with Scott Trees, Terri Cage, Carien Schippers, Tony Stromberg and Shelley Paulson; and general photography with Mark Kettenhofen, Scott DiUssa, David Wells, Alison Shaw, Douglas Beasley and Eddie Soloway. I am a member of The Equine Photographers Network, Nikon Pro and the ASMP   My work has appeared in the Chronicle of the Horse, Horse News, Horse Sport Canada, Horse and Hound Magazine (UK), The Independent New (UK) and Rowing News.

Getting Ready Your Horse Have your horse well groomed. I can’t emphasize this enough. A bath and clipping are great (ears & whiskers always, coats in the winter).  If you want him braided – please plan for this.   You want your horse to look their best, but in the way you see them most often; if you only braid once a year you might not want to have your portrait shot in braids.     Choose a plain leather halter and leather lead shank, or a cleaned and polished bridle. No tattered shanks or nylon halters please!! If you want your horse tacked up, have that clean and polished as well.    Have a grooming kit we can take to our location:  fly spray is a must, show sheen wipe/towel or a damp towel, dandy brush, mane comb, dry towel.  Hair brush/comb for yourself, too, please.   Make sure your horse is well fed and watered before I arrive, this will keep them happier while we work.  Also make sure your horse has had adequate exercise prior to our session so he/she will be relaxed and happy to hang out.   Enlist a helper.  We may need someone to hold your horse, so it's best to plan ahead and ask your groom, a friend or stable pal to lend a hand.  I will have the camera in my hand and won't be able to help.   We will need a small supply of favorite treats - small ones.  I like to use a beautiful shiny red apple or carrots with their tops at the end of the shoot for a final treat, this moment can make for a nice photo, and is an appropriate ‘thank you’ to your horse for his patience. - This is where a helper is handy, too, so the treat doesn't get snatched while we set up this last shot.

Getting Ready You 1.  Plan your outfit well. Solid colors photograph better than patterns, although small patterns are usually fine. Choose light blue vs. white if you have a very dark horse or another soft color. Consider your horse’s color as you dress and choose similar tones for a more harmonious palate.  

Stripes are a poor choice, as are most plaids and big patterns, and no logos, unless they are logos that are very important to you -Ralph Lauren polo logo not important; special Team Jacket & logo – important.  

You may choose to have a wardrobe change: you may wish to go from formal riding attire to less formal, to even a favorite sun dress, ball gown, jeans and a tee… just about anything that is comfortable is fine. Consider what is both flattering and timeless; you will have these portraits for a lifetime. I want you to enjoy them without feeling that they are dated.

Shoe and Boots – Polished please. Be wary of open toed shoe and sandals around horses…always. Ladies makeup if you wear it.  Lip gloss always a good idea; hairspray as well. A fresh manicure is a nice treat and your hands may show in some of the shots.  

You may want to have a ‘barn coat’ or apron on while getting your horse out of his stall to prevent any last minute spots or stains on your clothing.

POSING   In General

Poses - Beyond the basics: Think about how you would like to pose with your horse; look at magazines or on the Internet for ideas, you can even make a board on Pinterest and share it with me.  If you see anything that you really want to achieve let me know, send me a link.   Some ideas to get you started:  Head to head, sitting on your horse bareback, holding with either a lead shank or bridle with or without saddle, walking dismounted down a path in riding clothes with full tack, silhouettes, standing in the river, etc. Just keep in mind what your horse will or won't tolerate as well.   Let me know in advance what you are thinking about so we can make any additional plans, especially if I am going wading in the river!   I will bring a few props to help get your horse’s attention and prick his ears. If there is any thing that he/ she is spooky about let me know.  I have recordings of whinnies and a hunting  horn in particular and will have a can with pebbles and other noise makers.  If any of these are going to be a  problem let me know so we can go to plan B.   Most important – bring your smile. While this list is long and preparations time consuming, the session will and should be lots of fun. We will have a few laughs and make some wonderful images; and if for some reason your horse is just not feeling the ‘camera love’, don’t worry, we can either take a break or re-schedule. I want you to be happy with your images and to make a lasting memory of your horse for you.

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Description of Portrait Session for Clients