In early April, before any greenery was out yet, Samantha and Allen wanted to do a maternity photo session in Barriere (ok, Samantha wanted to, and convinced Allen he should come too 😉 ). The great thing about the mainly coniferous forest on our acreage is that it is green year round, so with some strategic framing, I can make it look like spring any time. I thought about seeing if Samantha wanted to wait a bit for the leaves to come out, as her due date wasn’t for a couple weeks, but good thing we didn’t, as she went into labour only three days after these photos were taken! She delivered a healthy baby boy, O’Shea, on April 10th.
Samantha is a multi-talented hair dresser, makeup artist, and waxer, who runs The Sugar Shack in Barriere. She posted on her page that she would be working right up until her due date, and would then be taking some time off until July. I had a hair cut with her on April 9th and after my appointment, she had two colours to do. While she was cutting my hair, she was telling me that she had been having small contractions since that morning, and by 1:25am on the 10th, O’Shea had arrived! So she wasn’t kidding about working right up until she was due. :p
When Ashley, the Executive Director of the Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association, asked me to photograph her with three horses, I knew I was up for a bit of a challenge! Multiple horse photography is not an easy task, so I thought I would share some tips for anyone who might be attempting it. 🙂
To start, we had the two geldings, Levi and Milo (on the left in the photo below) stand next to each other, because they live together. Does that mean they always get along? No, because Milo can be a bit of a grouch to other horses, but there was a better chance of him behaving next to a horse he knew. 😉 Because mares and geldings sometimes have “opinions” about each other, we had Ashley’s mare, Catniss (on the right, below) stand across from the boys.
The boys stayed in roughly the same spot most of the time, but Catniss turned away from the camera at one point and had to be repositioned. I instructed Ashley to look at me the whole time and not worry about what the horses were doing or where they were looking, because otherwise, when they finally all looked at the camera at the same time, she might not be! Once the horses were in place, we had our helpers Crystal and Hannah shaking grain buckets and jumping around to try to get their attention, and it worked until they realized they weren’t going to get any treats right away. What didn’t work to get their attention? My app with horse whinny sounds, goats walking by, and airplanes flying overhead (KTRA is by the airport, so the horses are actually quite used to low flying aircraft). I kept joking that her horses were TOO desensitized. Luckily we got this shot within the first couple minutes, and while I took a few extra just in case, this was a favourite of both Ashley and I. She chose to have this along with a couple other of the shots made into gorgeous metallic prints!
It’s been a busy couple of weeks since I moved to Kamloops. I have been running around putting up posters, designing new promotional materials, and networking with local people and businesses. I’ve driven about an hour in each direction from the city, scoping out my new territory and getting the lay of the land. I would like to show some photos from my visit to the Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association. From their recent spotlight on Social Fire:
“The Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association (KTRA) is a charitable non-profit that offers horseback riding to children and adults with a wide range of disabilities. KTRA’s riding lessons benefits the riders by using the motivating medium of horse care and riding to draw an individualâ€™s attention to their strengths, successes and most importantly build self-confidence.”
In the past, I have volunteered with the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association, and it was a great experience to see the positive impact that the horses had on the riders. I encourage you to support your local therapeutic riding association, as the work they do truly makes a difference in the lives of their clients!
The horses in the programs must, of course, be very gentle, calm, and tolerant. I could tell that every horse I met had these qualities just by looking at them from a distance — you can tell by their kind eyes and relaxed stance.
One of my stopovers on my way home from New Zealand in 2011 was in Los Angeles (the others were Tahiti, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, if you’re curious!). There, my travel partner Juli and I stayed with a friend of hers, Christine. Christine has a beautiful warmblood mare, Lea, so we went out to visit her and take some photos. This was my first horse & rider shoot of the new year, and I couldn’t have asked for better models! Christine had a perma-smile on her face, and who wouldn’t, being around a sweet mare like Lea? Besides that, the mare should teach equine posing classes! There was hardly a photo in which she didn’t have an earnest expression with her ears pricked, and she held each “pose” with plenty of time for me to capture the shots I wanted. I swear I could hear her saying, “Did you get my good side?” 😉 To add to the perfection, there were cherry trees (or almond trees perhaps?) in bloom, which made for a beautiful backdrop.