Guest Blog; My Photoshoot experience, by Bex Mason

Guest Blog; My Photoshoot experience, by Bex Mason

One of my first Photoshoots this side of lockdown was with Bex Mason
a little different this time round, with Covid precautions in place meaning no pony cuddles! This is my fourth shoot at Bex’s yard, so as a seasoned pro(!), I asked if she might like to document her preparation in the lead up to the shoot! Huge thank you to Bex for an insightful read – it’s certainly interesting for me too, seeing the preparation that goes in the other side of the camera! Over to you Bex…

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When Jasmine and I discussed coming to do a photo shoot, I was instantly super excited! With the current strange times of Covid taking over the world we hadn’t seen anyone in person for a while so when Jasmine announced she could resume Photoshoot visits under Covid restrictions, it was great to have something to look forward to! Surely its every little girls dream to get dressed up and pose with your ponies? And for the 14 year old girl in me this still rings very true!

I have been lucky enough to have Jasmine come to my yard a few years ago. So not only do I know how great Jasmine is at direction when you’re feeling awkward in front of the camera, but her overall vibe helps you relax and enjoy the experience. Plus being in your normal environment with your animals and no added pressure, whats not to like? I knew it was going to be a good day.

1 week before…

Jasmine sent me over her guide for preparation and some outfit ideas, to plan for the shoot. When I was going about my day I’d think ‘Where in the stables would look pretty? Does it need a little tidy or a once over with the lawn mower?’

Whilst I was hacking, ideas would pop into my head about outfits I may want to wear, and what bridles and headcollers would need to be cleaned. My summer clothes hadn’t been brought out yet so when I arrived home I would pull out an old outfit and see if it could get away with an iron and as I did this I’d find something else that may be even better! Jasmine said to bring along a selection of clothes, so my bedroom did start to look a bit like a laundry room as the week went on! But I came up with some cool new outfit ideas that I hadn’t worn yet. Admittedly I did order a couple of cheeky cheap items off the internet to spruce up my older clothes too – isn’t online shopping just great!

1 Day before the shoot…

I’ve always been an early riser but like when you feel the excitement of going to a prestigious show, I woke particularly spritely knowing all the things we had to get done. I can often be on overdrive, so find its helpful to write down an order of the day the night before so I’m clear of how I will get everything done – it also helps me sleep soundly.

6am – Alarm. Morning routine.

6.30am – Breakfast, check emails, do the social media scroll.

7.15am-1.30pm – Arrive at yard, muck out, ride and fully bath and trim the 3 horses being used for the photos.

I knew I wouldn’t have time to ride all on the day of the shoot so wanted to make sure they all had ample work so they would then be happy and settled ready to pose the next day.

1.30pm – Lunch

2pm-6pm – Last minute yard tidying and preparations.

I like things to be just right. The last thing I want is to be running around last minute getting all filth before a photo shoot. The more organised I am the day before, the smoother and more pleasurable shoot day will be. Tack cleaned, stables de-cobwebbed, yard swept and washed,

6.30pm – Dinner

7.30pm – Prepare outfits, shoes/boots polished, jewellery, accessories etc packed away and put them in the car ready for the morning.

Photoshoot day!

5.15am – Alarm. Morning routine

5.30am – Breakfast

6.00am – Arrive at the yard, feed, muck out, complete morning yards

7.45am-10.15am – Prepare each of the 3 horses, wash stable stains, chalk socks, hot cloth and plait (leave hoof oil until they are ready for the photos, they will only get covered in bedding/dust).

Take outfits out from the car and arrange them in the tackroom ready for quick change. It also helps to have a mirror around although Jasmine is a pretty good judge on styling.

10.30 -11.30am – Go back home for shower, blow dry hair and makeup and pop on a casual outfit.

11.45am – Back to the yard, I then quickly skipped out the horses and hung bridles/headcollers out side doors ready for Jasmines arrival. To my delight the two baby horses were looking very happy with themselves covered in shavings!!

12pm – Jasmine arrived – we went through outfits and scouted locations, to decide which looks would work best for each horse.

Then we made a start, finishing touches with the hoof oil and snappy happy we were!

My Top tips for a successful shoot

  • Be organised – tidy yard, tidy mind. Good preparation is everything.
  • Ask friends or family for opinions on making decisions with outfits. They know you best and what outfits reflect you! I also spoke to Jasmine on the phone prior to the photoshoot to discuss outfit ideas.
  • Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone, you may just surprise yourself. One of my favourite looks from the shoot was a beach dress I purchased on holiday – not something I’d typically wear around horses(!) but I love the results we achieved with it.
  • Do a variety of bridle and headcollar photos. We used a leather/chain lead rein which looked really smart as a finishing touch.
  • Relax, smile and enjoy every moment, what’s the worst that can happen?
  • Remember it is a special occasion so make it one by making the extra effort!

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