Instagram Story – Q&A
I recently took to my Instagram stories and encouraged my followers to ask Questions for this blog! Huge thank you to everybody who sent in questions, I loved reading them! Here’s my answers below…
How do you manage horses and running a business?
I’m still figuring this one out! It definitely wouldn’t be possible without a team behind me. The beauty of running your own business is the flexibility of choosing your own working hours. That said, it’s sometimes difficult to stop yourself from working every hour of the day! I’ve got a number of regular freelance photographers working for me who I can totally rely on to cover shows under my name, if I’m busy competing (or even covering another show). I’m also lucky to have help with the horses, which I definitely couldn’t manage without, especially when I’m leaving for an event at 6.30am and getting back at 10pm! My mother is super passionate about showjumping too so has brought the horses to shows I’m working at on numerous occasions for me to ride! It takes a huge amount of organising but is so worthwhile!
What are your riding and photography goals?
In a nutshell, to be the best I can be at both. In terms of showjumping, I’d like to qualify for HOYS again, compete at some big shows, but most importantly, to have fun! With the business, I’d like to continue growing and developing my team and the services we offer. I’m happy with how my business has grown year on year, and will keep pushing it forward as much I can!
What inspired you to do Photography?
It’s cheesy. But through my love of horses, I found my passion for photographing them. I do now occasionally photograph other subjects, but the love was always horses.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Horses! And seeing customers faces light up when they love the photos you’ve captured of their horse. Plus the perks of being your own boss!
What’s the hardest part of the Equine Photography Industry?
If I’d been asked this 7 years ago I’d have said it was having the confidence to step into a male dominated industry at the age of 17 with little experience and believing in myself and making it work. Other challenges are similar to any other self employed work; seasonal work, fluctuating income, relying on staff, technology and British weather(!), and finding the right work/life balance. Couldn’t imagine a job I’d rather do though!
What’s the best Camera/lens combo for photographing horses at events?
I’ve used both Canon & Nikon and in my opinion, either brand are the best you can get. For equine events, I mostly use my Canon 1dx Mark II with a Canon 70-200 f2.8 lens. My favourite combination!
What camera settings are best for horse action photos?
If indoors, I shoot in Manual with the following settings; f2.8, shutter speed 1/800 or 1/640 (or 1/500 if very low light) then ISO on whatever it needs to be! For outdoors, I either shoot in Manual (aperture at around f4-f5, Shutter speed at minimum of 1/800), or if varying light, Manual with Auto ISO or Shutter Priority with shutter set somewhere between 1/800 and 1/1600. Totally depends on the situation and lighting.
What’s your Shutter count on your 1dx?
I didn’t even want to look… 290,000. In 18 months… yikes!
What’s your favourite thing to shoot? XC, Dressage or SJ?
This is so hard! I genuinely love them all. Showjumping is my sport, so I love photographing it. Photographing horses jumping a big, bold XC fence is fantastic too. But the higher level dressage is just so so beautiful to photograph. So if I could choose anything, it’d probably be a top level Dressage show!
What has been your Favourite show so far?
It’s always pretty inspiring and special covering top level competition. Hartpury Winter Classic was a fantastic show to be part of last Winter, as is Somerford Premier League. I’ve got some fantastic regular venues and organisers, and I truly love photographing all of the shows we cover.
Would you ever consider taking on a sponsored rider who doesn’t compete as seriously?
Absolutely! I currently sponsor 2 riders and would consider taking on others in the future. Although my riders are both very competitive, for me it’s not so much about results and picking up red rosettes. Both riders have brought me opportunities, whether it’s bookings through recommendations, collaborations with their other sponsors, or simply positive brand awareness through social media. The great thing about social media these days is that you can create your own personal brand, regardless of the level you compete at. Companies receive countless messages regarding sponsorship, so the most important thing is to work out what YOU can offer them, that makes you different from all the other enquiries they’ve had.
Would you do other photoshoot giveaways?
Once I’ve carried out the photoshoots of my 2 recent winners, this is definitely something I’ll look into doing again! The response from my recent competition was amazing, I wish I could’ve chosen everybody!
Would you consider taking on somebody for work experience?
I’ve been asked this a lot for schools work experience and it’s something that I’ve always had to decline. It’s tricky because I don’t have a set working week, they vary so much. I don’t often know how my week’s planned out until the weekend before, so it’s difficult to know in advance, if I’d be able to fit someone in for work experience. It’s definitely something I want to do in the future though.
How much are your photoshoots?
All pricing can be found here;
Thank you so much to everybody who took part in sending questions in!
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