The Horse Model | NZ Photo Art
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The Horse Model

The Horse Model

The owners of Equestrian Warehouse invited me to their farm to meet the passion behind their business, …horses. The purpose was to take lifestyle photos of equestrian products on a horse in the open field.

While driving to the farm, I was fully aware of the fact that I’m used to work in a studio where I have full control over the conditions i.e. lighting, the positioning of the products, etc. to take the desired perfect images. That day I realised that I would have almost no control over the conditions, but I still had the same desire: to take the perfect images.

I decided to partly make use of natural lighting, which is in itself a challenge in New Zealand where you can easily experience all four seasons in one day. There’s a saying in New Zealand that if it rain, just wait five minutes and the sun will shine again. The animal on which I’m fully dependent on for his cooperation is five times my size. After all, he is a racing horse, not a model.

I’m sure wedding photographers and child photographers will immediately say to me, “join the club”. Yes, I admire you guys. Many years ago while I was still an amateur photographer, I had my share of photographing weddings. That day on the horse farm it was my turn again to face this challenge.

For a product photographer, everything is about the lighting. The angles and direction of the lights are crucial, as well as the quantity, colour and the type of light, i.e. soft light and hard light. In the studio you can control and move the lights, and you can also move and turn the product you photograph. For this photoshoot, I partly made use of the sun as a lighting source, which I can’t move at all. The horse gear is worn by the horse, so my onlyHorse 2 option was to move the horse around to get everything right. I wasn’t sure whether the horse would be happy with this though, especially since I had quite a number of equestrian products to photograph. But what happened next, I never expected…

The horse was so patient with me turning him around and moving him forwards and backwards all the time. He soon became so bored with this photoshoot that he couldn’t help himself not falling asleep. The challenge became keeping him awake so that he could keep his eyes open, lift up his head and simply look alert, without getting fed up with this whole photoshoot business.

In the photo you can see the poor horse trying so hard to cooperate, his body language exclaiming: “Really, how boring can it be being a model?”

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