Getting Candid with an Equestrian Photoshoot

When you buy a new horse, you book the obligatory equestrian photoshoot to capture your new relationship. As a photographer myself, I am more comfortable behind the lens, so I was a little anxious about being the subject. The good news is when you are photographing horses they have a way of keeping you humble and being the focus on themselves. Especially when you have a lot of personality like Ferrous.


Equestrian Photoshoot


Callie Heroux is a local eventer and photographer. I’d entered her model call last year but was not chosen, however, I did keep her information just in case. And I’m so glad. After I bought Ferrous, I booked a session with Callie for early March. I was hoping it would be a little less chilly and Ferrous and I would have some time to bond.


Remember that big nor’easter that swept through early March in New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts? Well, I thought that would completely cancel our session. Luckily the weather turned immediately and within 48 hours all the snow had melted. It was still a bit chilly and there were wind gusts over 20 mph.


Fantastic for us Ferrous isn’t the spooky type. But it did make for some interesting hair flying around on my part! 


Equestrian photoshoots are unique. Not only does the photographer have to take into account the weather, but working with an animal who doesn’t really understand how to pose for pictures (me), and of course the horse. Talk about a handful. So Callie had her work cut out for her. Neither Ferrous or I are known for keeping still. 


© Callie Heroux Photography


Ferrous had been in the paddock that day. However,  knowing he’s a bit antsy I gave him a dose of Treatibles’ PCR oil and lunged him before the shoot. Glad I did! As it was, he did the opposite of pose for photos. 


© Callie Heroux Photography. When you are supposed to be looking at the camera.


My sweet little pony is full of personality and there was a lot of laughing involved during the two hour shoot. We found some beautiful backdrops, no surprise as my barn is an idyllic landscape in the heart of Monmouth County.


Horse kiss
© Callie Heroux Photography


A good trick during shoots with horses is having a few horse treats on hand, like peppermints. Except then your horse knows you have treats and results in two hours of you fending off your pony. Constant nudges,  trying to dig into your pockets, and basically being a nuisance, albeit a cute one. Still, very easy for training purposes! And it does make for some adorable photos.


© Callie Heroux Photography
© Callie Heroux Photography


As you can see, Callie had her work cut out for her but good thing I love candid shots instead of posed, because I feel these really captured our personalities. Two goofballs. 


Do you love candid photos or posed photos? Why?

28 thoughts on “Getting Candid with an Equestrian Photoshoot

  1. Great shots! And I totally understand the challenges a photographer faces. When shooting photos of my deaf dogs with street art, I have to keep the weather, the lighting, the wall and the pedestrian & car traffic in mind. I also have to “talk” with one hand (giving hand signs) while shooting photos with the other!

    1. You take amazing photos so you’ve obviously gotten the hang of it!

  2. I love the last photo the best…so cute! The others are funny too…glad you had a patient photographer and a nice day for the shoot.

    1. Thank you! Yes, having an equine photographer makes a huge difference. We both know horses and she had a few tricks up her sleeve and just laughed when Ferrous didn’t cooperate. It’s all about capturing the moments that happen.

  3. Those are beautiful photos. You must be very pleased. Congratulations on your new pony. Ferrous is a handsome boy!

    1. Thank you so much!

  4. These are so much fun! I love the candid approach. I’ve always has a soft spot for photos that look like they just “happen” rather that styled formal portraits. Although hey have their place too. There is in Ottawa; still an old stable right downtown in the Byward Market. It was grandfathered in after the law no longer permitting horses in the city was passed. It’s lovely … I often have tea next door and watch their miniature horse do his little laps. I keep thinking I should try and get a photoshoot done with my miniature Montecristo … and that tiny horse!

    1. That sounds like an amazing photo opportunity! I would love to see those photos.

  5. What a fantastic photo shoot and I love the pictures. Layla is impossible with staying still for pics so I always have to catch her randomly LOL .

    1. Beau is the same way! Whenever he sees a camera he jumps in my face.

  6. First, I love your tee shirt in the first shot! Second, the last candid shot of you two shows such great chemistry. Lastly, I much prefer candid shots if I have to be in the picture. I have to pretend laugh out loud to get any kind of natural looking smile on my face. So when I’m in a group of people who don’t know me too well, I’m that weirdo laughing awkwardly at nothing so I have a chance at looking naturally happy in the picture. LOL!

    1. I love that! I’m awkward too, and never felt comfortable when looking at photos of myself. So I prefer the candids where I can just be myself. Posed always look so awkward of me!

  7. Aww what a great photo shoot. I love the goofy candid nature of the photos. You both really look like you are in sync and have bonded well. And I had no idea horses like peppermints! Who knew? Glad you booked a session and know you’ll have these memories with Ferrous to keep forever!

    1. Thank you, yes they completely captured our silly personalities! It was a lot of fun.

  8. It looks like you had a lot of fun during your photo session! What a great way to mark the occasion of getting a horse of your own.

    1. Thank you! We had a lot of fun, I just wish it had been a little warmer.

  9. These photos are amazing. Wow. I need to find somebody who’d take some good photos with me and my girly, ideally with as little of me as possible, though. Just enough so it’s apparent I’m in the photo.

    1. I understand. I am rarely in my own photos, and of course extremely hard on myself. I’d rather hide behind him completely!

  10. Such gorgeous photos, I prefer the more natural photo than posed ones, because you really get a feel of both of your characters. You really have some beautiful shots there!

    1. Thank you I totally agree with you!

  11. I loooove the idea of an equestrian photoshoot!! The horse is so beautiful. Also I didn’t know horses like peppermints!!

    1. Yes, horses have a huge sweet tooth and love the taste and smell of peppermint.

  12. Such a beautiful horse.

    1. Thank you, I think so!

  13. Hahahaha! No different than my dog, with the treats around (albeit a much bigger one). These are such great pictures, and really capture the affection you share. Ferrous is a handsome fellow.

    1. He’s definitely like a big dog! Thank you so much.

  14. I like both but Mr. N ends up posing for candids a lot of the time too so they’re slightly posed! I helped out at a shoot once where there was a dog, a pig and kids. That was a fun time!

    1. Oooh, that sounds challenging! My dogs see a camera now and immediately run up to it or away from it. Neither one makes for a very good photo. LOL.

What are your thoughts?