It’s the morning of your photo session with your horse and he’s all clean and hanging out in his stall munching on some hay, and it’s finally time for you to get ready!
One of the most important things to do is to manage your time. Figure out how long it will take cleaning your horse and getting yourself ready, and add an hour. You might think that’s being over cautious, but it’s for if something comes up that you weren’t expecting. And if you complete everything on time, then you have some time to rest before your photographer arrives.
Let’s just say that you don’t add an extra hour and you’re running behind and you’re not ready when the photographer arrives. Sure, your photographer will most likely wait for you to finish getting ready, but they are scheduled to be there at a certain time to start and a certain time to stop. That stop or end time doesn’t get pushed back if you’re running late. If you’re doing an evening golden hour session, the photographer won’t physically be able to extend their time because the daylight will run out. And even if it’s a morning or afternoon session, your photographer could have another session they will travel to.
Please make sure that you have enough time to get everything done and that’s one of the reasons why you clean the tack the day before and pick out your outfit at least a week before. This will help with stress levels, because your horse can sense your stress levels and if you’re stressed they will start stressing. If you’re happy and calm, your horse will be calm and cooperative.
When you’re doing your hair and makeup, go for a timeless look. Don’t worry about what’s on trend because it will be out of style in a couple years and your photos will look outdated.
I love the classic look of loose curled or straight hair with maybe a little from the top pulled back so that you can see your eyes more. Your hairstyle should look classy, not too wildly or messy, and to help frame your face. If you most have a ponytail, keep in mind that your hair won’t be able to help frame your face. If your hair is loose during your shoot, you can always change it up partway in by throwing it up in a loose bun if it compliments your outfit.
As you do your makeup, remember that the camera will generally make it look two shades lighter, so doing it a little dark with the eye shadow, eye liner, and mascara will help with making your eye color pop. I also recommend false lashes, if you have never put them on yourself, practice before your session to make sure you have the hang of it. And if you have light eyebrows, I'd recommend taking the time to fill them in. Also, foundation is very helpful to keep your skin tone even. Everyone thinks photographers can "photoshop it out" but it makes it more streamlined to have everything looking amazing "in camera." Plus, the less time your photographer needs to spend editing, the higher the likelihood of getting outstanding, natural looking images, because they didn't need to spend hours photoshopping anything with the possibility of it looking fake.
And an an alternative to doing your hair and makeup yourself is finding a HMUA (Hair and MakeUp Artist) to take care of everything. If you do use a HMUA, make sure to talk to them about what you would like done and then find out how long it will take them to complete the look. Once again, plan an extra hour into getting ready so that you’re not frazzled or frustrated.
Now that your hair and makeup is done, but before you are dressed, go and check on your horse to make sure that they are still clean and do any spot cleaning. Once the spot cleaning is done, change into your cute clothes for your shoot. Ideally you’re not wearing your session outfit while doing spot cleaning just in case you get a little dirty in the process. Once everything is spic and span, change into your first outfit for your photo shoot.
For your change of outfits, make sure that they are in a safe, clean place that's easy to get to when it is time to change. You don't want to run up the hill to change if there's a place to change closer to where your shoot is taking place.
Now, get ready for some fun with your best friend while having some awesome photos captured that can be cherished for years to come.
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Artist, Photographer & Educator