As a follow up to the previous post on my dream photoshoot with LindseyK Photo, below are answers to the questions submitted to the ECE Instagram account!
Questions for the Photographer (LindseyK Photo)
How far do you travel?
I will travel anywhere! I’ll travel 3-4 hours by car for a standard shoot, and I’m also happy to travel longer distances as long as I discuss travel plans with my clients beforehand.
How long does a standard shoot take?
Anywhere from 1-2 hours; this all depends on the horse, location and what kind of photos you’re looking for. I do not like exceed 2 hours as people get tired and horses get irritated, which will show in photos.
What should your price range look like when you’re buying in bulk?
So, if you’re wanting to divide up horses per 1 shoot, I would charge my normal session rate. However, if you’re wanting extensive photos for each horse, I would highly suggest breaking sessions up into days. That is ALOT to shoot in one dayfor one person, and I would never want it to reflect in your images. If you’re in contact with a photographer, I would make sure you’re VERY clear about what you want. You don’t want to go in thinking you’re getting all 3 horses in a shoot, yet you’re told you have one hour. If this is not the answer you were looking for, please contact me directly so we can further discuss what you have in mind.
Also, something to keep in mind, which may be different from other photogs: I deliver ALL images via a high resolution online gallery. From there you can order prints and more if you would like. I am a firm believer that you should have access to every image I edit.
What camera, lens, and editor do you use? What do you recommend to someone just starting out?
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III, it was a big buy for me as they are not cheap – but one of the best decisions I’ve made. My main lenses for portraits are a Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 and a Canon 85mm 1.8 (both AMAZING lenses). I also have a Canon 50mm (GREAT fixed lens) and 24-70mm. The 24-70 is a great starter lens for those not comfortable with fixed lenses just yet. It’s also an amazing lens to take for travel!
I started with a Canon Rebel T3i. It was a great camera, but I just grew out of it. If you’re just starting out, I would recommend renting a camera first. I wish I would have done that! Also, get to know cameras, know the difference between crop and full frame and what each one offers. There are so many great cameras out there these days, I’ve just always been a Canon girl.
As far as editing goes, I edit with Lightroom, which is apart of the Adobe Suite. I also have Photoshop, but only use it when something needs to be taken out like a stop sign or a random car, etc. Now, Lightroom is a BEAST. I remember the first time I sat down to edit and it almost took me 5 hours to edit a small engagement shoot because it had so many tools. It’s so easy to get carried away and over edit. However, it’s now my best friend and I couldn’t live without it. I know I have so much more to learn from it, but it seriously has taken my photography to the next level. Great question!
Tips to avoid scams/unprofessional photographers?
Research, research, research. I cannot express that enough. Social media is a powerhouse and you’ll find out pretty fast if a photographer is pulling your leg or not. Also, consistency with communication is so important. If you email one and communication with them is dragging, you may want to look for other options. Taylor and I were in constant communication with regards to outfits and rescheduling about 5 times due to weather.
Hiring a photographer is a scary thing: you’re asking a stranger to come and document an intimate part of your life, it causes some vulnerability; so making sure you are aware of their intentions is important! Also, a checklist to see if they have a website and social media accounts.
Lastly, if you’ve booked a shoot and you’re paying them, ensure that there is a detailed contract for you both to sign, this is SO important and will save you should anything go wrong. A lot of photographers require a retainer fee, which is about 1/4 of the cost of the shoot.
Questions for the Client (Taylor)
How do you act natural?
I feel like if you’re working with the right photographer, they make it super easy. Lindsey made it feel so natural – she would direct me on where to look and ask me if I could do certain things, like put my arms up around Donny’s neck or lean my head against his. She was constantly moving around us and I was mainly focused on Donny/Cam the entire time. She would also have us walk to a certain point, then turn around and walk back towards her. The entire time she would be helping me figure out where to look by saying “look over my left shoulder, okay now look up at him, now look right at me…” I didn’t really have time to actually think about acting natural/not goofy, which was amazing.
Concern over being an inconvenience to the rest of the barn & if so how to minimize/deal with it?
The great thing about getting that ‘golden light’ is it’s either first thing in the morning or at the very end of the day. At my barn, things are pretty quiet around 5:30-6:30pm. I totally get where you’re coming from though – it is a little awkward to be “that person” who is having a photoshoot with their horse. But at the end of the day, you pay money to board your horse where you do and should be able to do whatever you want (I mean… within reason.) Give your barn manager enough notice and if you’re not grooming your horse yourself ask that they get fed dinner beforehand and stay inside to prevent rolling and getting dirty. The photos make it all worth it!
What do you do to prepare the horses? And yourself?
Wear outfits you’re comfortable in. Make sure you won’t be tripping over your dress or constantly worrying a wardrobe malfunction is about to happen. (Ex: avoid super short dresses or ones that require you to constantly adjust any straps.) Try them on beforehand and always have a backup. I also recommend NOT wearing heels. I have a hard enough time walking in them as it is, so I knew that trying to lead my horse and take photos would be a disaster waiting to happen. This is also personal preference, but try to stick to neutrals/timeless colors and styles. Crop tops and cutout shoulders may be in now, but might not be not in ten years. I think minimal, natural makeup photographs best.
As for your horse, make sure they’ve been worked/turned out that day as well as had their dinner so they’re not a bundle of energy or anxious to get back for feeding time. Keep the shoot within areas they’re familiar and comfortable with. Don’t use brand new (or dirty!) tack.
How do you get your horse clean/keep yourself clean?
Give them a bath a few hours beforehand and don’t let them roll/go outside until after the shoot. Keep a towel handy to wipe mouths and prevent slobber stains. A good photographer should be able to photoshop out any glaring stains or messes.
Tips for making your horse cooperate?
Good ground manners is always a win, but Donny decided to throw those out the window during our shoot. Lindsey was great and kept us walking/changing locations so he wouldn’t get bored standing in the same place for too long. She captured a bunch of intimate photos of me talking to him and telling him to behave himself, haha! So as long as you have a photographer that can work with what they’ve got, they should be able to capture some beautiful candid images of you walking/hugging/talking to your horse. Make it seem like you’re just going for a walk or practicing standing. As for grass hogs… I have no advice. Both Donny and Cam couldn’t resist it and I found myself getting almost pulled over more than once. The grazing photos turned out really well though, so that is always an option too!
How do you handle outfit changes?
I put the horses in their stalls and changed from riding clothes into my dress in under five minutes, so it really wasn’t as big of a deal as I was making it out to be. (For some reason I thought it would be this huge undertaking.) Lindsey and I agreed on doing an outfit change prior to the shoot, so since we had it worked into our arrangement it was easy peasy. If you want an outfit change I would 100% confirm with your photographer so you’re both on the same page.
Things I wish I’d done differently?
I let Donny’s silliness get to me and I should have just not worried about it, because in hindsight he wasn’t being all that bad. I think if I had relaxed a little bit more he would have as well. But after we gave him a break and I took some photos with Cam I was also more relaxed myself which helped a lot. OH – I also didn’t apply enough fly spray the first time out, so that caused us to go back into the barn. I think I’d love to have him braided for my next one for a more formal look!