Family Sessions with horses

This family session was what dreams are made of! Seriously! Like a story out of one of my Greek Mythology books...

I have known Andrea since high school (don't ask how long ago that was!). She reached out to me about doing their family session along with their horses and I couldn't have been more honored.

The women of this family brought their horses, while Andrea's son Hunter brought his horse of steel...his truck! Andrea's horse is Doll, a 10 year old AQHA mare. Hunter's girlfriend, Victoria owns Hot Tamale, a small but adorable 10 year old bay roan AQHA mare. Three year old Carmen brought her mare Coco, a 22 year old sorrel AQHA mare. And last we have Gindii, a small dun mix breed owned by Melanie. And Dave was amazing at helping with all of the horses and everything in between.

While everything about this session looks calm, cool and collected, I know that up until the time we started shooting Andrea did not feel calm, cool and collected. Keys to one of their rigs were forgotten, which required them to turn around and arrive on location later than planned. And it was definitely windier than most people prefer to take their family photos in (myself included) and I would even say windier than most horses will behave well in.

Scroll down to find out why this family session looks so well put together even with unplanned obstacles and what tips they followed to ensure that things would go as smoothly as possible.

TIPs for a smooth family session with horses

plan your outfits out weeks before your photo shoot

With many people and multiple different colored horses, it can be hard to coordinate outfits. Andrea's family opted for neutral colors that compliment all of the horses' colors and all worked well with each...and definitely added to the Greek Gods and Goddess' vibes, might I add.

if you choose a location that is away from your property, make sure that your horses are familiar with the area well before the session date

Andrea's family likes to trailer their horses to Lagoon Valley in Vacaville to trail ride, so these horses have been here many times. This is such a beautiful place for photos, it was a perfect option for a location other than their barn. So, even though it was windy, their horses were very well behaved.

plan to arrive at least a half hour before you are set to start shooting

You will want to arrive at least a half hour or more before you start shooting to let your horses settle, to finish getting yourself and your family into their clothes and make any hair and makeup finishing touches.

Andrea and family were planning to arrive a half hour or more before we were set to start shooting, but life happened! The forgotten keys delayed them, but due to the time buffer that they allowed themselves, they still arrived with plenty of time (of which I assured her NOT to rush). I know that Andrea felt rushed (because she has multiple people and horses to wrangler) but in the end, we had plenty of gorgeous light to work with and their session was PERFECTION.

hire a photographer that works with horses, knows how to pose them and their owners and can smoothly transition many poses and many people in a short amount of time

Working with horses is not like working with puppies. Horses are very large, and sometimes very flighty creatures. Knowing their limits is important. Knowing how to have them stand and where to place their person is important.

It is also important to scope out the best locations with the best light to shoot before you start shooting. I arrived 45 minutes before we started shooting to ensure that I knew where we were going to shoot in order to have the maximum amount of camera time possible. I also always bring an assistant to help with getting ears forward (aka my mom and she is awesome!).

Upon booking an Equestrian session with Lauren Ann Pace Photography, I email a Welcome Guide that talks about all of these things: outfits, when and how to prepare you and your horse, and what to expect from me, your photographer, so that even if life gets in the way, your session with go as smooth as possible.

~scroll down to view the rest of their gorgeous photos and find out what andrea had to say about their experience with Lauren ann pace photography~
Lauren was beyond awesome, so easy, friendly, fun and relaxing to work with. Wrangling kids, horses, wind all while trying to catch the setting sun was a challenge, but Lauren made everything so seamless. We’ll absolutely be coming back again for pictures in the future.