10 tips on how to prepare to feel relaxed and enjoy your session

Are you feeling nervous or shy in front of the camera? Don't worry, it is absolutely normal - we are hard-wired to feel uncomfortable when somebody is watching us, it's the natural instinct to look out for predators. Your session is an opportunitiy to have fun with your horse and have an enjoyable experience - and here are some tips to help you with that.

  1. Relax before your session
  2. Wear something you feel comfortable in
  3. Choose the right time of day for your session
  4. Drink water
  5. Remember to breathe
  6. Think about something
  7. Keep moving
  8. Bring a friend
  9. Use a prop
  10. Have fun and enjoy yourself

Relax before your session

Get to your session in the right mindset. The morning of it, do something you enjoy! Is it having a luxury breakfast with your family, going for a run or meditate.

Also make sure you get to the yard on time. Giving yourself enough time to groom your horse and get yourself ready will leave you in a better mindset than rushing through it.

Wear something you feel comfortable in

Although you do want to dress up for your session, you also want that to be comfortable. Make sure that the clothes fit you well and feels authentic to you.

Choose the right time of day for your session

Are you a morning or evening person? If you barely function before noon, you'd probably feel better with a session scheduled in the afternoon. I'm a natural light photographer, so I schedule my sessions a few hours after sunrise/before sunset. But which of these options are better, is up to your personality.

Drink water

If you start to feel tense, take a break to drink some water. Having the short break and being well hydrated will make you stay more comfortable.

Remember to breathe

Have your trainer ever told you that you need to remember to breathe during a lesson? Just as it's easy to hold your breath when you're focused at riding, it's easy to do when you are focused on the camera. Unfortunatly, holding your breath creates tensions in your body, which isn't helpful in your schooling, and will make you feel more uncomfortable in front of the camera.

Taking a few deep breaths, roll your shoulders and maybe walking back and forth a bit does wonders to the tensions in your body, as well as your mind.

Think about something

Thinking about looking good in front of the camera is probably not going to help you very much. Instead, focus on your horse, think about the beautiful relationship you have and be present in the moment. I will give you directions of what to do, you only need to think about what you feel about your horse.

Keep moving

It is much easier to stay relaxed if you move around. Pet your horse, look in different directions. Lean on something. I will direct you, but to stay relaxed, don't think about it as static poses and feel free to move a bit. If you don't feel comfortable in a pose, tell me and we'll change it.

Bring a friend

One of the easiest ways to relax, is to bring a friend to your session. Now your focus isn't just on the camera, but also on your friend. They can tell you jokes, tell you how amazing you look and help to bring up the energy levels.

Use a prop

Using props can be a really helpful way to relax, it is easier to relax if you are doing something rather than just standing still and looking at the camera. The good news is that we will have the best prop - your horse! Interacting with your horse will really help you to relax and feel more comfortable.

Have fun and enjoy yourself

The goal of the session isn't for you to perform, it's about having fun and sharing the experience together with your horse. Leave the rest for me and I'll make sure that we get gorgeous portraits of the two of you.

Black and white photo of girl and her horse
Professional horse photographer in Surrey
Feel confident and relaxed in front of the camera
Girl posing together with horse in front of the camera
Relaxing and fun sessions with your horse
Photo of girl and her horse taken in Surrey

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