As an animal-lover, I appreciate many different kinds of creatures on this earth. However, I have always found horses to be some of the most incredible. That’s why the idea of including horses in wedding photography is so intriguing to me – you get to combine the magic of a wedding with the beauty of nature! I had the opportunity to speak with Tri-Cities wedding photographer Karen Fig, the owner of Photo Tech Photography, to learn about a few tips for planning bridal portraits with horses. Karen’s passion for horses and photgraphy was quite evident in our conversation, and I loved hearing how she works with brides to customize their photo sessions to suit their comfort levels and tastes. Read on for her three great tips!
1. Figure out your comfort level with horses.
Whether you’ve grown up with horses around you your entire life, or your only experience with them is riding the carousel once when you were eight, Karen assures you that you can have beautiful bridal portraits that include these exquisite four-legged creatures. The secret, she says, is to understand how comfortable you are with horses beforehand and go from there. As Karen explains, you don’t want to take somebody who’s not familiar with horses at all and put her on top of one in her huge gown and start snapping photos. If you have little to no experience with horses but have your heart set on having a few bridal portraits shot with them, you may want to consider taking some riding lessons before the photo shoot to get used to being around them. You don’t have to become an expert rider, but a few extra lessons can make a world of difference in creating bridal portraits in which you look relaxed and comfortable.
2. Spend time before the photo shoot with the particular horse you’ll be riding for your bridal portraits.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been showing horses for years, you want to make sure you spend some pre-photo time with the special horse that will be appearing in your bridal portraits. Karen explains that because every horse has its own personality, you’ll want to get to know it and practice riding in jeans before throwing on a gorgeous white dress and galloping away and expecting perfect photos. Karen talks with brides beforehand to see if they want to ride their own horses or work with one of Karen’s for the photography session. Brides riding their own horses is great, because the bridal portraits can help capture the special relationship shared between the two. However, having photos taken with one of Karen’s horses works just as well. She brings the bride in to meet the horse in a very relaxed, controlled environment and they get to know each other’s personalities weeks before the actual bridal portraits are taken.
3. Plan to have your bridal portraits done six to eight months before the wedding.
If you plan on including horses in your wedding photography, Karen suggests getting the photos taken plenty of time in advance of the big day. Because Tennessee weather can be so unbelievably unpredictable, allowing for extra time before your wedding is definitely advantageous. Karen explains that while rain is not necessarily a bad thing for wedding photos, rainy or muddy conditions can be dangerous for brides and their horses, so it’s best to wait until the weather clears up before getting those particular shots. Now, if the idea of riding with an animal weighing 1,000 pounds through a field of daisies has you concerned about keeping your wedding dress in perfect condition, Karen says you can always come back after the big day to have your bridal portraits done. Some brides even enjoy including horses in their Trash the Dress sessions!
Karen’s mother was a horse trainer, so she’s been around horses her entire life. She pursued a career in animal science before taking up photography full time. Although she’s worked in all kinds of different photography, including entertainment, Karen’s passion is working with nature! To learn more about her amazing wedding photography skills, be sure to take a look at her website, and connect with her on Facebook too. Give Karen a call at (423) 360-6900, and tell her The Pink Bride sent you!
All photos courtesy of the Photo Tech Photography Facebook page.