“How long will my session last?” It’s a common question that comes up during my session planning calls. My answer? It depends. There are a few things to factor in – the amount of sunlight that’s available, the session package that you chose, and the horse’s behavior.
Unfortunately, I don’t control the sun or the weather. I typically plan sessions to start about two hours before sunset. Cloudy skies, how close we are to the mountains or trees are things that will push us to shoot earlier, though. I love taking advantage of the soft, golden light that comes in during this time. It’s very flattering and makes for some breathtaking portraits.
Your session type will dictate how long we shoot. My Connection Sessions vary from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the package that you choose. Different packages have more outfit options, and, of course, more photos. I like to spend time photographing varying angles and closeups to get a variety of images to tell your story in an album.
Fine Art Sessions are a little more flexible in that they are typically photographed in a barn aisle or indoor arena (or any kind of entrance) and I won’t be fighting with harsh shadows in the late morning/early afternoon.
Horse behavior is another factor in how long the session lasts. I will only schedule one session per evening because I do not like to rush sessions. Horses are unpredictable and don’t always act accordingly. Something they walk by every day could turn into a horse-eating monster because the wind suddenly blew east instead of west.
Besides, we need time for treats and kisses, and sometimes we all just need a break from standing still for five forever minutes. Snacks and water for both humans and horses are strongly encouraged. No one wants to pose when they’re hangry.