The following is a list of frequently asked questions that have asked over the years. They are not exhaustive and so if you can't find the answer to your question amongst them, then please contact me.

Do the lights and background not scare horses?

As a prey animal horses have a lot to be scared of, or at least they think they do! That carrier bag could in fact be a lion, and the pallet that's been sat on the yard for several weeks might actually be a leopard waiting for the right moment to strike! The short answer to this question is no they don't scare the horses, however anything new is something for a horse to be wary of.

Knowing horses, and how they are likely to think and react, is therefore key. I spend time getting to know your horse before the shoot starts and always set up in sight and sound of them. That way they have plenty of time to get used to me, the background (if used) and the flash units. It is often the 'pop' noise the flash unit makes, rather than the light, that horses need to get used to and a few tests while setting up usually does the trick.

I am yet to find a horse that has not got used to the lights and other equipment by the time I'm ready to start the shoot.

My horse is very nervous and spooks at anything and everything.

As mentioned in the answer above, I've not found a horse that doesn't get used to the studio equipment, and usually it takes only a few minutes for them to do so. I've photographed horses in the past that shy at the sight of a change in road surface, but who've stood calmly whilst the lights flash away. One even spent most of the session yawning! Remaining calm, confident and relaxed throughout the set up and photography session is important, and a supply of Polos, carrots or similar helps.

In the unlikely event that your horse just doesn't get used to the equipment then we can try again another day. The only cost to you is that I would ask you to pay my travel for the extra journey. If it still doesn't work out then I will refund you your money less my travel costs.

What happens if the weather is bad?

The main reasons for cancelling due to weather are wind and rain, as neither is particularly good for the lights and background, and they're not particularly good for a horse's temperament either. If you don't have a covered school, barn or other suitable area where the session can take place, then it's as simple as rearranging for another day, which is mutually convenient for everyone involved.

I normally make a decision based on the weather forecast a day or two beforehand and will inform you if it's not looking good. 

What if I have to cancel the session?

If something comes up, which means you need to cancel, then please give me as much notice as possible. The date can always be rearranged, and I try to be as flexible as possible because sometimes things happen. I reserve the right to retain 25% of your fee if you cancel the session completely, however this will of course depend on your reason and the amount of notice given. Please see my terms and conditions for full details.

What's included in the fee?

My fee for an equine portrait includes everything from the initial consultation to you receiving a mounted and framed portrait, ready to hang on your wall. Some photographers only provide a mounted or unmounted print with their fee, while others will charge you one fee for the photography session and then charge you separately if you want any of the images printed or mounted. If you're comparing photographers, make sure you check the pricing structure as well as their portfolios.

So what does my fee include?

  • Initial consultation in person or by phone;
  • Travel up to 30 miles from Newmarket, Suffolk (excess mileage is charged at 45 pence per mile);
  • Setting up of the equipment, which includes getting to know your horse and getting them used to the lights etc.;
  • One and a half to two hours of photography;
  • An online gallery from which to choose your favourite image(s);
  • A professionally printed 18x12 inch photo on archival paper, mounted and framed in a bespoke, hand made frame*;
  • A disc with all the worked images from the session (at a medium resolution);
  • Discount on further prints and mounted work.

* If your chosen image does not fit these exact dimensions, it will be 18 inches along its longest side and the width will be proportionate.

I can of course provide you with any other printing and framing service you require, so if you'd prefer a larger print, canvas printing, an acrylic block or any anything else then please let me know and I will give you an all inclusive price for your specific requirements.

Is there anything I need to do?

The most important thing is to have your horse groomed and ready to be photographed by the time I arrive, or soon after. This allows them time to relax, see the equipment being set up and get to know me.

You will also need to handle your horse throughout the session, as whilst I am happy to help position them beforehand, I obviously need to move away to take the photos. I always recommend having another person there to help you, if at all possible, as not only does this make things easier for you, some of the shots you can see in my portfolio (such as the head/neck flexing images) require a second person to achieve.

Finally, if you don't own the yard/property where the session will take place, please make sure that you have the owner's permission in advance, and if it's a shared yard, that all the other liveries are aware of what is happening.

Can I have more than one horse photographed?

Absolutely. If you have two, or possibly more, horses that you'd like me to photograph, then as long as we can get them done individually and/or together within the time of a normal session then there is no increase in the fee. The only increase in cost would occur if you wanted more than one framed print from the session, or we needed to extend the session. I am happy to discuss this in advance and make sure you get what you want from your booking.

Do you do yard days?

In short, yes. Yard days are a good way of reducing the cost of having your horse's portrait taken. The actual cost will depend on what you as a yard want me to do, together with the number of owners that want their horses photographed. Please contact me for a quote specific to your requirements.

I would like to book a commission as a surprise gift?

The only thing to bear in mind here is the timings. You will need to book the session well in advance of the date you need the final framed image, in case the weather means that it needs to be rearranged. Please also remember that all my prints are mounted and framed in hand made bespoke frames, and this can take up to three weeks to be completed.

I would recommend booking a session around two months in advance of the date you need the gift ready to give, as this allows for pretty much every eventuality, but if that's not possible then I will do what I can to meet your deadline.

Can I give the session itself as a gift, rather than the framed print?

Of course. If you need a gift voucher, so that you can give that as the present, then please contact me and I will be happy to oblige. All gift vouchers are personalised to the recipient and are valid for one year from date of purchase.

When will I get my framed image?

Usually this is around three to four weeks after the date of the photography session, however it is dependent on a number of things. The first is how long you take to choose which image you want to be mounted and framed. This can be a difficult decision, and so you should take as long as you need, however it obviously delays getting the final image to you.

I am also reliant on a number of external suppliers and their workloads, however once you've chosen your favourite photo the time to get the final framed image ready is around two weeks. Time scales around Christmas are longer, however I will let you have an estimated date for delivery once you have chosen your image.

end faq