Horse Photography Workshop:
Horses are so beautiful, and I love to photograph beautiful things! This past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend a horse photography workshop hosted by Phyllis Burchett at Greer Farm in Hampton, Georgia. It was a half day of hands on learning where I was able to capture some wonderful images thanks to the guidance of Phyllis and the incredible models and their horses.
I think I’ll start this blog off with a bit of poetry and horse photos since I think these poems and quotes describe some of my photos from the workshop.
My horse’s feet are as swift as rolling thunder
He carries me away from all my fears
And when the world threatens to fall asunder
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
Horses – if God made anything more beautiful, he kept it for himself. ~Author Unknown
A horse is poetry in motion. ~Author Unknown
When you are on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have. ~Winston Churchill
The workshop started at 1:00 pm and lasted until after dark. We met in the farmhouse first, and Phyllis went through the agenda for the workshop and asked if anyone had questions about the information she sent. She emailed tips on horse photography to review beforehand so we could focus on putting that into practice during the workshop.
Next, we went to the barn to take portraits. Phyllis had a black sheet to block the back part of the barn which made editing much easier. I love the way my portraits came out. The soft beautiful light at the front of the barn, plain background, good-looking models and gorgeous horses make for stunning portraits. You can see some of my best portraits below. Phyllis chose a variety of models and horses for us to work with. Some of these portraits I can use as examples of horse photography on my website and others I can edit more artistically.
There were several locations for portraits. Here is a stall doorway which is another great place for a horse and rider portrait.
There was a wall set up for detail shots of horse tact or as a background for portraits.
This was a fun set up they had for an outhouse shot.
Unfortunately it was a very hot day, but the models were tough and you can’t even tell in the photos that they were hot. To cool off, we took a water break after the portraits. It was nice to look through some of our shots and visit with the other photographers there. Next, we headed to the pond. Some of the horses really enjoyed the water which was fun to watch.
Phyllis encouraged us to take detail shots, and with the tack and dress of the riders there were some good opportunities for this type of shot. For the most part, I photographed the models that Phyllis was setting up for us. However, she encouraged us to direct the other models and take them where we wanted if we were looking for a specific type of shot. There were also horses in the surrounding pastures to photograph.
After the pond shots we were served the most fabulous dinner of pork roast and various amazing salads and sides including hash brown casserole and stuffed jalapeños wrapped in bacon. There was an entire table of desserts. After dinner we went to the ridge which we were all looking forward to since we had seen some of the photographs taken there from past workshops. We started at the mock grave which is a great location for an artistic shot.
One of the experienced photographers found this spot with backlight and asked to have the models pose there. You can see how the light in this one is special and gives a magical feel to the photo.
There were many, many opportunities to get the riders walking and riding across the ridge. Below are just a few of my favorites. The riders had many different props including guns, ropes, and flags. It was Memorial Day weekend so I was excited to get a patriotic flag shot to share with my friends and family.
As the sky changed and grew darker our models became silhouettes. We were so lucky to have a great sky that night.
If you love horses and photography, I highly recommend the horse photography workshop hosted by Phyllis Burchett. I have some incredible photos for my portfolio and gained valuable experience that I will use whenever I have the chance to photograph horses again. Be sure to check out Phyllis’ website below. Her horse photography is amazing, and she leads photography tours to Colorado and Iceland.
This is one of my favorite shots from the workshop: Under a Blood Red Sky. Photoshop is a powerful tool and I just dragged an orange gradient filter over the blue sky which turned it red. I thought a red sky created the right mood for a gun scene.