You’ve worked hard and dreamed for ages, and you’ve finally done it: you’re a fully-fledged equestrian portrait photographer. So that’s that, right? All set, and you’ll be happy to be where you are now forever. Except, well…that’s not actually how it tends to work. By nature, we all seek out the next challenge, and as a self-starting creative type, you’re more likely than anyone to want that. So how can you continue to develop and grow, both personally and professionally, without totally rebooting your business and starting from scratch? The key is to constantly revisit your goals on both a […]
Does anyone else ever feel like their camera’s manual is just…staring you down and totally judging you for never having read it? Just me? Nah, I didn’t think so. But honestly, who has the time or the inclination to sift through hundreds of pages of dry, technical information? Here’s the thing – everyone learns differently. For some people, reading the manual is the best way to get started with their camera. For others, learning by doing is much more effective. There are five basic learning styles, and identifying which one sounds most like you will help you to make the […]
Is there anything worse than talking about money? (Okay, war and all that sort of thing aside, of course…!) First, you go through the agonising and uncomfortable process of actually setting your prices, and then you’ve got to talk about them to your clients, too. Just like horses, they can smell fear – and when they do, they start haggling. A fear of talking about money with clients tends to stem from one of two things – and sometimes a little of each. Either you’re generally insecure about your financial situation, and any acknowledgment of it makes you feel a […]
Every day behind a camera is a new adventure, but the best – and often, most frustrating – adventures come with a heaping helping of trial and error. We want to help you reach the next level as quickly as possible, so we’ve compiled some of the most common mistakes that we see new equine photographers making. Are you guilty? Not shooting RAW. Many new photographers rely on JPG files because they’re familiar with these as image files. But in doing so, you do yourself a massive disservice. JPG files depreciate in image quality every time they’re edited, and they […]
If you’re a horse lover, the chances are that you’ve watched at least a little bit of top-level competition. Maybe you’ve tuned into Badminton or Burghley’s thrills-and-spills cross-country day; perhaps you’ve ushered in Christmas with Olympia’s showjumping spectacle. It may be that you’re a keen follower of equestrian sport, with a discipline of choice and a working knowledge of its major players and the rules of the game. Regardless of which camp you fall in, you may have wondered what it takes to be one of the chosen few, bedecked in tabards and allowed to get up-close-and-personal with the action. […]
…you’ve long embraced the beauty of streaming services, so you don’t keep any music downloaded on your phone – instead, you’ve got a couple of tracks of horses whinnying. Great when you need to get some errant ears forward on a shoot, less so when you turn your car on and immediately deafen your passengers with a rather fruity stallion serenade. …you know that size matters, but how you use it is more important – that’s lenses, of course. …in an effort to channel your inner Jon Stroud, FEI photographer extraordinaire, you’ve spent a whole morning wrapping your lens hoods […]
Do you wonder what it’s like to join us on one of our Shoot, Shadow and Shine’s? It’s hard to get a really good idea from reading the booking page, although we spend a lot of time making sure its broken down and easy to understand. So here is a short slideshow of what it’s like to join us on one of our Shoot, Shadow and Shine Courses. The layout of the 2 days Day 1: We meet at the studio in the middle of the New Forest in Burley for a get to know you chat and a cup […]
Remember that Talking Heads song, ‘Once in a Lifetime?’ You know the one – it starts with a long monologue telling you that you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife – but, the Talking Heads explain, we might find ourselves thinking that this isn’t our beautiful house, nor our beautiful wife, and frankly, how did we get here?! That’s kind of what imposter syndrome is like. No matter how astronomically talented a person is, they’re also a human being, with all the funny little nuances and quirks and insecurities that come with it, and everyone […]
“What I really need is for someone to share my work – someone everyone knows. Then my business will really make some headway!” Hands up if you’ve had this very thought before – and the other hand up if you’ve dismissed the idea as being impossible to fulfil. Okay, now give us those wrists and let us give them a slap – because you’ve turned your back on chasing down amazing opportunities! You’re right – working with prominent people does make a big difference for a small business. But if you think it’s impossible to connect with famous people, or […]
For better or for worse, our lives are largely carved out and structured around our habits. Breakfast at a certain time, daily chores and errands, how many cups of coffee?! (Still not enough, by our reckoning!) But your habits don’t have to just be the things you do on autopilot – you can create a ritual and a routine around the stuff that really lights your fire. Experts reckon that 21 days is the sticking point for making or breaking a habit – do, or don’t do, something for that long and you’re in plain-sailing territory. 21 days is a […]
8How’s this for a dream: your own sprawling studio, dotted with your own beautiful photographs, a wall of inspiration, and plenty of space to store frames, samples, an endless array of lenses, and a viewing space for your clients, too. Some of you might be lucky enough to have just that – but even if your office and studio space has to fit into your home, you can make the most of it. Let’s be real – being a photographer is busy work. Balancing that work with all the real life stuff – you know, a family, a menagerie of […]
If there’s one surefire way to end a conversation with a horse person, it’s this: ask them to break down exactly what they’re shelling out for their four-legged friend every year. A hard yikes, right? But while it can feel so, SO tempting to ignore our version of the issue, as an equestrian photographer, you’ve got to be brave enough to face the music and crunch the numbers to find out the outgoings of what you do. But why? Well, for one thing, it’ll help you with budgeting. But that’s a bit boring, and falls far short of the primary […]
Are you guilty of New Year-itis? Do you head into January determined to make major changes throughout your life – fewer calories, more exercise, a thriving bank account, all the usual suspects? It feels like the pressure’s on, right? Like everyone around you is making these lofty resolutions and shouting about them from the rooftops. But here’s something to ponder: only 8% of New Year’s resolutions end up with any sort of follow-through. Kind of a grim statistic, isn’t it? Here’s why: most people make the mistake of being too vague – and also of overloading themselves. That’s not to […]
By Hannah Freeland I had an epiphany recently while one a long drive to a shoot. I spend a lot of time in the car, travelling from one place to the next, and I wanted to make sure that this blank space in my schedule was being put to work – for me. So like many people, I’ve turned to podcasts, and picking and choosing the right ones has been a fantastic way to work on my mindset, stay positive, and keep my passion – for work and for life – alive. I regularly have little ‘eureka’ moments while I’m […]
You’re a professional photographer, and that means that the experience of having a shoot with you is about more than just the fabulous images your clients will enjoy at the end – it’s also about the experience of the shoot day itself. Everything needs to be smooth, polished, and easy – and that takes preparation. Today, we’ll be discussing the three absolutely essential tips for making sure everyone is prepared for shoot day. Ready? Let’s do this! Tip #1: Make sure you’ve got the need-to-knows covered Surprises can be brilliant, but there’s a time and a place for them – […]
No matter who you are or what you do, if you’re self-employed or own your own business, you absolutely must have a website. It’s totally and completely non-negotiable – but if you outsource the job, it can also be eye-wateringly expensive. Fortunately, site-builders like Squarespace make it easier than ever to build your own – and we’re here to help you get it right. Your website has one primary purpose: it’s there to convince potential clients that they shouldn’t look any further than you for their photography needs. Your Instagram feed, your Pinterest pins, your Twitter, and so on and […]
This blog is super important if you want to understand exactly how to target and attract your ideal client. Early on in your career, you might think that any client is a good client. And that’s not entirely wrong – many of the clients you book will be brilliant, even if they’re not quite who or what you expect. But it’s absolutely vital that you know who your ideal client is. So, what exactly do we mean by the ideal client? Basically, this is the perfect human being you would utterly love to have phone you up. The person who, if they […]
One of the most common questions we’re asked by the Training Barn delegates is probably one that you’ve mulled over a few times yourself: just how, exactly, do you go about growing a sizeable and authentic database of leads who – and this bit is crucial – actually want to buy your photos? We love this question, because there are so many ways to answer it. Here are ten of the best ways we’ve found… 1- First of all, make sure you’ve got a sign-up form on your website. This is extra-important for all those random people who stumble upon your […]
There’s nothing I love quite so much as autumn. There’s something about that first moment that you step outside, when you can feel something different – something crisp, and full of promises in the air, that really speaks to my soul. The smell of it, the burnished colour of the leaves, the watery, golden light. F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that “life begins all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall”, and I, for one, am completely and utterly with him there. From a photography point of view, too, this time of year offers up so many possibilities. […]
Wouldn’t life be great if we could just go out and do what we love – photograph horses, of course – all day long, without having to worry about all the legwork that goes with it? I don’t know about you, but marketing our businesses used to be one of the jobs we’ve always felt the least inspired by. It’s time-consuming and it’s frustrating, particularly when it feels like no one is responding to your efforts. But we’ve put some serious work into honing our marketing strategies, making them work not just for our businesses, but for our busy creative […]
Let’s start from the very beginning. What’s an influencer? This is a trusted person within the equestrian industry. For example, a show jumping trainer, a tack shop owner or an owner of a local livery yard. These are people who have built up their equestrian businesses and are trusted and followed by their customers. A great influencer will also be a successful business person and have many contacts who are your ideal client. You need to make sure that your influencer has a following who would be your ideal customer. A common mistake: You meet a professional equestrian business owner, […]
By Hannah Freeland There are many ways to show your confidence or lack of it, it could be your wardrobe, your language or maybe the way you hold yourself. Today I want to talk to you about showing your confidence in the three areas that are the most important in order to succeed in this industry. Confidence in your images Confidence in your service Confidence in your prices Confidence in your images Ok, I’m starting with the obvious, confidence in your images. Without this your business is going to stutter. There are a few exercises that can propel the rate […]
As we walk through the trenches of our business, it can be easy to forget the excitement and fun our clients feel about booking us When we get tied up with thinking about the accounts, editing styles, processes and workflows all the way through to updating software and making sure our insurance stands up to the task, we can quickly forget about the magical concept that it is being an equine photographer. We have some top tips to drag you out of the funk and into the fun. First of all, let me tell you that we all go through […]
You know what sucks? Fear. Throat-clenching, cold sweat, tingly fingers fear. It makes you lose your train of thought, stumble over your words, and it takes all the conviction out of your up-sell. It’s the reason that basically no photographers likes the hard sell. But you know what? It’s also totally universal, which means that everyone has had to find a way through it – and I want to fill you in on mine. But first of all, there’s something I need you to acknowledge. Say it out loud, write it down and stick it on your computer screen, whatever […]
Hands Up – who is on a budget or knows they don’t want to chuck their savings at a new business? First of all, it’s true that you can create a sustainable and profitable business from photography. We promise you; it can be done, and it can be fun. Hard work, but fun! Second of all, this can be equine ONLY photography – yes you heard me right, you don’t need to fill in the gaps with Christenings, Weddings or Landscape photography, if you don’t want to. If you get your business and photography ‘Ducks’ in a row, you can […]
Putting together your portfolio can be one of the toughest parts of setting up, and maintaining, your photography business. It’s the first thing a potential client sees, after all, and it’s the primary factor that helps them decide whether they’ll book you. So how do you make it do the hard work for you? Tip 1: Don’t Strike Blind The key is getting into your client’s head. It’s so valuable to identify who your ideal client is – their demographic, their tastes, and their budget – so you can begin to think like them. Only then can you increase your […]
Let’s take a trip down memory lane – right back, in fact, to the birth of my photography business. Back in 2006, I owned and ran my own graphic design company. And when I say I ran it, I mean I really ran it – everything from setting it up, to teaching myself how to keep a business afloat, to doing all the admin before I finally brought in a team to support me in the trenches. And you know what? It was great fun, and I was able to work with some wonderful clients on projects I was really […]
Let’s get real for a second: taking on your first-ever photoshoot is scary. You haven’t built up a safety net of confidence yet, and as a result, you’re plagued by doubts: can I actually deliver images my client will like? Am I going to be chatty and encouraging, or will we both find it painfully awkward? And what – heaven forbid – do I do if my equipment malfunctions? It’s so easy to let these doubts stop you before you’ve even begun. But here’s the thing – everyone feels them before their first photoshoot, and 99% of your fears are […]
Okay, fellow creatives, hands up if you’re guilty of project-hopping. You know what I mean – you start working on something, only to be struck by a new idea or a burst of inspiration for one of your other projects. You change tasks – just briefly, you tell yourself – and before you know it, you’re two hours into a Pinterest rabbit-hole, gathering tutorials and inspiration for a stylised photoshoot you’re planning with three racehorses, a castle, and Madonna, if her schedule allows for it. It’s not exactly the most efficient use of your time, but as creative types, we […]
No matter who you are or what you do, if you’re self-employed or own your own business, you absolutely must have a website. It’s totally and completely non-negotiable – but if you outsource the job, it can also be eye-wateringly expensive. Fortunately, site-builders like Squarespace make it easier than ever to build your own – and I’m here to help you get it right. Your website has one primary purpose: it’s there to convince potential clients that they shouldn’t look any further than you for their photography needs. Your Instagram feed, your Pinterest pins, your Twitter, and so on and […]
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: photographers never, ever stop learning. We’re a creative bunch of people, which means that we’re naturally curious – and that curiosity drives us to constantly question the world around us, to explore new techniques, and to try to improve and streamline our own practice. But constant learning – especially if you’re self-employed – isn’t always about those ‘eureka!’ moments when you discover something that totally changes the way you shoot, or market, or edit. Sometimes, it’s about trial and error, with an emphasis on the error! Making mistakes isn’t a […]
The presentation of your images is one of the most important things you can spend time getting absolutely perfect. When a prospective client comes across your website, one of the first things they will do is look at your portfolio. They will have a rough idea in their head of what kind of style of images they want. One thing that many photographers do is overcrowd their online portfolio. This is the WORST thing you could possibly do. The client will look through the first 20 images, and get bored if they really haven’t been wowed. Less is more Remember, your […]
Here’s a handy tip for you. Always leave 20 mins at the end of a shoot to be really creative. Go through the process of photographing your client and their horse on their yard. In your head, you have finished creating the standard imagery that you know will sell and you know your clients will be totally in love with…. Now spend the next 20 minutes being super creative and trying different things. You might want to look at Pinterest- look at images that really inspire you, images that are a bit unique and out there! Try to use this […]
Just a quick one today. Because we get asked this question a lot… “How long do you take editing your images?” Our answer is almost always the same… “If we shoot for an hour, we edit for no more than an hour” Imagine this: I have shot a set of images that have an obvious distraction in the background. I spend the next 3 hours alone editing that object out each of the images I want to show to my client. The client shows up to the viewing, picks her images for her album and frames- NONE of which include the […]
We are absolute suckers for that cute, cuddly shot. The ones that make you feel like you are like a fly on the wall. The horse and owner are having this beautiful cuddly moment in between poses, and you just keep clicking…it should be as if you aren’t even there. To get this kind of shot, you need to shoot tight to eliminate any distraction from the background. Keep focused on the pair having that interaction. Usually owners hands are soft, the horse’s ears may not be pricked, but the relaxed look on both of their faces is so amazing. […]
More often than not, your clients have no idea what to wear on their photo shoot- what looks good? What goes with the location? What goes with the horse? It’s helpful to give your clients a rough styling guide- it will ensure they are more confident in choosing outfits if you direct them towards them. If you haven’t already, start to think about what you like- is it the typical country style? Tweed, wax jacket, long boots… you get the gist. If you’d rather be more general, tell clients what works well- tell them to avoid bright, clashing, highly-patterned prints, […]
Picture this- you arrive at a yard. All you can see is a flat grass field and an average stable block- and you panic! “Where on earth am I going to place my clients?!” You then just fluff your way through the day with no idea where to direct yourself- let alone your client. The proof is in the pudding- we have created awesome shots from all sorts of locations, from a flat field with electric fencing, to the most magnificent yards you have ever seen. This is because we have become experienced in how to work our environments. Photographically, […]
This comes up time and time gain- many delegates feel like they’re lacking in confidence- you have the perfect horse, owner and location- but just don’t know how to work it, and don’t know what to do with the subjects. You start to feel pressure that your client is expecting you to start taking photos- so you just end up taking photos that aren’t well planned or executed, and when you get home, you’re disappointed because it didn’t quite work. This all comes down to lack of confidence in knowing how to work with, and pose your client. As you […]
Unplanned moments can sometimes make the BEST shots! If you are too busy changing your settings on your camera or fiddling around trying to find a snack in your bag- you will miss these moments! They often happen when you have shot your main set of images, and you’re just about to put your camera down. Then something funny or cute will happen…the image below is a prime example! Hannah had just finished a lovely set of images with this owner and her horse in the stable. She went to move the horse out of the stable and he gave […]
We cannot stress the importance of this enough. Over the years, we have become pretty hot on this! It is so so vital that you direct your clients into the exact poses you want, or often your descriptions will get lost in translation! So, lets set the scene… You see a gorgeous location that you think will be perfect for your client and her horse. There is a cute little log in a beautifully lit area in the woods. You can envisage exactly what you want…the client to sit on the log, with her horse cuddling into her. However- when […]
When you train you eye to really see the best of your area, you are already winning! Try and work out how it what you can use around you, and how it will look with a horse and owner in it… Natural frames This is the art of spotting natural areas that can frame your subjects. Overhanging trees, walkways, stables/barn doors, archways, leading lines….. these are all key things to look out for, and more often than not, you will have access to plenty at your client’s yard. Here are some examples for you… Use natural props… Often, owners who […]
This is something I didn’t even realise was a secret until really recently. I was teaching a group of delegates on location and said to them…’don’t forget to find your square!!’…. The fact that I was met with 6 blank faces made me realise they had NO idea what I was on about! SO, when shooting at a client’s yard, I am always looking for locations that are roughly 2m x 2m- a square. As you can see from the image below, we have scouted a barn with lots of straw bales. However, I don’t want the whole scene in. […]
The most important lesson I ever learned is to NOT be underprepared! I remember when I turned up to one of my first shoots, and halfway through my battery died….but I had NOT packed a spare!! Embarrassingly, I had to borrow a camera off one of the guests at the party… I have never forgotten this, and it taught me to be over-prepared, if anything! Before you leave for a shoot, make sure all your kit works- this may seem like a REALLY obvious thing- but if you turn up and your cards/batteries/ lenses are not working- you will be […]
We took our delegates to a shoot on location with Kate and Michael. And what a beautiful spring morning it was! We went out onto the open forest to capture them, their two horses and their little dog! Kate and Michael were great fun and the delegates loved photographing them. Some really special moments were captured between the pair and their horses- great practice for our delegates!
Lauren and her partner Phillip modelled for The Training Barn for this gorgeous shoot back in the spring. We photographed Lauren a few years ago, so it was lovely to see her again- with a new horsey addition! Lauren rides on the GB endurance team, and has done for some years. She has such a wonderful bond with her horses and it comes across amazingly on camera. This shoot allowed our delegates to get to grips with photographing a couple- always a different angle than photographing a mum and daughter combination, for example. The two brought their adorable whippet to […]
Branding – we made a mistake! So we thought we would open up to you guys and let you in on a mistake that we made. Please learn from us and trust your gut! It was a crisp summer evening, with the sun streaming through the studio window and a well earn’t peppermint tea in hand… only kidding we can’t set the scene as well as this, but basically we had just finished a 2 day training course and were reflecting on our brand and following. We had made a decision that our brand (you remember the dark blue with […]
What a GORGEOUS time of year this is!! We recently took our awesome team of year-long mentorship delegates to photograph Fay and her majestic 18 hand dressage horse Bengal, on the Ornamental Drive in Rhinefield, the New Forest. This place is renowned for its stunningly tall redwood trees and evergreen forests- the perfect location for an autumnal shoot on location. We were a little worried before this shoot, because the forecast was for rain- and lots of it. Once we arrived however, the sun decided to put his hat on, and we had the most amazing morning shooting. Fay […]
Emily and her mum, Sue, modelled for us earlier this year with their horses Charlie and Otto. Their bouncy pooch Murphy joined in too! We spent the afternoon at Smugglers, on the New Forest. The weather, although threatening serious rain with those black clouds, ended up staying sunny long enough for us to get some awesome shots. Emily and her mum, Sue, have such a lovely relationship. It makes it so much easier to photograph a mother and daughter when they are close like this. It was a really great chance for our delegates to capture that special bond. Emily […]
Another glorious Autumn shoot under our belts. We took our 3 day course delegates to Laura’s yard to photograph her with her two homebred warmblood horses, Cecil and Daisy- and what beauties they are! It’s as if they’ve been modelling for years! We were so lucky to have the use of Laura’s extensive home farm. The corrugated farm buildings made for the most beautiful textured backdrops- have you tried this before? It’s not always the obviously beautiful buildings that make the most striking photos! Laura’s yard consists of beautiful old stables with big oak beams and doors. There’s nothing I […]
This was the MOST fun! Arranging to take 2 girls and their ponies down to the beach for a sunrise shoot with our delegates was the best idea for a shoot on location. What an awesome morning we had. Emily, her pony Smudge and her Golden Retriever Murphy, were joined by good friend Steph and her two ponies Isshe and Mole. We got down to Avon Beach in Dorset at 7am. It was the most beautiful morning- clear and fresh, with the low sun casting the most stunning light on the quiet beach. The girls were up for having some […]
This was a real family affair- two sisters, two daughters, a grandchild, 4 horses and numerous dogs, to be precise! The delegates were lucky enough to get down to business and practice photographing multiple owners and horses together at once. This is a real skill, and a scenario that scares the life out of most equine photographers! The beauty of this situation is that Hannah and I are present to guide our delegates through the processes of shooting this many horses, enabling them to go on and replicate this in future commissions. Sarah has the most beautiful property, backing straight […]
Theses two sisters modelled for us back in March earlier this year. These lovely girls brought their two ponies- Frosty and Ben, to allow our delegates time to practice photographing two people and their ponies together, but also individually. We were able to use the Woodland just outside the front door of The Training Barn, here in Burley, The New Forest. This wood is so beautiful- the ancient old beech trees make such an interesting, textured backdrop for capturing gorgeous images. The girls did a fab job- and the delegates captured some lovely moments between the girls and their ponies- […]
We were so lucky with the weather this Autumn- September still felt like Summer! We spent a lovely warm morning with Maria and her stunning dressage horse, Corle, at her yard at home in Sway, The New Forest. Maria often models for us- and has done since she was young! She is always up for helping us out, and the delegates are always spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting their final images. We found the most amazing blue storage container to use as a backdrop- to most, a bit of an eyesore. But The Training Barn teaches delegates […]
We enlisted the help of Helena, our awesome friend who has worked for Emily since she was 16! She is now off training to be an equine physiotherapist- but she can’t get away from us that easily! She regularly rides this cute New Forest pony, Frosty, in her spare time. Our delegates had a really great shoot- let’s just say Frosty wasn’t feeling it, and was rather tricky! He didn’t want to stand still for more than 2 seconds, which made it great practice for our delegates when presented with fidgety horses that refuse to stand still- it happens often […]
Phew- hot doesn’t even quite cover it! This shoot was arranged on one of the hottest days of our Indian Summer we experienced this year- but hey, no pain no gain! As a photographer, you have to be ready for the job, come rain or shine, sweltering sun or snow! We arranged this shoot for our delegate who was on a one-to-one shoot with Emily, who had also been on our recent three-day course, to Sarah Kate’s gorgeous property in the Hampshire countryside. We were spoilt for choice for dreamy locations- including stunning textured old barns, winding tracks and old […]
Fay and Maria are always keen to model for us here at The Training Barn. They are fab subjects to photograph as they have a great relationship which comes across really well. Having 2 models at one shoot allows our delegates to practice posing the pair together, and individually also. Fay had some new additions to her horsey gang- a new Irish pony that loved jumping, and an enormous dressage horse- some new projects to keep her hands full! They were both a dream to photograph- and how gorgeous?! Fay’s yard is a great place for delegates to start getting […]
Database and management software I use Lightblue for storing clients’ details and organising photo shoots. This is where I create leads, booked clients, shoots, workflows, invoicing, ordering and any follow ups. I have tried many different databases and CRM’s in the past and although Lightblue isn’t the prettiest, it’s the most efficient and very easy to use. It does what it says on the tin. 70-200mm lens. This may surprise some people but I use 1 lens for 99% of my equine portrait shoots. This is my trusted 70-200mm. It is such a wonderful lens and […]
My life, you could say, somewhat changed following the addition of my two beautiful bundles of joy. I am no longer 100% focused on me and my business working; no longer working 60 hr weeks. So you won’t be surprised to read that my working day is frankly no more than a quick sprint. Hear goes the week in the Life of Emily (I think I am going to surprise myself…) Monday 8.00 Drop Kids at School 9.00 Meeting with Stuart and Hannah – Strategy brainstorm 12.00 Working lunch catch up on Emails 1.00pm Go through presentation […]
I recently volunteered to model for the Training Barn on an equine photo shoot. They had a group of 6 friendly photographers who were keen to hone their photography skills, using my pony and I as their subject! It was an exciting morning. I was up at the crack of dawn- apparently this time of day hosts the best light! It was the morning after the first lot of rain we’d had in weeks- my grey pony had made the most of this and was completely black- An emergency bath was in order! By 8am we were ready […]
By Hannah Freeland We all know that the first thing a potential client wants to see is our portfolio of work, but what are they looking for? Who have we previously photographed? What type of feeling comes across in the image? What does a typical client look like for the photographer? What type of yard do they photograph at? Are they an expert? Are they horsey and understand when a horse looks good? Have they worked with anyone famous? And many many more, but the point is – clients won’t be looking for 100 images to ensure you […]
I have followed Ashley Longshore for some time now. I was told about her by one of my business mentors, who said she sells her work on Instagram- and it literally sells out in minutes. I’m not talking one piece being sold. I’m talking, like, hundreds of pieces being sold within minutes of her posting “the shop is open”. I got sucked in left right and centre- this lady is the most incredible, insanely talented, honest, authentic version of herself you could possibly imagine. If you check her out, she might not be your cup of tea. But you know what? She gives every artist and every woman the encouragement, the motivation and the belief that she can smash her […]
By Hannah Freeland I was recently asked about how photography entered my life. I had to really think about this as there was no ‘lightbulb’ moment. When I was about 6-7 I borrowed my father’s film cameras and started photographing objects around the house and garden. I remember picking a single rose from the garden, bringing it into the house, finding my mum’s cut crystal vase and setting up the rose and vase onto the dresser for the oak back drop. I had no idea why I was doing this, but I just wanted to style something and […]
By Hannah Freeland Back in 2006 I owned and ran my own website and graphic design company. I set it up, trained myself in running a business and hired a team to support me as I walked through the trenches. I worked with wonderful clients on exciting projects and managed to travel to inspiring places around the UK. While I was working alongside these clients I would offer my ‘Photography’ skills on the side. We would be building a website for a vet client and I would suggest we do a photo shoot for the imagery. I would […]
By Hannah Freeland I have loved and ridden horses since I was 2 I have 3 sisters, of which I am the eldest, and they are my best friends I am useless at Cross Country- I’m just not brave enough! I didn’t know being a full time equine photographer was a job or business until 12 years ago I believe furniture should be moved frequently for a clear mind and because my Mum does it I swapped from Canon to Nikon a year ago I have a trusted team around me who help support and run things with me I’ve had […]
By Emily Hancock I am a book worm – you will always find me reading when I have 5 minutes I play the piano and sing I play the Ukulele (loosely speaking…!) I can ski and snowboard I’m OBSESSED with stationary I have a huge stamp collection- over a decades-worth, in fact! I have a very large family- at my wedding my immediate family took up 60 seats! I am a dog person I have owned horses all my life I competed in Dressage competitions up to Advanced level I took 2 gap years and travelled the world I have […]
By Hannah Freeland I am sure my Peli 1510 case is unlike most with what is inside… This is because in the last year I actually took a leap from Canon to Nikon. Unlike others who have done this, I didn’t sell my Canon kit. So currently in my case is: Nikon 850d Nikon 70-200mm Lens Canon 5d Mark III with battery grip Canon 70-200mm Lens Canon 50mm prime lens Card Readers 2 x Peli card cases Spare batteries for both camera bodies That’s it! I don’t need to have other lenses with me, as 90% of my […]
By Hannah Freeland I’m not going to lie to you, this still hurts. I was commissioned at age 17 having been recommended by another photographer friend to photograph a 21st birthday party. I jumped at the chance as this was going to be one of my first “big” paid jobs I had done. Sharp and keen, I jumped in with two feet and was confident that I could produce a nice set of images from the party. I was promised £500 to do the job. Keen as mustard, I turned up early, got familiar with the surroundings; the various marques; the amazing flower sculptures; the gigantic fire pit; and oh so much more. The party […]
By Emily Hancock I wanted to share with you a rather exciting little event that happened over 10 years ago, and kick started the photography business I went on to create. I was a recommended supplier (back in the days where I photographed weddings) at a very nice 5-star hotel. One day I received a phone call from the wedding coordinator. She said they had a regular client who would be hosting his 80th birthday party at the venue and wanted a photographer for a couple of hours on the Friday night of his big birthday bash. […]
By Hannah Freeland. My connection with horses. This has been the case since I was 2 years old. I am very quiet and calm around horses. I like to get to know them, their character and personality. This next bit happens fairly frequently… I’ll be chatting to the owner of the horse on a shoot, and they comment that their horse isn’t normally as settled with new people as they are with me. I remember a few years ago that I was chatting with an owner whilst her lovely horse nudged me for a good old rub […]
We’re sure you scroll through Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis and come across posts that say stuff like “increase your income by 100%” or “work a 1-hour week and still earn a full-time rate” … Some of these are genuine, achievable claims, and some are, well… just not! It can be a little loud, daunting and confusing in the online world. So, we wanted to take this blog ‘Back to Basics’. We know full well that this may sound a little boring, and you may feel like you have exhausted all the basics, but let us explain… As […]
By Hannah Freeland Let’s talk about what we mean by ‘ideal client’ This is the ONE client we all hope knocks on our door, calls us in the studio or pings us an email saying, “I have seen your work and cannot wait to get a photo shoot booked in with you, when is your next free date?” This client will be educated in the way you work and see value in the finished product. So, who is going to educate them…? YOU First of all, we need to establish who your ideal client is. We want you to start creating a profile of this client and […]
First thing’s first- add a sign up form to your website – for those random people who come across your website and want to follow your journey. This is super easy to do- just google it if you’re unsure! Offer a complimentary gift to sign up. i.e you may like to give a gift of your image of the month as a screen saver (might be a nice landscape or fine art picture of a horse). Be consistent with your social media posting, and remember to drive people to your website. Make sure you actually post “do you […]
We only have a couple of spaces left on this wonderful course so if you are hesitating, but would hate to miss out give us a call to discuss any questions you may have. If you haven’t seen this course before, let us show you some highlights over the 3 days we have together in the Newforest… 3 Photo Shoots in 3 different locations. While we hand hold our delegates on these shoots, we also push them to get creative and produce images they thought they never could. No pressure shoots, these are relaxed and fun and will fill […]
By Hannah Freeland I’m going to paint you a picture, and I want you to admit if this is you. You’ve been to SWPP, you picked up all of the brochures on anything that took your fancy, you watched demonstrations of software, cameras, lenses and gizmos. You spoke to lots of trade stands about their frames or albums, while they tell you how amazing their product is and that you can get 75% off if you purchase in the next 3 minutes (ok, that’s an exaggeration, but you get it). You were inspired, energised and you had a plan. […]
We couldn’t be happier to announce that we have opened up the course dates for the much sought after Business of Equine Photography course! This 3 day intensive course will be held on 11th-13th September 2018 at the Training Barn studio in Burley, Hampshire. Not heard about this course yet? Want more info? Keep reading… Do you have these questions running through your head? “I want to make money from my photography business, but I don’t know how” “I feel like I have so much un-tapped potential but don’t know where to start” “I love horses and photography and […]
By Hannah Freeland I thought you guys might get a good kick out of seeing an average week for me? I have left out the numerous phone calls and 10-minute jobs, but this should give you an insight to what a week looks like at Hannah Freeland Photography HQ! This was the first week of June 2018:- Monday 8.30am – Call with new client – who booked 9.00am – Facetime with Emily for morning catch up & plan for the week 10am- Pack welcome packs 10.30am – Set up new CRM for Training Barn 11am – Quote to commercial client 11.30am – Call training client and confirm 1:1 training date 12pm – Edit clients’ images 1.30pm – Email rider and all sponsors about a set of images 1.45pm – Post office with Welcome packs […]
Last week I ran the January Shoot and Shadow Course in Buckinghamshire. I met 5 wonderful photographers and had a blast photographing our TOP MODEL Rob Waine Dressage at his lovely yard. Thank you to Rob for his excellent modeling (along with Cici and Naz) and for your hospitality. It was a super fresh (some might say chilly) morning, but, luckily we had coffee and biscuits on hand. We had 5 delegates on this course. We started with a quick getting to know you, and finding out who we are, where we have come from and where we would like to […]
It’s a brand new year, and it is VITAL that you set yourself goals, so that everything you do actually has a purpose, and doesn’t just happen by chance. Yes, be sure to you push yourself- but set goals that are achievable! Your business Set realistic goals for where you see yourself by the end of 2018. What clients would you like to target? What new locations have been on your mind for the past few months that you’re dying to shoot at. How can you develop your business that makes you stand out from the crowd this year? Perhaps there’s a professional […]
Hello all you lovely current and future trainees. I would like to introduce myself. You will see on the About Us page that there is a new addition to the Training Barn… ME! Emily asked me if I would like to join her and come on board as a associated trainer. Of course, I jumped at this opportunity as I have so much experience and advice to share and secondly, because I run a successful equine photography business. I have created my business from nothing and have some interesting and inspiring stories to share with you all. I have many […]
To continue on ‘marketing to our ideal client‘, you should now have your best clients bio created. If you missed the last blog post about creating this, click here. Now that we know who our ideal client is we need to be able to speak and connect with them. We have so many avenues to connect to our potential clients, here are my top 5: Trade stands Social Media including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter Collaborations with livery yards and tack shops Client referrals Newsletters Trade Stands – I cannot recommend having a stand at equestrian/country events high enough. When I first set […]
Hi there, Hannah here! When you are creating a marketing plan for your photography business you need to know who you are talking to. Its a good idea to create a bio of your ideal client. What do I mean by ideal client? This is the one client we all hope calls us in the studio and says “I have seen your work, looked at your website and cannot wait to get a photo shoot booked in with you, when is your next free date?” Here are my top tips for creating your Ideal Client Bio. Give them a name. This […]
Hi there, Hannah here from the Training Barn. I have created this short video on online marketing. I talk briefly about how I create my monthly content and organsie the constant connection with potential clients. If you would like information on training with me at the Training Barn please email email@example.com
I love the autumn time. The smell and colour of the leaves makes me so happy, and from a photography point of view, you literally can't beat the bright, golden-yellow back drop of the Autumn woodland for a seasonal equine photo shoot!
Equine photographer Leslie Bliss has worked and trained with Emily for a few years now. She has kindly written her top 10 tips on how to get the most from training with Emily, as well as her experiences working in the competitive equine photography industry..
One of the Training Barn graduates has kindly written a little blog post about her experiences of working with Emily at the Training Barn. The most important thing in life is to actually enjoy what you do! Read Esther's story below to see how training with Emily changed her outlook on photography...
As a new equine photographer, marketing your photography business may be a hard task- it can become very frustrating since it seems like nobody approaches you. When people think about marketing, they immediately assume they need to have a big budget or a lot of time in order to see any results. This isn't true; however, you do need to be creative so that potential customers will choose your services over someone else’s.
Even if you're already using Social Media, especially Instagram, to show your photos, you may not be seeing the results you were expecting.
Since Instagram is a visual social media network that only allows people to share images or small videos, you might be facing a lot of competition. However, there's always a solution. Better yet, there are always several solutions that can make your Instagram account shine.
If you're just starting to build your career as an equine photographer, you may find things don’t go to plan and that you make a few mistakes- it's just the way things are with all small businesses, so don’t panic! I have compiled a list of top tips that can help you develop your successful equine photography business.
With all the technology that is around us, you can see most people taking photographs, editing and uploading them via social media. So, people tend to assume being an equine photographer should be easy. However, making a living from being an equine photographer is completely different. You don't just take a photo, add a filter and make an instant profit!
Here's some info and tips you should know about how to effectively retrain as a successful UK equine photographer:
Photographers don’t often think about the importance of promoting themselves when they’re choosing a career. Most people entering the photography business believe their images will speak for themselves, and – while this is true to some extent – it’s also true creative careers require work behind the scenes. Meaning, everyone who runs any type of business must earn clients.
I had a fabulous day with 5 photographers in my Equine Portfolio Building Sales Day Group Training course.
Our wonderful day started with the sun joining us for our morning shoot. Mitch Asher from the New Forest joined us with her beautiful chestnut horse, Zara. Both were fantastic models.
When choosing my career, I did not realise how much difference there would be between the types of photography we can do and the types of resources we need to complete a session. I certainly learned that the preparation for an equine photography shoot can be a bit different for other types of photography sessions.
Last September Kate Alford signed up for the basic photography one day course. Her initial intention was to learn how to use her camera.
She decided after the course to continue working with me and signed up for the 3 day equine course. Kate felt both courses covered everything she needed and the content was incredible and a great source of information. She wanted to ensure she did not get distracted by the daily slog as a mother of three children. Kate wanted to push herself forward towards her dream job, so she joined my "mentor me" programme
All to often years disappear before our eyes, and nothing much changes, most people start the year with some fly away goals of becoming better and braver and nicer and more loving....blah blah blah…..but I know the majority of creative people have hopes and dreams of becoming more successful in business and developing their creative side beyond their current level, so why is it that years drift by without any real changes?
One key aspect I teach the delegates on a training course is the importance of exhibiting your work.
Below are a collection of images taken from various shows around the country. Exhibitions are really fun and are so important for getting more of your work in the public eye. They provide a great opportunity to meet some really interesting people too!
I used Emily to model again for me for a one-to-one Equine Photography Training day, this time with her adorable pony Smugde. We did the shoot across the road from the EHP studio at Castle Hill in the New Forest. Emily is great to photograph and she has a really special bond with her pony which is reflected in the images below.
Mark was one of the chosen models for the 3 day Business of Equine Photography training course held at the EHP Training Barn in may. We photographed Mark and his 4 polo ponies on Wilverley Plain, not too far from the picturesque market town of Lymington in the New Forest.