May 9, 2019

Building your best portfolio

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 weakest images will bring your set down. It is more wise to pick 25 of your best images, rather than including an extra 25 average images that don’t effectively showcase your best work.  Be consistent in your style- find it, and stick to it. This way, the client knows exactly what kind […]
May 9, 2019

Be different: Go the extra mile

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 inspiration to play around with new locations, poses, angles, lighting… Make sure you ask your client if they’re up for it- often they are really keen to try different things and have a bit more fun! Start to brainstorm some ideas ready for your next shoot…
May 9, 2019

Don’t spend hours editing!

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 images I spent all those hours editing. The outcome is- massive time wasted! If you notice something in the background you might want to edit out, wait until your client has seen the images. If they pick the image in question, mention that you’d be happy to remove the distraction […]
April 25, 2019

Capturing that connection

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. The minute the owner looks at you, that connection is lost. Most of the time, these moments happen completely un-posed. Although there are ways of trying to create this shot yourself. Asking your owner to rest their head on their horses forehead, or asking your owner to just look up […]
April 25, 2019


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, and make sure they are wearing something they are comfortable in. Outline your wishes- Pinterest is a great way to accumulate images of styles you like and outfits that look good together. Most clients are under-confident in their style. When you arrive at your shoot, help them decide what to […]
March 28, 2019

Learn how to work that location!

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, the rickety old, run-down yard is our FAVOURITE! These give so many amazing backgrounds and textures to play with. Lets have a look at the example below. This series gets you to start thinking about how you an transform that simple stable-shot into your client’s favourite. Stables are AWESOME to […]
March 21, 2019

Posing, posing, posing!!

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 become more confident in your posing skills, it will be easier for you to start analysing your posing in more depth… Take a look at the shot below. This is a perfectly good shot that we would 100% include in a viewing. The owner and horse are smiling nicely, she […]
March 14, 2019

Don’t miss those unplanned moments…

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 her a quick nuzzle and a kiss- catching the owner completely by surprise and sending her into fits of giggles! Moments like these can’t be staged or posed. Always be ready to capture these little moments and don’t let anything distract you!
March 14, 2019

Become the director!

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 trying to explain this to your client, they don’t quite get your vision. They are sitting awkwardly and the horse is standing too far away. You could spend the next 5 minutes shouting instructions at your client, but in the end, you’re wasting everyone’s time- yours included. Find a location, […]
March 14, 2019

Get to recognise natural props

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 have not been photographed before will be quite anxious in front of the camera (unless they’re a professional model already!!) and this can often come across in photos. They usually feel much more comfortable leaning or sitting, than just standing, staring at you blankly! Get owners to sit on, or […]
March 14, 2019

The BIG secret… find a square!

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. There are some distractions either side like the pillars and some untidy areas- I want to zoom to capture one small area. Provided there is a 2mx2m area of something beautiful- I will put my clients there! There is always the option to shoot wide, then crop in during post-production. […]
March 14, 2019

Be prepared for your shoot

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 the ONLY person responsible! Stay consistent with your kit and camera settings- one camera, one lens, minimal changes, camera settings. A 70-200mm lens is a must have in our eyes. Always have a box of tricks. You’ll need an assistant… mainly to help with organisation, but also to help get […]
December 13, 2018

Kate and Michael, April 2018

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!
December 13, 2018

Lauren and Phillip, April 2018.

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 play too- how cute!
December 11, 2018

Putting the right people in the right job

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 gold?) was too corporate and we wanted something that reflected our personalities and the fact that we work in the New Forest with ponies – so we decided to use our collective skills as creatives and past graphic design talents and come up with a new colour scheme and logo. […]
December 6, 2018

Fay and Bengal, November 2018

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 also brought her dog, Ben, along for the shoot. This got a little confusing when shouting “Ben!” at both the dog AND the horse!! But I think you’ll agree- a gorgeous set of images that really show the bond Fay has with her animals. We were TOTALLY spoilt for choice […]
December 6, 2018

Emily and Sue, April 2018

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 has grown up around horses, so the pair were so at ease with everything we thew at them!  
December 6, 2018

Laura, Cecil and Daisy, October 2018

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 love more than old farm buildings- they have such charm and character that you can never recreate with a brand new stable block. We also found a pretty little stream and a magnificent oak tree to use to our advantage. All in all, a stunning shoot in a country location!
December 6, 2018

Emily and Steph, October 2018

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 fun- including wading out into the sea on horseback. Smudge found it all rather exciting- making quite a splash to show what a good time we was having! Emily did well to stay on and not get too soaked!! My absolute favourite part of photographing on the beach was the […]
December 6, 2018

Sarah and Family, May 2018

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 onto the open New Forest via a stunning woodland and stream. We managed to photograph the family together both at home, and out on the open forest. The trick is to keep everything moving- changing up locations quickly will ensure horses don’t get bored- some horses have a shorter attention […]
December 6, 2018

Willow and Tess, March 2018

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- both who have been in their lives since they were little girls. There were plenty of opportunities to experiment with posing- a key feature that equine photographers often struggle with when shooting on location.  
December 6, 2018

Maria and Corle, September 2018

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 to think outside the box- and what an awesome result!  
December 6, 2018

Helena, September 2018

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 on shoots, so you have to be prepared! We kept the shoot moving- using the woodland, the open forest and the grounds of the Training Barn to capture some gorgeous shots of the pair. It just goes to show that with a little practice- you can create images that look […]
December 6, 2018

Sarah Kate Coward, June 2018

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 brick walls. Our delegate really got to grips with experimenting with posing a client in these different locations, with a little bit of expert guidance from Emily. Perhaps this could be something you could benefit from? Check out our 1-2-1 courses here.  
December 6, 2018

Fay and Maria, May 2018

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 creative with locations and posing- they are always spoilt for choice!  
October 31, 2018

5 strategies to simplify your workflow

By Emily Hancock   Getting your workflow right can be a hard task. As creatives we love to jump from one thing to the other… what looks exciting right now? I’ll do a bit of that or I’ll do a bit of this- it goes on and on. And you know what- it’s rarely productive.      Running your own business is exciting, but tough. But there are ways you can make your life easier, your working hours more productive, and in turn, create more time to spend on either progressing your business or having down time.     My top 5 strategies for simplifying my workflow are:     1) Leveraging    Leveraging in business is key. You can’t do it all. You can’t be working 80 hr weeks and keep on top of all things. You aren’t superman! Providing your clients with the highest level of service when your run into the ground just doesn’t work. Outsourcing is your friend.      Grab a spread sheet and for the next week, document all the tasks you do for […]
October 24, 2018

3 Things I learnt the hard way

  By Hannah Freeland   Only YOU stand in your own way Let’s get something straight. No one will ever give you permission to be awesome. I know that sounds daft, but it’s oh-so true.   If you know you want to be exclusive, don’t wait for the gold envelope through your letter box telling you:   “Dear Miss Freeland, We are so proud of you and excited to tell you that you have now reached EXCLUSIVE level in your business.   Go forth and be awesome!   Yours sincerely, Universe”   There are many voices and opinions out there. But try not to let the opinions of others determine how you run your business.   I stood in my own way for YEARS! Urgh, its grates on me now as I wasted so much time due to fear, opinions and confidence issues.   My mentor would suggest 5 different […]
October 17, 2018

My 7 Tips for Creating a ROCKING website

By Hannah Freeland   It’s an absolute MUST to have a website. Everyone in business has one, and without this window allowing possible customers to look into your business, art and lifestyle- you won’t be seen.   Your website should be the final deal-sealer before your client books with you.   We send out connections constantly through Facebook, Instagram, Insta Stories, Twitter, Pinterest, Podcast, Videos, Networking (you get the idea). But all of these connections need to feed back to one space that invites the viewer in, immerses them into your best work and converts them to a booked client.   Before you embark on creating your new website, check out these 7 tips to kick starting this in the right direction:   Keep it simple   When you are looking over your website, are you bombarding your visitor with loud information? What do I mean by LOUD information?   […]
October 10, 2018

Top 5 things I use for my equine photography business

  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 gives me the ability to be far enough away from my client that I’m not in their face but close enough that I don’t need to shout the directions. Landline phone with headset I spend hours on the telephone. It was actually a slight fear for me, picking up the […]
October 3, 2018

A week in the Life of Emily Hancock

  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 for tonight’s webinar 3.00pm Pick up Kids 4.00pm Mummy time with kids, dinner, bath bed routine 7.00pm Back in the studio for Training Webinar 9.00pm Finished Webinar   Tuesday 8.00 Drop Kids at School 9.00 Creative morning-  produce new art piece 12.00 Working lunch catch up on Emails 1.00pm Business […]
October 2, 2018

My Modelling Experience with the Training Barn

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 to go. Emily and Hannah led the shoot and posed my pony and I in various beautiful locations; in the woods and out on the heath in the middle of the New Forest.   My pony, however, not used to the modelling world, was a little impatient and was more […]
September 26, 2018

What does your portfolio say about you?

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 have photographed thousands of clients in every possible location. Your client wants to view 10-20 beautiful images that speak to them. You need to put what you do best – RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM.     What is it that you bring to a shoot? For example:   Dramatic […]
September 21, 2018

Why I love Ashley Longshore Art 

  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 goals, her dreams and the world. Because Ashley did.        She says this overnight success was not overnight success. It was 24 years of hard graft, copious amounts of rejection and people telling her to go get a proper job. And yet, she stayed the course, she kept her head down, kept hustling and finally she made her dream come […]
September 19, 2018

My earliest photography memory

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 make it my own. I played with this for hours, turning the rose so only the perfections could be seen, making sure the vase had no marks on it and giving space around them both.   Waiting for films to be developed was so normal then. The excitement would build […]
September 19, 2018

Why I used to charge £90 for a whole shoot, and I’m not even sad about it. 

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 offer my services, with my Canon DSLR, for £90!     Yup, you heard me right. £90.    I would include all of the images for this price, editing time and delivery.     Let me tell you my reasoning behind this price:-    It wasn’t because I didn’t think the images were worth more and it […]
September 12, 2018

How I overcame my fear of selling to clients

By Hannah Freeland In today’s story, I want to talk to you about how I overcame my throat clenching fear of selling my images to my clients. You know- the cold sweat, shaking hands and internal freak out that you have whilst sitting in front of your clients, their precious images on the screen on front of you. And you have to somehow tell them that they NEED these in their life!   Before we go any further, I want you to acknowledge that:   “Everyone needs and wants beautiful images in their life, they may just not know it yet”   I know a lot of you will know the feeling, so let’s embrace it together and I will show you how I moved away from these negative thoughts, changed my mindset and made the ‘selling’ part of the experience one of my favourite elements.   Back in the […]
September 5, 2018

20 Facts about Me 

 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 a business and photography mentor for 9 years I continue to be surprised at how beautiful horses are with their owners on every single shoot I worked with Harry Meade for 3 years photographing behind the scenes. It was only supposed to be one event! We continue to be firm friends and I […]
September 5, 2018

20 things you might not know about me

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 a BSc degree in human biology I have been with my husband for nearly 20 years I love the countryside I love my vegetable patch- I grow a massive assortment every year! I keep a journal and write in it every day I am the youngest (and the quietest!) in […]
August 29, 2018

Busy is a decision

  Being ‘too busy’ is not an answer!! By Hannah Freeland I have recently been listening to an inspiring Podcast on my vast travels, filling each spare moment to enhance my mindset and stay in a positive and passionate state.   I constantly have ‘Ah-ha’ moments and yesterday’s hit me hard! This is from the brilliant Debbie Millman:   “Of the many, many excuses people use to rationalize why they can’t do something, the excuse “I am too busy” is not only the most inauthentic, it is also the laziest. I don’t believe in “too busy.” I think that busy is a decision. We do the things we want to do, period.” -Debbie Millman   I agree with this 100%. We use this phrase as an excuse for something we can’t be bothered to do. If I said to any of you, that I have a beautiful grey stallion and […]
August 28, 2018

What’s in my photography kit bag?

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 shoots require one body, one lens. I have backups because I’m professional and would hate to let a client down and technology can be tedious sometimes.     I used to have a Billingham bag, but again swapped about a year ago to the Peli 1510 case, it makes it so much easier […]
August 26, 2018

When your client flies a Zulu tribe to the UK for their daughter’s 21st Birthday Party and you majorly F***k up! 

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 started and hundreds of people arrived. The Zulu tribe made a surprise entrance at around 9.00pm. Wow oh WOW, how incredible, and what a photographic opportunity this was for me.     Buzzing and unable to sleep I downloaded my images onto my laptop about 1am in the morning.      The next morning, I happily trundled off to my next job- an […]
August 22, 2018

The day a £500 party turned into a deposit for a house!

  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.   Initially I was a bit put off because it was a Friday night (and I had decided that I didn’t want to work evenings anymore!) Anyway, I agreed £500 to turn up for the 2 hours, and included a medium-sized framed image for the client to choose after the party. […]
August 15, 2018

3 Personality traits I’m proud of

  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 behind his ears. While I scratched away, she told me that he never lets anyone, including her, near his ears…Flattering or what!   Although I have been dragged along a gravel track by a tiny pony who was desperate to return to her girlfriend, and have had more arguments with […]
August 15, 2018

5 Must-Dos for your Equine Photography Business

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 creatives and artists, we get to dabble in light, colour, textures, poses, backdrops, locations and styling in the images we create. So, let’s take the creative out of our business for a second and make sure that your ducks are in a row, your processes are in place and that […]
August 14, 2018

Establishing your ideal client

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 we have even included a blueprint for creating this profile.     Here’s an example profile: Female in her 40’s – 50’s  Fairly glamourous  Lives in a big house  Has a disposable income  Drives a 4×4  Has a second home in London  Has 2 children with ponies  Stables the horses and ponies at home  Employs a groom/yard […]
August 14, 2018

10 ways to grow your database list

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 want to follow my creative journey? If so follow the link”   Exhibit at equine shows and give the people you meet an opportunity to be on your email list – not only day trippers but trade people and other contacts.   Run a competition to win a shoot and […]
August 13, 2018

The Business of Equine Photography 3 day course is nearly here!

  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 your portfolio going forward. In the studio we go over so much business and foundation content. One of the highlights of the three days is the MARKETING module. Boy, this is a whopper and is full to the brim of actionable and winning strategies. We give you a step-by-step formula […]
August 10, 2018

Are you a product collector?

 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.   Then you got home, with all of these brochures and thought “Ah! I just want it all!”   You ponder on it for a while, you don’t narrow it down to those perfect products for your clients, but instead you add 8 more products onto your price list and […]
August 9, 2018

What’s in store for our exclusive 3 day course?

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 dream of working with them both every day” “I need to invest in a business mentor but Im too scared to commit” “I want to be properly guided, face to face and helped with my equine photography business, not just a course that teaches photography”   Don’t worry- you are not […]
July 7, 2018

An average week for HFP

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  2pm – Order new postcards  2.15pm – Pre-consultation for family shoot on Saturday  3pm – Pre-consultation for equine shoot on Wednesday  3.45pm – Order frames from private viewing on Friday  4.45pm – Update Lightblue  5.30pm – Emails  6.30pm – Finish  Tuesday  8.30am- Call with training client  9am – Call with Emily   9.15- Emails  9.30am- Edit clients images   11.30am- Order new stickers and tags for welcome […]
January 24, 2018

Shoot and Shadow Course – January 2018

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 go. Next came the location walk around the yard, where I pointed out the locations and back grounds that we would be picking for this portrait shoot. As will most of my photo shoot we started in the stable. We moved onto a some punchy backdrops that we had available […]
January 4, 2018

New year, new you!

  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 rider in your area who you could work with to boost your portfolio? Get things down on paper- you’re more likely to complete a list than commit to ideas floating round in your head!Your financesAlthough money isn’t everything, you don’t start a business to make a loss! How much money […]
October 25, 2017

Hello from Hannah Freeland

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 famous equestrian names under my client list and run a luxury photography experience for each customer. Please check out my website if you would like to know more about me. I’ve been able to build and bring my business forward because of the support and guidance from Emily and […]
October 17, 2017

Having a trade stand on a budget

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 up my equine photography business I remember saying ‘I would love to have a stand at an equine show but I can’t afford to pay for the pitch’ or ‘I just don’t have enough to fill a stand’. Let me tell you, you can ABSOLUTELY do this with a couple of […]
October 12, 2017

Identifying your ideal client

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 helps to identify the client in your marketing. (Mine was called Margaret) You won’t actually say Hi Margaret, I am a wonderful photographer, but it will get you in the right mind set when you think, lets write a blog post that speaks to Margaret today. Look into their home […]
October 11, 2017

Online Marketing

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
November 1, 2016

Autumn is here!

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!
September 13, 2016

10 Top Tips on training with Emily

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..
September 13, 2016

Why train with The Training Barn?

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...
July 25, 2016

Essentials of Marketing: Tips for Photographers

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.
June 28, 2016

Photography Business: Leveraging the Visual in Your Marketing

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.
June 28, 2016

Creative Careers: Building a Career as a Photographer

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.
June 28, 2016

Choosing a career: how to retrain as a photographer

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:
December 10, 2014

The Training Barn Story: Who We Are, What We Do and Why

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.
December 10, 2014

Equine Portfolio Building and Sales Day – Group Training

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.
December 10, 2014

The Essential Resources for the Equestrian Photographer

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.
November 20, 2014

“Mentor Me” Equine Photography Programme – Kate Alford

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
November 3, 2014

The 5 Most Important Steps to Actually Achieve your Goals This Year

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?
August 28, 2013

Testimonials from 3 day Business of Equine Photography course

Last week, I had 6 delegates enrolled on the EHP 3 day Business of Equine Photography course, who stayed here in Burley in The New Forest to carry out some intense equestrian photography training!
June 25, 2013

Exhibiting my work

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!
June 11, 2013

One-to-one Equine Photography Training course with model Emily

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.
June 6, 2013

Equine Photography Training Course with model Mark and his Polo Ponies

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.