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You Know You’re an Equestrian Photographer When…

  • …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 in patterned gaffer tape.
  • …you can’t go to a show without documenting it. Even after multiple trips to the champagne bar at Olympia, you’ll be determinedly uploading your blurry iPhone snaps into VSCOcam – you wouldn’t be caught dead using Instagram’s native filters, after all.
  • …you have to stop buying fashion magazines after Vogue commits yet another cardinal sin – this time, an upside-down headcollar. After an hour of puzzling over it, you still can’t work out how they got it on.
  • …you think you’re a pretty rational person, until a muggle – that is, a non-photographer – makes a remark to suggest you must have a very good camera to produce such good photos. Truly, officer, I don’t remember a thing – I must have blacked out!
  • …you find yourself on the receiving end of more than a few funny looks when, in the middle of family Christmas, you cluck at your cousin’s kids to try to get them to smile for a photo.
  • …you’re pretty sure there’s no situation that baby wipes can’t fix.
  • …you think nothing of getting on the ground during a shoot to nail a creative angle. Nothing, that is, until you stop for fuel on the way home and realise everyone staring at your mud-stained knees thinks you’ve been up to something quite different.
  • …you can come up with an outfit worthy of the Badminton first horse inspection in minutes if a client asks for help, but whenever you need to look smart? Well, let’s just say you’re happy to borrow the mane comb from your travelling grooming bag and leave it at that, shall we?
  • …you’ve saved up for a month to treat yourself to a custom sequinned camera strap – very on-brand, until you realised that every horse that spotted it suddenly high-tailed it to the next county. Whoops.
  • …it takes you three times as long as it used to to read Horse&Hound, because you’re examining every single photo to figure out how it was taken, and then checking the credits so you can stalk through the photographer’s portfolio. Hey, it’s essential research, right?!
  • …there’s only one gospel you live by: focus for the highlights.
  • …you dream of running away to the Sunshine Tour or the Winter Equestrian Festival to book in five-figure personal photographer contracts. Your kids can look after themselves for a few weeks, surely?
  • …a celeb rider likes one of your photos on Instagram, and you covertly screenshot the notification to look at a few more times that day – or, um, month.
  • …you realise that deep down, you chose this career for one reason: pony cuddles on demand, every day. Bliss.