The concept of shooting with a horse has been on my mind for quite some time now. Finally I had the opportunity to give it a go and I couldn't be happier with the results. We were able to do the shoot at Amazing Grace Stables in the southwestern part of town where our model horse, Gatsby, resides. I was a bit worried about having to control a horse during a photo shoot, I had absolutely no experience with a horse what so ever, but he was the most cooperative horse I've ever worked with....the only horse I've ever worked with but no, for real, Gatsby was so well behaved and calm, it was most definitely an amazing experience.
Model: Maddie McInnis
Fashion Stylist: Paige Crawford
Photographer's Assistant: Oscar Espinal
On a technical note, the whole thing was done with my RZ67 with the 110mm lens on Kodak Portra 400. The development and scans were done by Indie Film Lab (All I did to these in post was add a small amount of contrast, these are practically straight from the lab.) It was my first time trying Portra 400 and it won't be my last. Comparing it to Fuji 400h, for my taste, I'm going to have to say I like the skin tones much better here. It's perfect. Don't get me wrong, 400h is nice but this is just better, in my opinion. I even prefer this film over the Portra 160. My opinion may not mean much considering I have so little experience on film but I know what I like. I have 5 more rolls on order to play with but it's looking like this might be my portrait film of choice!
The setup for this shoot was extremely simple. I scouted the location a week ahead of time to see where the sun would be around the end of the day. I find that scouting, even a quick one, will always improve your results. I planned the shoot for just before sunset, about 30 minutes to an hour to be exact. Sometimes you get lucky and we certainly did with the light. The sky had a thin layer of clouds softening the sunlight just a little bit and gave us some really beautiful soft, wrapping light. The lighting was kept all natural and didn't bother to get the reflectors set up. I chose to shoot either back lit and metering for the shadows or in the shade with the sun to my back as you can see in the photographs (I like the catch lights that this produces.)
To date, this is my favorite photo shoot that I've ever done. Having an idea in your head, then going through with it and getting results that you and everyone else involved are happy with is probably the greatest feeling on the planet. I'm thankful that I have so many people that trust me to create something amazing even though there is a chance that it could be a failure. Thank you all and I look forward to bringing you more conceptual shoots in the future!