Q: What is the biggest challenge you face when you’re shooting?
A: It’s hard to get a good shot sometimes because if the model looks good, the horse might be moving or if the horse is perfect, the model might not be ready. It’s challenging when you’re shooting with animals involved. I always tell people to NOT fight the horse too much because once the horse gets mad, it’s over! Be creative…if the horse puts it’s head down, use that time to do a kneeling shot. Let the horse dictate the shoot, just a little bit. I like to have a separate person working with the horse if possible. Getting their ears up, feet in the right place, head up, tail quiet, it takes some work!
I have to think about the location, the lighting, where the light will fall, those kinds of things. I have to plan for equipment failure and you have to have a Plan B. It’s all about problem solving. I have to think about ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed and so many other things but I do think the images turn out better when all those things are being controlled manually as opposed to being on Automatic. It’s hard sometimes to make it all work together!
When you’re at a shoot and people are looking at you, you have to think fast. You HAVE to be thinking about shutter speeds, is the horse moving, is the location right, where is the light. It’s not automatic, it takes thought, and it’s not always easy to get the results you want. You’ve got to learn to trust what you’re doing. As long as your histogram isn’t all the way on the left or right, you’re off to a good start.
Q: In all of the images that you’ve shot, do you have a favorite?
A: I love the one on my banner with a young lady with a buckskin horse. Clothes were Cowgirl Kim, she had a Rockin vintage guitar on the river in Mesa, AZ. It was 120 degrees, there were wild horses around us coming to the river to drink. A hobby photographer came to watch the shoot and ended up helping us out. Everything just came together and I got some beautiful shots that day! Another favorite was one that got a two page spread in Cowgirl Magazine. We were in the desert in Nevada against red rocks, a more artsy photo. Then my latest shoot, which I still am editing, of my old wedding dress on my model with her gray Arabian against the sunset here in San Diego… it’s kind of magical.
Copyright Photos courtesy of Laura McClure / Laura McClure Photography