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  • Writer's pictureEntrigue Consulting

How to Maximize Your Equestrian Photoshoot for Sponsored Riders

Few sponsored riders truly enjoy being in front of the camera. After all, we all got into this sport for our horses– not to act like models. So, when you do have to have an equestrian photoshoot, you want to get the absolute most content out of the shoot you can. Maximizing your photoshoot is a little bit art and a little bit science. Our CEO and Creative Director for many of our professional riding clients, Kelly Artz, gave us the inside scoop on how to maximize your next shoot.

Make It Convenient

As a professional rider, your days are already filled to the brim. Finding the time to schedule an equestrian photoshoot can feel impossible. The good news is that you don’t have to take a day off from your regular schedule to get great photo content. In fact, it’s better if you don’t take a day off.

Instead, have a photographer come and follow you around for a day or a half a day while you go about your normal business. You will have to slow down your day slightly, but you’ll still be able to get everything done on your to-do list. Just leave a little extra room for outfit changes between rides.

Change Your Outfit

The last thing you want is to come away from your equestrian photoshoot with a gallery of photos that were clearly all taken on the same day. Your sponsors and your social media manager will only have one word to say to you: boring.

Luckily, just a little bit of behind the scenes action can stretch the content from your shoot and make it last longer. By changing your outfit in between rides, the photos will look different enough that your sponsors and social media followers won’t get bored and things won’t feel like they happened all on the same day.

Make it even easier by wearing a jacket if the weather allows. Between rides you can switch the jacket for a vest or sweater. Finish the shoot by foregoing the outerwear altogether and riding in a shirt.

equestrian photoshoot
Behind the Scenes with Sabine Schut Kery

Maximize Your Time

Use a shot list to plan out the entire shoot beforehand so your photographer can take photos efficiently. The last thing you want is to take all the riding pictures first, only to have to spend another two hours at the end of the day taking all the inside barn pictures, when you could have been taking those as you tacked and untacked in between rides.

As a sponsored rider, make sure your shot list also includes what products are sponsored and will need to be highlighted in the photos. Figure out a way to work these feature shots into your already full day. For example, if you’re sponsored by a stirrup company, have the photographer take a close up shot of the stirrups as you mount up. But don’t just take a bunch of close up product shots-–sponsors want to see you using the products in the shots.

equestrian videography

Also include any essential shots you’d like to have in your shot list. This could be black background photos, passage videos, videos of you tacking up, etc. If you have a photo or shot that’s important to you, it needs to be included in the shot list. Put some thinking on what types of reels or transitions you want to include as well. Planning out fun time lapses, product reveals and more, makes for getting the most out of your day.

Use Both a Videographer & a Photographer

These days, social media accounts won’t grow without great video shorts like reels and TikToks. Get the most out of your shoot by scheduling a videographer and a photographer at the same time. This way, you’re only taking time out of one day to do outfit changes, make the horses look great, etc. instead of two.

It’s best to hire a videographer and photographer from the same company, or at least two freelancers who work together regularly. This way each professional will be used to working with the other person and will be able to coordinate within the space. The last thing you want is for one or the other to be in all of your precious photos.

Note– you don’t have to worry about audio in 99 percent of videos. Most of these shots will be used for social media or promotional videos and will have music laid over top. So, talk away while your videographer works.

equestrian photography

Get Inspired Before the Shoot

Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Scroll through Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to find photos or videos that you love well before the day of the equestrian photoshoot. These don’t have to be from other professional or sponsored riders. If you find a unique shot or video that you absolutely love, you can always recreate it from an equestrian point of view.

Use this inspirational content to compile the list of shots you’d like to get. Be particular with the shot list for any unique transition videos you’d like to create. You’ll have to be particular about where the video is shot from and how it’s captured. To get started on making transition reels, check out this blog.

Hire a Creative Director

Have you heard of a creative director? A creative director will ensure that you get quality content and that your day runs smoothly with the least interruption to you possible. The director will create the shot list and share it with the photographer and videographer before the shoot. They’ll also guide the photographer and help the sponsored rider, you, to look and feel natural and authentic in front of the camera.

This is key– your sponsors have enough content featuring posed models. As a sponsored rider, your job is to provide your sponsors with real-life photos that tell a story. Your creative director can bring this vision to life.

In short, a creative director can make your equestrian photoshoot a success from start to finish. Whether it’s finding inspiration, managing the photographer, or making sure you and your horse look your best, a creative director can help you create the vibe that you’re looking for, whether that’s creative or cute, funny or emotional.

Looking for a creative director who knows how to work with sponsored riders? Entrigue can help.


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