You may recognize this beautiful girl as I’ve been photographing her since she was little. Being able to watch Briley grow over the years as their North Carolina family photographer and see her accomplish many things is so special! One of her dream sessions that’s been in the works for about a year was a session with her horse, Raven. The wait was worth it. Her Mom, Ashton, always goes above and beyond for sessions. She has a vision and she brings it to the table, which in turn makes it extra special. Without the dress, it still would have been a beautiful session. BUT with the dress from Your Fairy Godmother Couture, it added the magic.

I’ve been lucky enough to photograph sessions with horses before and here’s what I’ve learned:


  1. Photographing horses requires extra time. There is no rushing these sessions. Ample time must be allowed to get the horse in position and then the person in position. Some of the most perfect shots takes work and patience and lots of moving around.

2- Having a bond already with the horse is key. Some of the most special shots require the rider to get up close and personal. Horses, like people, sense emotions. They react accordingly. The beautiful shots of Briley and Raven with their faces together are some of the most beautiful of the series. Without their connection, it would have been hard to pull off.

3- Be flexible! Look around, scope out your surroundings. Once we moved Raven into the wide open pasture, it made a big difference. I loved the golden look filtering through the trees (featured in the pictures above) but it was a tighter area with the fence and the rustle of the trees behind Raven. It wasn’t optimal. Moving into the pasture did take some maneuvering of other horses but the staff at Patriot Ridge Farm in Camden, NC made it happen. The results were spectacular. Raven was more relaxed and my absolute favorite pictures are from inside the pasture.

4- Guidance is always a blessing! I have no experience with horses (other than photographing them), so it was an added blessing that Briley’s instructor was present during the session. She helped position Raven, encouraged Briley and offered tips on what works best throughout the time spent together.

5- Utilize a variety of poses if you can! Sitting, standing, walking, snuggling with the horse give the client a beautiful variety to choose from. Also, using different lenses from varying angles. The 85mm is my go to lens for portraits and what I use the most but I adore the 24-70 wide angle lens to be able photograph extra wide and get extra close in the same respect.

Because Briley’s dress was absolutely perfect, we made sure to get some alone portraits without Raven. Even though this session took place in December, the fall colors still lingered making it a perfect compliment to the beautiful dress. There was so much movement and fun to be had, we soaked it all in!

Horse sessions are so special! If you have a horse or take riding lessons and are interested in having your own horse session, let’s talk! I’d love to make your dream session happen too! My 2022 schedule is open and as always my summer is filling up quickly so let me know!


Briley and her horse, Raven – North Carolina Family Photographer




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