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Easy Tips to Prepare for a Professional Horse Photography Session

We spend many special times with our horses, and the unique bond that forms is indescribable. A professional horse photography session is a wonderful way to capture that bond. And create everlasting memories in personalized wall art. You want the session to go perfectly. And for both your equine friend and you to enjoy it. Here are a Brisbane professional animal photographer’s top tips to help you plan for a relaxed, enjoyable photography session with your horse. Choosing Your Photographer It’s easy to choose the photographer for this special horse portrait by looking at the photographer’s portfolio. But there is more to consider. A key tip is to ask how they will approach the session: An experienced animal photographer will have strategies to capture that amazing image in a split second. And be tuned to your precious horse’s psychology to know when it’s enough. And to listen to you because you know your companion best! Choosing A Photo Session Location Give thought to the area and environment you will use on the day and ensure it is also looking its best.  Together with the photographer, you should plan well in advance the location you’ll use.  For example, a barn wall that is clear of all debris and clutter can be used to create a blank canvas for a portrait photograph that can be edited later. If it’s a shared space or a dedicated photography studio, communicate to make sure that you’ll have suitable access. And that it will be physically and psychologically safe for you horse. An experienced animal photographer will always prioritize your horse’s safety and comfort ahead of the photo session. She’ll give the horse time to explore and acclimatize to the location, and to her presence and what she’s doing, and any new noises.  Preparing For The Photography Session Preparation is key to a great photo session and will make you and your horse feel more at ease. Your horse will pick up the energy on the day and respond accordingly – so aim to relax, breathe, and enjoy. Try to stick to your regular routines as much as possible. Decide on the ‘look and feel’ you want to capture of your horse and prepare. A great pet photographer will listen to you in advance to learn about your horse and its preferences. And what you want the images to convey about your beautiful creature. They will come out to the photo session location. If the photo session is in their studio, she’ll explain the setup to you in detail. And allow extra time. This is to understand the potential angles to capture – and to be aware of any potential distractions and hazards for your sensitive creature. You might even want to check the venue out beforehand. While amazing photographs will be with you forever, the highest priority is the well-being of the photographer’s four-legged muse. Your horse is unique and a great photographer will seek to portray those unique elements in the images she prepares. Groom And Prepare Your Horse All grooming and preparation should be completed before the photo session starts. Do whatever you can in advance of the day itself. This will ensure that everyone is relaxed, including your horse, and that there is enough time to capture the horse portraits you’re after. You don’t want to be cleaning and polishing gear at the last minute when you want to be calm and enjoy the moment! The key, as always, is to allow enough time for the preparation. Preparing Equipment And Props If you are used to preparing your horse for show jumping and dressage, you will have a good idea of the time it takes you to prepare. Of course, all your gear should be prepared and polished to the standard you want in the photos. It’s not the time to introduce new props that your horse isn’t yet familiar with. Even if you are going for a more natural look than when you prepare for an event, still wash, dry, and groom your horse. It’s nice to have a smooth and shiny mane and tail. Applying a small amount of product to your fingers and running it through your horse’s mane will help to smooth it out and take care of any stray hairs. For the best photographs, your horse will need to be completely dry before the shoot, so ensure you have allowed enough time. Any braiding and clipping must be completed before the session starts.  If you have a white horse, take extra care when bathing and use stain removal if necessary. But don’t put your horse through a new routine that it has never experienced before. We’re asking our friend to be at their best. Let’s keep it stress-free to help them in a new situation. As always, hooves and shoes should be well maintained and cared for. If your horse’s hooves need a farrier, make sure to do this well in advance of your photography booking. In a nutshell – you know how you want to present your horse. Just follow your usual dressing routine that you both know. Keep your grooming supplies on hand for any touch-ups that might be needed during the photo session. Depending on the season, it can be good to include fly spray with your grooming kit.  Let Personality Outshine The Equipment There’s no need to do something new. The aim is to allow your horse’s personality, and connection with you, to shine through. That will happen best when they are relaxed and happy. A professional photographer is skilled at capturing that perfect moment – and a bit of imperfection adds to your horse’s portrait. And will spark more affectionate memories for you. It will add to the authenticity of the forever artwork you will be able to display in your home. Remember To Plan Your Outfit For The Horse Photography Session Too! If you are planning to have photographs taken of you and your horse together, plan what you are

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Managing Melanomas and Your Horse

For any grey horse owner, melanomas are part of the package, with 80% of grey horses over the age of 15 likely to encounter one or more in their lifetime. However, melanomas can develop on any horse, so every horse owner should understand more about them.  While skin cancer is much less prevalent in horses than humans, common skin cancers, like melanomas, can pose a health risk and cause your horse discomfort. Thankfully, they’re often benign, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. What is a Melanoma? A type of tumour, melanomas are an uncontrolled growth of cells that are usually malignant. Generally brown, grey or black in colour, they most often appear on the underside of the tail, perineal and peri-anal regions. However, they’ve also been found on the penis and sheath, ears, eyes, head and jugular region. When they first appear, melanomas are subcutaneous – covered by skin – but, over time, they can become ulcerated or infected and require treatment. Management and Treatment Any presence of melanomas should be watched carefully. Even benign, slow-growing melanomas have the potential to develop into a malignant growth, so you must routinely check your horse for any changes in size or appearance, or new growths. If found in certain areas, any melanoma – benign or malignant – can interfere with your horse’s comfort, particularly if located in the bridle or saddle areas. Some malignant melanomas can also limit your horse’s excretory functions, as well as breeding and foaling if around the peri-anal regions. Sometimes melanomas are removed by surgery. For those nuisance benign melanomas, this is often the best method. However, freezing with liquid nitrogen, chemotherapy and radiation are often used in partnership with surgery in malignant cases.

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