Featured Shoot: Eva & Chance
This shoot was particularly interesting because we added “Chance” (our star horse) as a new variable. It seems that every time we do unusual shoots like this one, there is a certain amount of luck that we must rely on. I believe that if you organize the circumstances in which to be creative, good luck is bound to be present. I have learned over the years to have a plan for executing my ideas, then, when things do not go as planned, instead of looking at this as a problem and a failure (which I use to do), I try to look at what is working from those set of circumstances, in most cases, there is a magic feel to be experienced and therefore magical images to be captured. You could say that the plan is simply the vehicle for what lies behind it. Unless you set off to execute that plan, you will never meet the beautiful experiences that await when you are in the execution, nor the beautiful images that await being captured.
The images of Eva and Chance in the flowers were interesting to shoot. Although it looks like I positioned them in a spot posing, that is not how it worked out. Nicole, who owns Chance tried to get him used to being within the flowers but he did not like to stay in one place, especially surrounded by flowers, what we then realized is that it would actually work better to have them walk in and out of the chosen spot, allowing us to shoot images with a more natural feel. It also gave me the opportunity to shoot frames before and after they got to the chosen spot, this generated some unique images where Eva and Chance were behind the flowers as they walked to the spot where they were revealed.
I also wanted to capture images of Eva not riding but interacting with. I know that is more common and easier to do but I guess I felt that these images would complete the set: A beautiful nude woman interacting and riding a horse; like a relationship. When I see the images of the interaction and then I see the ones of Eva riding Chance, I feel their relationship, almost like friends. That is what I wanted the overall shoot to feel like.
The biggest challenge during the shoot was capturing Eva and Chance while cantering. Bareback nude riding is not a common thing so there was an adjustment period and experimentation for Eva to do. But cantering on horseback nude was still not our objective, what we had set out to do was to create unique images of a nude woman cantering on horseback.
This represented a whole new problem: How to make her body look as beautiful as she normally is while flying up in the air and landing on the horse with every stride, the solution? Timing! It all had to come together for Eva to be in the right position in the air as well as have Chance looking good and the light shining through the trees, all at the same time. Continuous shooting does not guarantee the perfect timing either, in many cases I find it better to time the moment shoot one frame at a time, rather than hope that the camera is not between frames when the perfect moment happens. I guess that is a skill I learned from my skydiving photography.
Any way, this was another awesome shoot and I am thankful for the great results! I would like to acknowledge Eva for being so adventurous and open minded. Nicole (my wife and owner of Chance) for all the work she did experimenting, preparing Chance so he looked as awesome as he did. Hanna for all the assisting and support, Karen and Brent for the use of their property and of course my son Ramsey who shot the behind the scenes images and had some great ideas of his own. As always it is great to work with him.