Equine Photography Summer Masterclass 2023

After a ridiculously busy week, I have finally had a chance to sit down and go through the images we captured last weekend at my Equine Photography Summer Masterclass 2023.

So much appreciation and gratitude to the wonderful people who helped to make the weekend what it was.

We were hosted at the wonderful Porta Vermelha Studio in Bellbrae, Vic, by my dear friend, artist and costume designer Sharryn Jenkinson. What a perfect base for our weekend…Surrounded by art, horses, the bush, the coast. We simply could not have had a more perfect place to base our masterclass from.

We began our weekend on Friday evening at the glorious Barwon Park Mansion where two fine ladies rode in traditional side saddle for us wearing the most beautiful period costumes. The sun shone as we explored the grounds and stables and for those who saw my live walk-through video inside the mansion, well, you know we were lucky enough to get a little look inside as well. Bluestone stables filled with collars and hames from a bygone era set the scene for us, along with the carriage house complete with Jinkers to compliment our vintage theme. It was beautiful and Im so grateful to our lovely models Kate riding her Andalusian gelding, ‘Harry’ and Mardi riding her sweet chestnut Thoroughbred mare ‘Sunny’.

Saturday saw a cracking morning that was cool and still, which were the perfect conditions for our warrior princess shoot. Miss Ivy and Miss Violet were so fierce and played into their roles with absolute determination and gusto. Riding their ponies ‘Scarlett’ and ‘Ginny’, the girls made it a wonderful morning creating portraits!
Thankfully, we finished just in time as the wind picked up and the temp soared along with the fire danger level!
We spent the rest of the day in the studio editing photos from the night before and that mornings shoot, eating and keeping a close eye on the Vic emergency app and deciding if that afternoons beach shoot should go ahead. Thankfully, by late afternoon, the winds eased, the temperature dropped and it was time to hit the beach!

Fish and Chips out the back of the car, with the horses and models getting ready beside us, with dinner done and dusted…and it was yum might I add, we hit the beach to shoot until sunset. Unsure what the light would be like, we just went with the flow. We had Michelle on her beautiful grey Percheron mare ‘Bub’ who looked INCREDIBLE coming out of the water.

With shimmering pinks and blues, seas shells and scales on Michelle’s costume, they made the perfect Siren duo. They were joined by Tina and her stunning Friesian gelding, ‘Yorick’ who had no issues at all galloping through the waves once he got used to it all. Splashing, leaping and bounding, it really was a photographers dream.  We played with swathes of glorious red fabric until it got wet, and became heavy. The horses and their riders danced across the sand as the light got softer and warmer. It was quiet surreal. We finished the night after the sun had set playing with slow shutter speeds and panning as the horses played in the water. The perfect end to a brilliant day!

Sunday started quietly. Breaky in house made by Sharryn and Michelle with the best bacon and eggs ever, and the most delicious relish that was the perfect accompaniment. We edited and chatted through the morning and after lunch, prepared to head the hour long trip to Faraway Farm Gypsy Cob Stud. If you don’t know what a Gypsy Cob is, have a google and you’ll fine the most divine, floofy horses with hair for days. Silken feather on the legs and with manes and tails that float along in rhythm as the move. They are a beautiful horse to behold indeed! Michelle from Faraway stud was delightful and along with her daughter and husband, they accommodated our group of photographers perfectly and we enjoyed the afternoon with their stunning horses. Stallions Tir Na nOg and Red Rocky, both imported from the UK were our main models, but an impromptu opportunity to photograph some mares and foals as they changed paddocks was a real treat too. A farewell dinner was held at the local pub where we shared stories and said our goodbyes and what was a fantastic weekend.

To all my workshop attendees, thank you for joining us. Your company, stories, humor and insights were wonderful. Horse Photography in Australia is definitely alive, well and in very capable hands!

Huge thanks to my amazing friends Sharryn and her husband Tim for hosting us at Porta Vermhela Studio. For organizing the models and making all the incredible costumes for us, plus a million other things. To our models Kate, Mardi, Ivy, Violet,  Tina, Michelle, and Michelle and family from Faraway stud, Thank you. You all made this weekend just bloody brilliant in every way. ♥




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