Katelyn (& Missy)

At the end of her junior year, Katelyn asked me if I would take her senior portraits. I told her I’d be delighted, and she said, “there’s something you should know.” I looked at her with a confused look and she said,

“I want my horse in the photos.”

To be honest, I couldn’t have been more excited. I love horses, and after we talked about it, I had a pretty clear vision of how I would showcase Katelyn and her beloved horse. She has been riding for 12 years, and she’s had Missy for 6 years. She has been training her throughout junior high and high school and Katelyn describes her as her “best friend.” She even has a special ring that represents their journey and how they’ll always have each other.

Over the next few months, Katelyn sent me Pinterest links and photos of her vision for the shoot, and we traded many texts about the look, styling and location of the shoot. She also shared photos of her horse, and the outfit she planned to wear.

Fast forward to shoot day – and it couldn’t have been more perfect. I met Katelyn at the barn where Missy lives. Katelyn chose to have her hair and makeup professionally done for the shoot, and she wore boots and an off the shoulder white lace dress. We met up at the stall about an hour before the sun was to set, and she got Missy outfitted with a halter, and we walked into a pasture with rolling hills and a small creek at the back.

It only took a few moments to get in the best position to catch the sunlight and Missy was so calm and cooperative.

We took a lot of shots of Katelyn with Missy, and then we did the last half hour of the shoot with just Katelyn around the pasture and the barn. Each shot was composed to show off Katelyn’s carefree, fun personality and also her serious side.

I was so grateful to Katelyn for telling me all about her relationship with Missy so I could capture details like her ring, their nose kiss, and the bond and trust between the two of them.

To me, senior portrait shoots should capture the senior at this moment in their lives, surrounded by what makes them happy, what they’re passionate about, and as they are right now, on the edge of new adventures. A few weeks after her session, Katelyn sent me a photo from when she first started training Missy and I couldn’t believe we had a photo that was nearly identical from her session. I am so blessed to have shared this shoot with Katelyn and Missy!

Katelyn and her horse Missy

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