This Summer I discovered an area of children’s portrait photography that I thoroughly enjoyed – childrens equestrian and show-jumping photography. Although it’s quite different to my usual family or children’s portrait photography, it’s still working with children and I’m still making memories precious – parents have the opportunity to purchase prints and other such keepsakes.
In July, I attended the Denmead Horse Show in Portsmouth, working with Dave King of SouthEast Photography. I spent the morning photographing the children’s showing classes. Some of the children were novices, age 12 and under. The younger ones were so cute bobbing up and down, and giggling. It was funny to watch.
These children’s showing classes were where the riders were given a set of instructions and were asked to demonstrate ability at walk, trot & halt. For a few, it included turns and circles and at least 2 different changes of rein. Being exceptionally careful, I photographed the children from the middle of the ring as they were riding round. It was wonderful (as well as a little unnerving at times) to be so close to the action.
At the end of the class, trophies and prizes were given and rosettes were given to all the competitors. That was my opportunity to take a portrait of the child with their horse wearing the rosette.
Show-Jumping Portraits | Kim Rix Photography
In the afternoon, I was in Ring 1 at the other end of the field, photographing the jumping classes which started with the Open 2” – take your own line, and ended with the Three Bar Puissance (One Strike).  This is where 3 fences increased in height each round and if you jumped clear, you went forward to the next round.  The class was sponsored by SouthEast Photography, so when Dave couldn’t be located, I was delighted to be asked to present the Rosettes to the winners.
Three Bar Puissance at the Denmead Horse Show
Childrens Equestrian photography is harder than you think and it’s really challenged me as a photographer. It’s much the same with Dressage photography; for the best-selling shot, the horse’s legs have to be at just the right angle, as well as the legs of the rider too.  It takes the ability to anticipate and I have to admit, a bit of luck, because it’s really tricky to get it spot on and absolutely perfect every time. I’m sure even the most experienced professional equestrian photographer will agree.
Despite a little advance practice, kindly hosted by Langshot Equestrian Centre in Chobham, Surrey, this was my first real show-jumping event and first time as a professional childrens equestrian photographer.
With kind permission from SouthEast Photography, I’d like to show you a few of the portraits taken of Three Bar Puissance.
Three Bar Puissance at the Denmead Horse ShowThree Bar Puissance at the Denmead Horse ShowThree Bar Puissance at the Denmead Horse ShowThree Bar Puissance at the Denmead Horse ShowThree Bar Puissance at the Denmead Horse Show
Kim Rix Photography
Making Memories Precious