In The Saddle column: Putting myself in the picture with a fantastic photo shoot

Well, I can safely say summer has arrived but thank goodness the warm weather has started to cool down the temperatures. I’m all up for a bit of summer fun but extreme heat mixed with keeping horses isn’t pleasant for anyone.

By Anita Marsh
Friday, 6th August 2021, 11:02 am

To help my horses cope I’ve been bringing them in between 12noon - 4pm (the hottest part of the day) so they are kept out of the burning sun and in their cool brick-built stables.

I had planned to do a photo shoot with them all recently but we had rearranged to ensure we had warmer weather, avoiding any rain and, boy, was it warm.

I had seen a particular photographer’s equine photos through social media as we have a mutual friend - so we were finally introduced.

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A stunning image of Sully captured by Smeuse Equine and Animal Photography. (Photo: Smeuse Equine and Animal Photography)

Liz is a lecturer in art and photography at the Doncaster College, following an earlier career as a trained photo journalist for the press. She’s used to being on the go with shoots but has recently turned her hand to setting herself up as an equine and animal photographer.

Meeting Liz was a pure pleasure. We got chatting whilst she was setting up and she told me how she’s always loved the camera and has followed in her father’s footsteps, despite sadly losing her father when she was only five.

It’s clearly in the blood and the passion has been passed down. She’s a born natural and seems to have a unique eye for capturing the perfect moment.

Liz explained she’d first found her love of the camera whilst at university and spent many hours photographing the streets of Leeds, loving it so much she went on to specialise in becoming a photo journalist.

She remembers always having a camera as child and taking great delight on holidays taking reels of family photos.

I was interested to know where Liz’s passion for horses had come from. It turns out she had her own lovely ex racehorse a few years ago and her love for all things equine has never stopped - that was quite clear from how she interacted with my three.

The name of her business was unusual ‘Smeuse Equine and Animal Photography’ and she explained it is born from an old, since lost, English term for the name of a gap in a hedge that animals pass through.

Liz explained that she chose the name based on this because it represents the very heart of the British countryside, something which is reflected in her work and is intricately brought out to show the special bond between the horse and their rider. She lives and breathes the countryside living in the rural Isle of Axholme, where she’s close to nature and able to ride her friend’s horse.

Liz was warm and friendly, quickly ensuring an ease around us all which made you forget she was there. She introduced a light umbrella outside my Appaloosa’s stable. He was clearly non-plussed about everything and was more interested if he could eat any of her equipment. She was very patient, nothing was rushed, allowing me to go in the stable copious amounts of times to gently push him back.

We took Sully, my Appaloosa, into the field where I rode him in our concours d’elegance outfit. After which, she then met my two mares - April and Mara who pretty much refused to prick up their ears for any nice shots. Don’t you just love working with animals? Of course, Liz being a professional she knew just how to get them to move to the right position.

So how are the photos? Well, I have been more than delighted with the moments she’s captured. You can see one of the pictures Liz has taken in this article. It has a unique authenticity to it and I absolutely love what she’s created. It seems in each of my horses she’s caught their very essence of their soul and that is something to treasure always. Way after they are no longer with me.

You can see some of the images on my Facebook page at ‘In The Saddle - Anita Marsh’ or by following Liz on her Facebook page at Smeuse Equine and Animal Photography.

All her work is high end, printing only on the best quality hahnmhule paper or canvas with archival inks which mean they last for one hundred years.

In the meantime, if you are interested in having a professional shoot with Liz then please message her through her Facebook page. She’s happy to travel to meet you and your animals. She’s also happy to attend equestrian events as the official photographer or group yard events too.

She will help you create a timeless, beautiful memory of your special bond together. Something that will continue to give you pleasure and evoke emotions in you for a very long time.

All I can say now is thank you Liz. I hope to work together with you again one day.