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In Pics: The ‘Horse’ Photo-shoot for the Autumn/Winter 2013 Catalogue

The schools may not have even broken up for summer but to us, it's that time when we have to get cracking with our Autumn/Winter catalogue production - and one of the most important bits to get done quickly is the photography!

Our winter catalogue photography has always had to take place in the middle of summer and, this being Britain, we never really know what the weather will be like until the day of the shoot. Occasionally, it can be difficult to convey the suitability of a product designed for cold temperatures when it's anything but cold but on a more basic level, any photographer will prefer bright conditions over a dull day – and if it rains, it just makes things even worse.

This year, we were blessed with bright sunshine for the shoot of all our new horse-modelled items. We still have some left to do, especially model photography for the 'human' range. Usually, that tends to be a bit smoother than working with horses (but not always!) so what follows is traditionally one of the most unpredictable days of the year. Here's a photographic record of the day, behind the scenes. Enjoy!

8:30        The venue is prepared in accordance with the brief and the requirements of the product which need capturing, for example Stable areas to be cleaned if the photo-shoot involves stable rugs or field is cut if the photo-shoot involves turnout rugs. Meanwhile, the horses are prepared before they leave their home in St. Helens for the 20 mile trip north to the shoot location in Wigan. Ben (bay) and Oakley (coloured) will be this season's stars of the show.

8:30        The buyer arrives first to co-ordinate the receipt of the product and samples which are being photographed. She provides a running order and details of product codes and specific photographic requirements for each item. The product also arrives at the shoot location having been delivered by a member of our warehouse team. Various items are placed in the relevant areas of the shoot location to avoid double handling.

9:00        The photographer arrives (no self-portrait taken, unsurprisingly!) and is given a run down for the day including the products being photographed, the number of horse or ponies, running order and additional specific requirements.

9:30        The first two horses (Ben and Oakley) arrive and are raring to go. Different requirements require different horses and today's models are scheduled to arrive at different times in the day to avoid people and horses being stood around unnecessarily.

10:00     The photo-shoot starts and the products are quickly ticked off the list as the camera starts to capturing the stable and close up images we require. This is Ben.

11:00     We start to alternate horses, in line with the running order, but in the knowledge that they simply start getting bored if they just stand round for too long. This is Oakley.

11:40    It's not exactly glamorous work but any photo-shoot is likely to attract attention, especially from the neighbours! This is Poppy.

12:00     We all take a break – Cup of tea and a net of hay!!

12:30     The next horse arrives, he's called Henry – he's only small but has a big attitude.

12:45     We quickly get the few shots we require of Henry and tick some more products off our list.

1:00        We get some interesting, non-product images of Henry and Ben to use as stock photos before Henry heads off home.

1:45        The real fun starts as Ben is readied for the final few product shots. These involve him running through the field and it can take up to 15 minutes just to get the one image you need of each rug.

2:30        We have everything we need - Ben was a superstar, again. We take his rug off and let him and Oakley relax and enjoy a bit of time together grazing and playing around.

3:00        That's it for the day. We get a quick picture of everyone who helped today.

3:15        Time to get the horses home. Ben and Oakley are loaded up, with a lot less fuss than Henry was! We ensured that the day wasn't too long for them, even if that means that we have to do additional days of photography.

3:30        The wagon leaves and the boys will be back in their own fields within the hour.

3:45        Next, our own transport turns up to collect the product and take it back to HQ. We're that bit closer to getting the catalogue ready to send to you later this year!

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