Marriage Western Style

A few weeks ago I was hired to take a couples after the wedding images that they were not able to get at their ceremony because their family is mostly the four legged type.

Alex and Nancy got married on April 11, 2015 after finding each other while both were going through some challenging times in their life. They both have been friends for years but were married to different people. Both Alex and Nancy were very involved here in Belgium with western horses which is a bit uncommon. Most people in Belgium do jumping, dressage, draft horses, or cart and carriage horses but only a handful love the American western horse. Nancy showed quarter horses in western pleasure for years while Alex enjoyed learning the Vaquero style of riding. So they ran in the same circles for years and knew each other well.

Then dark clouds entered each of their lives around the same time. Alex's wife died pre-maturely from medical complications and Nancy was going through a divorce from her husband. As faith would have it they found each other during this difficult time. Their love for western horses and animals in general was the thing that brought them together at this difficult time. 

This new marriage would be celebrated in western style where guest were told to wear jeans and boots to their reception to stay with the western theme. The thing that was missing in their wedding was their valued family of 6 horses and 4 dogs. Of course the animals were not able to attend the reception so their friends thought it would be a great gift to give them a photo shoot after the wedding so they could have images of them with their horses. 

That is where I came in. I love photographing horses and pets along with their people so they were a perfect fit in the type of photography I do. 

 We set up an appointment and I met them at the pasture where they keep their horses which was located next to a forest preserve.  I had know idea what they were looking for but had some ideas in my head for what I thought they might like. I always do some research and come up with some what of a plan but always know plans could change in a moments notice. 

That is exactly what happened when  Nancy told me she wanted to put on her wedding dress and have Alex wear his best western attire and capture an image of her on her horse with a rope that was around Alex and she was bringing him in like cowboys do with cows and calfs. I thought to myself "oh boy" this is going to be a challenge in many ways. But I did my best attempt to get her what she had envisioned in her mind.

We had a great time with this. It was so much fun taking the horses to the forest near by and get Alex roped by Nancy as she dragged him into her life. We all laughed and had a great time.


Alex had fun doing this as you can see on the look of his face.

I really enjoyed this photo shoot with them. They were fun and open to do anything even when the horses had different ideas.  There were many challenges but they were such good sports to try them all. 

It was a bit hot that day and I noticed Nancy's face getting quite red as she was over heating in her wedding dress. She decided to go back and change and get her other horse. So while she was gone I started working on some portraits with Alex.

After about 45 minutes we were starting to get concerned about Nancy.  We were thinking something may be wrong.  But suddenly as Nancy arrived as she told me I missed the shot of the day.

She was in such a hurry to get back that she fell in the dusty sand in her dress and was covered with dirt. A person walking by noticed this woman in a wedding dress covered in dirt and had to scratch his head. Nancy told him it was all for a photo shoot, but he still seemed to wonder why she was so dirty.  Then on top of that she had a difficult time of trying to get out of her dress as it was hooked from the back. She said she had to hook the dress on the door handle and use the handle to get the dress off, which she said took some time. I was wishing I could caught these moments on camera but being in both places was not possible.

All in all everything went well and now we both have some great stories to tell about this photo shoot. 

Here is a short video of some of the other images we created. I love making image videos that are unique to my clients and how they live their lives.