What We Learned From Our First Horse Hippie Photo Shoot

{ORIGINAL POST DATE 01/30/15} The vision for Horse Hippie lifestyle brand came and I started looking for products that would express a horsey, happy, hippie lifestyle. The first step was to look in my closet, jewelry box, cupboards, home and barn for ideas. I found quite a few products that I thought other Horse Hippies would like too. From my Wakami Earth bracelets Horse Hippie-blog1 To the yoga/harem pants I bought at a farmer's market Horse Hippie.Peacock-Harem Pants To the necklace I bought from a craft fair: _DSC0053 After I picked through my own stuff I asked fellow Horse Hippies what they liked, what they would buy, and what it took to create a brand. They said "comfy", they said "natural", they said "ethically sourced". Once I identified the type of things we would carry I reached out to suppliers and set up accounts.......no easy feat when you aren't really a company yet! But we managed and the products started rolling in. IMG_1426 It was like my birthday every day! What? Another present? Yippiee!! When my dining room/yoga studio/craft room- now warehouse- began to fill up with product I knew we had to get the products out to the customers. Horse Hippie Warehouse 2 Horse Hippie Warehouse Easy-peasy, right? Create a website, take some pictures and voila! A webshop is born. Not so fast.....who will take the pictures? Who will be the models? What have I gotten myself into? A long deep-breathing meditation session calmed me and I recognized that I knew people, who knew people, that might be able to help. Actually, when you have been on this Earth as long as I have you are bound to know someone that can do just about anything, but luckily I didn't have to look very far. My niece Sarah is a terrific photographer. She has had an artistic "eye" since childhood. So much her nickname was Doodles. Don't tell her but we all still call her that :-) She started a photography business Franswia Photography and (while raising her three kids) has established herself and her business. Only problem is she lives 8 hours away from me in Charlotte, NC. 1621789_10152398230777979_6045107107817725828_n Ok, we have our photographer. Now where are we going to find models and a location? I have really tried not to burn any bridges in my life so when I reach back and ask someone if I can shoot at their farm, the answer might be "Yes". I have met a ton of gorgeous, strong women that ride horses in my travels as trainer, nutritionist and speaker. The one that popped into my head right away was my friend Sarah Greenway. 1655356_10152856199349592_363556569567510927_o Sarah is another working (her ass off) mom and she rocks it. She has a successful training/sales barn, Levremont Farm, in Powhatan, VA and when I reached out and asked her if she knew anyone that might be able to model, she said "I know 5". Plus, she was happy to let me use her beautiful farm and well-trained horses too. Thanks, Karma. My niece was excited when she found out it was in Powhatan because that's where a bunch of our family lives. Let's do Thanksgiving there! So now that both Sarahs were on board, we have product, models, location,....what next? They say a mother is only as happy as her saddest child, and that's some truth right there. I am so blessed to be a very happy momma. All of my kids have figured out this journey called life and because of this are outstanding humans. They also are very smart and between my three daughters, daughter-in-law and nieces there was plenty of support. Add three sisters, a sister-in-law and great friends and we can do anything. I mean seriously. My support system is so strong I'd use it as a safety net to tightrope the Grand Canyon. Anyway, my youngest taught me all about shoot schedules and to take a picture of each outfit (thank God she did). Horse Hippie PS 1 IMG_1103 HorseHippie HorseHippie PS44 My niece has a degree in Fashion Design and let me just tell you, I wish I could hire her as my stylist. My sister is a hairdresser and knows make-up...hired. My other sister runs a customer service company so she was hired as the person-that-puts-out-fires. Horse Hippie PS 4 Other members of my web of love gave the "Thumbs up" or "Thumbs down" honestly about products, websites and such. Things were taking shape. The night before the shoot we ran to Walmart and bought a steamer (another hint from someone) a rolling garment rack and a bunch of hangers. By bed we were ready and excited. HorseHippie PS50 HorseHippie PS 55 The day of the shoot was cold, like it can be two days after Thanksgiving, but didn't rain so we were happy. When we got there Sarah (the farm owner) showed us to a heated tack room and some hot tea. Nice! We rolled our cart in like we knew what we were doing and started to set up. I had printed out the pictures of ideas I had gathered from my Horse Hippie Pinterest page and as the models (Sarah's students) arrived I handed them the photos so they could get a feel for what I was after. I had already shared these with my photographer niece, Sarah (I know confusing) so now we were all on the same page. I told the girls to go through the rack and if something "spoke" to them to try it on. Ooops. Not the best idea. Clothes started flying, hangers were tossed and the carefully styled "looks" were gone. Luckily I had listened to my daughter and had taken those pictures the night before! That really helped but what I really needed was a clone. Trying to corral young excited women, set up the shot outside and get ready for the next one was impossible. Horse Hippie group Luckily that ever present safety net was there and we nailed it. These Horse Hippie chicks went out and did their thing. HorseHippie-PS8 Horse Hppie-Peace HorseHippie-twns My niece's creative eye captured some amazing shots of regular girls and their horses. Horse Hippie-Mad Horse Hippie-starburst headband-pink A couple of these first time models got so into posing that they took their clothes off (hippie style) and took some for themselves and their men. HorseHippie-Dara Horse hippie-Jojo (45) Reviewing the pictures back at my parents house was a trip. With my 90 year old Dad looking over my shoulder we clicked through frame after frame of glory. Dara (116) Horse hippie Erin The high from our first Horse Hippie shoot carried me the three hours home. To see my vision in print was surreal. To see the products I sourced, embellished and brought to life as the Horse Hippie brand on a real person riding a horse was so affirming. So what did we learn from our first Horse Hippie photo shoot? That dreams can become reality, that enthusiasm can overcome obstacles, and that Horse Hippies are a tribe of really cool, creative, fun, horse-crazy people! Yes, this is my calling. Yes, I am proud to be a Horse Hippie. Horse Hippie 11 Peace, love and horses, Laura Horse Hippie

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