Antares Dressage Show

This blog post is a little bit different from the other ones, because this is about me and there are even some pictures OF me in it. (Gasp). Every now and then I manage to get out from behind the camera and get in front of it. But- just like in this post- it’s usually on the back of a horse. In one of my other personas I am a dressage rider/trainer/instructor, in case you didn’t know. Well, on Saturday I took 4 students and one green adorable little pony baby to a local schooling show. We managed to do 7 rides in roughly 2 hours and everyone got plenty of warm up and there were no catastrophes. Amazing really. I have an amazing group of students. Partly, I think because I have limited my teaching to just students that are a perfect fit not only in my life but each others. These girls are all the best of friends, they hang out together outside of the barn and really love hanging out together. This is a requirement to ride with me. Everyone must get along really well and be each other’s biggest fan and supporter and Second Chance Farm is hands down, not negotiable a drama free barn. Period. And that’s exactly how I want it. I love these girls like they are my own, they stay at the farm and are working students for majority of the summers, as well as most weekends and holidays throughout the school year. Hailey loves them, and Kevin doesn’t know how to act when the farm isn’t overrun by teenage girls. They really are a part of the family. So, you can just imagine how proud I was of all of them at this show. Emily has been working so so so hard all summer long working up to this show, and I was so proud of her as she rode down the center line looking so poised and confident with all her hard work. She rode great on a tough horse and really shined. She ended up with a 3rd, and 5th place rides. The future is so bright for this girl, and I am glad to be a part of it. Isabelle came to me as a shy, quiet (so much so I could not hardly hear a word she said in her lessons for about the first 4 months I taught her) but incredibly natural young rider 3 years ago. Now she is a far cry from shy, confident, giggly, amazing young rider. She works so hard and is such a great young lady. Her and Emily basically took care of everything on my farm for me last summer when I was so sick and still trying to work, with little guidance from me and they were invaluable. She is lucky enough to ride Sutter, who at 21, is my first true love, and will always be my most favorite horse ever. We’ve been together for over 12 years now, and he was my first FEI event horse and FEI dressage horse. As proud as I am of everything I accomplished with him it makes me so proud to see her learning and excelling with him too. She went in that ring yesterday like she owned the world and rode a phenomenal test. I knew when I watched her ride that she had just won her class and sure enough, I was right!!!! Made me so beyond proud of her. Farrin is a new student to the group, but she is a lovely rider with a lovely mare. Just my type of ride, a hot, sensitive, thoroughbred. She went in the ring and put in 2 solid, relaxed rides which was our number one goal for 2nd and 4th places. A great start for a team with a very bright future. I met little Emma (featured in the post The Calm Before The Storm) severial years ago when her sister started taking lessons. Long story short- Casey doesn’t get to ride too much now, amazing how life tends to get in the way, but Emma is a die hard. She lives a couple hours away so I don’t get to see her a ton during the school year, but during the summers, look out! She has been here a ton this summer working hard and learning so much. This was her very first show, ever, and she was so nervous. But- like I knew she would, she went in the ring and did a great job. And her future is so bright. She got a fantastic 3rd place and was hands down the cutest thing there, on the polkadotted princess, with her long blonde pigtails with teal bows that matched her shirt, bridle and even braces. They were adorable and I was so proud she was mine! I showed this little pony, Skylore, I’ve had in training for the past month or so too. He just turned 4 years old, and is the most adorable thing ever. Not even kidding here. He went to his very first show, and one of his first times off the farm and acted like a seasoned pro. He was textbook perfect, scoring a 74% and not only winning his class but getting the high score of the whole show. His owners are so excited, and I know they can’t wait to get him back home tomorrow, but the rest of us- we are seriously going to miss his cute little face. Ok, well, if you made it through this entire post maybe you now have a little more insight into another aspect of my life and one of my other true loves. It is even more incredible to me when I can combine photography and horses like I was able to do here. I hope you enjoy the pictures of my girls and all my proud trainer bragging! 🙂 <3B ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Common Questions And Misconceptions About Photo Sessions Answered!! :-)

Have you been thinking about scheduling a session but are totally overwhelmed with where to get started? I figured I would take this chance to answer some of the most common questions I get asked about setting up a session. Hopefully this will help those of you who are sitting on the fence about booking a session and if you have any other questions please feel free to ask! Enjoy! 🙂

1.) I really want to get some family pictures but I am not photogenic and I’m so awkward in front of a camera.

OK, first of all. This is not the type of photo session you suffered through growing up at Sears or Walmart. There will be no sitting in front of the camera, tilting your head one way or another, and on 3 saying cheese. I don’t even do my sessions in a studio. These are pictures of you and your family (regardless if your family consist of other people or pets!) spending time together and being YOU! I want your personality to come out in these sessions. If you are silly and goofy I want to see it. My sessions are laid back and fun. I am seriously goofy and I like to have fun. There is nothing uptight about me or my sessions. We will laugh (often at something graceful I just did on accident), joke, smile and have a blast. I PROMISE. And you will look amazing and natural in your pictures because that is what you will be. No forced posed smiles. I promise!

2.) I have no idea what to wear?

First of all, what are you most comfortable in? Are you a blue jeans and boots type of person or are you in love with that little dress and strappy heels? You want to wear something that is going to make you look your best and the most like you. If your wearing something that is totally out of your element you will feel uncomfortable in it and that will reflect in your pictures. I usually recommend at least 2 outfits for your session. Both ones that you are comfortable in and reflect your personality and style, however- make sure they are very contrasting in their look. In other words, not 2 different pairs of jeans and a different colored shirt.

If you are doing family pictures, I recommend wearing an outfit(s) that coordinates with each other but not all stepford-like. I don’t recommend the whole family wearing jeans and blue sweaters or something of that sort. But, blue jeans and different (but coordinating) sweaters works great.

Other tips on what to wear- accessories really make your pictures stand out. Ex- cute funky jewelry, head bands, hair accessories, scarves, hats, etc.

3.) I really want pictures of my kids but they don’t sit still at all and they can be really wild.

Guess what, I don’t sit still either! I can run around with your kids and get some great shots! I have a 3.5 year old little girl, she has more energy than anyone I’ve ever seen in my life. I am more than used to getting amazing shots while on the move. Truth be told, these are my favorite shots and will probably be yours too. These are the ones that will get your child’s personality the best. That smile that warms your heart so much that you see when playing with your little one at the park….yeah, your not going to get that by making them sit and pose. But- you will get it by playing with your kid during the session. And, I can promise you- the session that you think isn’t going well because your kid won’t sit still will get some amazing images. Especially if you just relax and set off playing with your kids during the shoot. Remember, the more relaxed that you are during the session the more relaxed they will be.

4.) I really want to do a family session, but my husband hates posing for pictures.

I am married to one of those guys too. We have been known to fight (with him digging his heels into the dirt, kicking and screaming) the whole way to some of our family sessions. He hates taking pictures, he hates the idea of pictures, he hates all of it. BUT- he ADORES the pictures of his family on the wall. Each time we have done it he has complained the whole time and when he sees the finished product he has been so glad he did it. I can assure you your man will be the same way. I don’t know too many husbands that are jumping up and down to have family pictures done. Ladies, that is way more our department than theirs. But again, these aren’t your typical posey pose pictures. He will be interacting with his lady and kids (if you have any!) throughout the session, not awkwardly starring at my goofy self holding a camera!

5.) I don’t have any idea where to do my session at.

If you have an idea of what type of look your are looking for in your pictures that will give me an idea of where to do your session at, and we can discuss it and figure out the perfect location for your shoot. Don’t worry- I know LOTS of epic locations!!! If you have no clue what type of look your wanting in your photos, not to worry. I can help you figure that out too and from there we will find the perfect location for you! And don’t forget, we can always shoot at more than one place too!! So don’t hesitate to let me know if there are a couple of different looks you want for your photos. We can make it all work, I promise! And it will be AMAZING! 🙂

I think that is enough for tonight. And again, any other questions or misconceptions about sessions please feel free to comment them here or send them to me in an e-mail at or on my facebook page at: I look forward to hearing from YOU! ~Bri~

The end of a beautiful day….

The Littlest Cowpokes {Micah & Hailey}

So, of course this shoot was special to me because it had my daughter Hailey in it, but aside from the fact that she was in it I am totally in love, head over heels smitten over these shots. As in full on giddy. Giddy I tell you. I swear, if by some random chance these two end up getting married one day (how beyond adorable would that be?) I will be sure to plaster these shots ALL over their wedding in classic Mom of the Bride fashion hahahah. Micah is one of Hailey’s closest little buds and Joanna is like my sister. We became friends in nursing school and have never looked back. In fact, I don’t know how I would have gotten through nursing school without this chick. She is seriously the coolest girl ever. ❤ you!!!!!!! So, it would only be logical that our kids would be so close. This whole shoot was sparked by a random trip Joanna and I took to Raleigh which resulted in a random stop at Target where we saw the little dress Hailey is wearing and had to get it. Which came with the comment “This would be great for a cowgirl photoshoot”. That was all it took. Next thing you knew, we were working out the details of Micah’s shirt, Hailey’s hat and a borrowed lasso (Thank you Kevin Jones, I will get it back to you ASAP! Promise!!!!!!!). I just adore these pictures and these two precious little cowpokes. I hope you all enjoy them too. 


A quick side note. Thank you so very very much to each and every one of you who have taken the time to support this business and dream of mine. I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams how much support I would have gotten so quickly from you all. It means more to me than you will ever begin to know. Thanks again to each of you (this includes those of you who are wanting to book a session, my schedule is filling up fast, so book yours TODAY!!!!!) for trusting me with capturing the images of your family and loved ones. Love you all! ❤ ~Bri~ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

East Coast Cross Fit {2nd Annual 31 Heroes Event}

First of all, cross fit is some intense stuff. You guys are all my heroes for doing this. Wow. I felt like I needed to go home and do some sit ups after I left this event. Hats off to each of you! And I certainly felt very whiny for complaining about the giant cramp in my hand from holding my cameras for so long and how much my back hurt from shooting for about 7 hours while watching everyone work their tails off, oops! For those of you who are unaware of what the 31 Heroes Event is, go here for more information about it:, and for more information about ECCF check out: Thank you so much for inviting me to shoot this special event. It was such a blast, and I can’t wait to do it again! For everyone that was there, please tag these pictures- there is no way I would ever get everyone tagged so help yourself, and don’t forget to “Like” Captivate Photography. ( Also, for those of you interested in purchasing any of these prints please contact me ASAP. I will be donating a portion of each print purchase to 31 Heroes so order away. Thanks again everyone!!!

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Fall Special!

Fall is right around the corner (Thankfully!!!) and will be here before we know it. Fall is one of the best times for outdoor photography. The changing leaves and cooler weather make for gorgeous shots. Therefore, I am offering a special. From now until the end of August any session that is booked for September will get a discounted rate of $75.00 for the session and full disc will be offered for $25.00. AND- you will receive all prints (including packages) with a 20% discount. These sessions will fill up quickly and are only being offered on a first come first serve basis so book your’s today! Image S

Double Take {Taylor and Marina}

This session was a blast for me (Ok, most of them are in their own way) because 1) Taylor and Marina are hysterical and 2) There were some super sweet horses involved. Both of the girls (twins, btw) have the best sense of humor, mixed with a touch of sarcasm making them a riot to be around, and the horses were wonderful. The girls are rising high school seniors and wanted to do their senior pictures while here from Mass. visiting their grandma, and they knew they did not want the typical senior portraits, which works out great for me, because if you know anything about me you know I don’t like the same ole same ole shots. So, off we went into a big field with a couple horses and a couple beautiful girls in their gorgeous dresses shipped in from England to get some special senior shots with no typical shots! Enjoy! ❤ BriImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

The American Dream {The Hyland Family}

I knew going into this session that it was going to be special. Nate and Leah have been good friends of mine and Kevin’s since around the time we got married, and Ava is one of Hailey’s best friends. Leah and I were pregnant together and the girls are only 10 days apart in age. They have a blast playing together and we have a blast hanging out. It’s a perfect combination. I have been promising Leah I would do their family pictures for so long, since way before I even started Captivate Photography, it’s taken forever, but we finally made it happen and it was more than worth the wait. Getting everyone in the same place at the same time was quite the challenge, and anyone familiar with boys knows all too well what they are like….in other words, standing in front of a camera = pure evil torture, but randomly beating up your brother = pure bliss.  They were certainly entertaining and little Miss. Ava is determined to keep up with her brothers in every way possible. She is the perfect mix of girly girl and tomboy. It has been such a joy watching this family grow and develop together and I am so proud to call them my friends. I hope you enjoy the pictures of this beautiful family as much as I enjoyed taking them! ❤ B

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