Boo Face Pony Pals Photo Shoot

A couple of weeks ago a picture of a little girl running alongside a tiny pony popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. The image was whimsical, almost magical and it took my breath away. I didn’t know this girl, or her family. It was in fact a picture taken by a local photographer, who I’d started following after she photographed Oscar’s friend Cecily and her family back in the summer. I don’t know what it was about the image, but I just kept looking at it. It was beautiful.

We’ve never had any professional photos taken of Oscar. We’ve talked about it a few times, but from fairly early on, we were pretty sure that a studio shoot would be a disaster and when we thought about an outdoor session, I was convinced all we’d get were a hundred photos of the back of Oscar’s head, as he ran away into the distance. It didn’t strike me as much fun for anyone; or worth it to be honest. So we left it. We have one image, taken in Tesco (of all places!) when he was 18 months old. My friend wanted to enter her daughter into the local paper’s ‘beautiful baby’ competition and convinced me to let them take some photos of Oscar while we were there. I wasn’t going to, but she badgered me enough that I gave it and apologised in advance. As it was he posed like a pro and all the family have one from that ‘sitting’. But that one image is the only professional one we have.

So when, last week, the picture of the girl with the horse reappeared in my newsfeed, I was compelled to look into it a bit closer. It transpired the company, Boo Face Photography, were running mini sessions where the children would be photographed with miniature horses. The 20 minute sessions would be held at a local farm and the horses were all trained Pets as Therapy (PAT) animals from a company called Pony Pals, meaning they were used to being around skittish or inexperienced people (aka small children!). I figured that if the horse was there to give Oscar something to focus on, then we might just be able to get some good shots of him.

I contacted Kerry at Boo Face and explained about Oscar’s Autism and how this may (or may not) impact on the session. She couldn’t have been more understanding. She explained she had previous experience of photographing autistic children, but also explained that she realised this meant she didn’t know Oscar and that the most important thing she could be was patient. This gave me hope and we decided to go ahead, with an early morning session (before he’d have chance to get hungry or tired!) booked for that Saturday.

Despite not being completely sure what to expect ourselves, we explained to Oscar what was happening, showing him pictures of the miniature (or as he christened them ‘baby’) horses and even photos of Kerry. We rocked up on Saturday morning with my mantra of ‘expecting the best and preparing for the worst‘ firmly in our heads.

We were welcomed into the farm and taken to meet the ponies. Oscar insisted on being carried to begin with, but within minutes of meeting the horses and their handler Caroline, he asked to get down. Caroline took him down to the lane and gave him the very gorgeous Mr Kellogg’s lead to hold and that was it. The session was under way. And we’ve not laughed or smiled so much in a long time. Just look at the joy on this little boys face!

Pony_Pals_Oscar-1

© Boo Face Photography 2015

Copywright Kerry Jordan Boo Face Photography 2015

© Boo Face Photography 2015

© Boo Face Photography 2015

© Boo Face Photography 2015

© Boo Face Photography 2015

© Boo Face Photography 2015

We mentioned to Kerry that Oscar had enjoyed brushing the donkey he met in the summer and Caroline rushed to grab him a brush. Oh my!

© Boo Face Photography 2015

© Boo Face Photography 2015

We then moved to the barn and let the boy climb all over the hay bales, all while holding on to his new best friend!

© Boo Face Photography 2015

© Boo Face Photography 2015

As the session drew to a close, we started to worry how Oscar would cope leaving something he was clearly enjoying. Caroline took him to see some of the other horses, while we talked to Kerry about what would happen next and when he came back Kerry presented him with a completely unexpected party bag full of exciting little Christmas themed gifts and a balloon, which diffused any sadness and resulted in an amazing bonus shot.

© Boo Face Photography 2015

© Boo Face Photography 2015

We can’t explain how amazing the session was. We laughed so much and the boy spent the whole weekend both calm and talking about ‘Baby Horses’, which is amazing to me as he so rarely shares memories with us in this way. I’m so, so pleased I followed my instinct on this one. With the advent of camera phones and accessible editing software you might be forgiven for asking why bother with a professional photographer.

I hope this answers your question.

© Boo Face Photography 2015

© Boo Face Photography 2015

 

 

Thank you so much to Kerry and Caroline for their unbelievable patience, understanding and care taken throughout the shoot.

I have not been paid for this review and I paid for the shoot with my own money. I just wanted to share these amazing photos with you.

For more information about Boo Face, including any upcoming Pony Pal sessions, please visit their website

 

 

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Comments

  1. entertainingelliot says:

    What beautiful photos – they made me all emotional! xx

  2. Oh Wow these photos are beautiful!! I love them!! What a great idea!!! I will check them as I really would like something like that for my girls!! That pony is really cute and your little boy is gorgeous!! 🙂
    #MarvMondays

  3. these are such stunning photos and you can see he’s loving it! so care free! – haha my son (love him as i do) would be terrible with a “baby” horse :p he’s more a cat man :p Thanks for sharing this it’s lovely! #MarvMondays

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thank you. I love that he comes across as care free. I’m sure pictures with your son and his cats would be awesome!

  4. Wow- beautiful shots and it sounds like the photographer was perfect. Worth every penny!
    Thanks for linking up to #fartglitter x

  5. Absolutely beautiful photos! They really do have that magical quality about them. It’s brilliant that he enjoyed the shoot so much too, and you have those photos to remind you of the moment forever x #MarvMondays

  6. These are amazing – my children would love that #sharethejoylinky

  7. I’m so glad he got so much out of it – the photos are absolutely gorgeous! So natural and fun – Pure joy!
    xAlice
    #sharethejoy

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thank you Alice, me too. It’s always a risk doing something new with any child, but with an autistic child doing something different can often add an extra ‘frisson’ to the proceedings! I needent have worried though ??

  8. The photos are gorgeous and even better that it really does look like he is loving his time with the little pony. Please do join me for Country Kids, it is all about outdoor fun, popping by today from #MarvMonday

  9. These photos are simply stunning. I have never come across this type of professional photography session and it sounds wonderfully and empathetically organised. What a lovely experience for you and Oscar, you can really see the enjoyment on his face. xx #Sharethejoylinky

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Neither had I and I think that’s what drew me to them! I honestly can’t rate the organisation highly enough and all the added extras made us for so well looked after. Thank you!

  10. What beautiful photos and and what an amazing experience. Thank you so much for sharing them. It’s a real privilege to see them

  11. Oh these photos are just stunning. Totally amazing. I just love his expression when leading the pony, he looks very happy and relaxed and these photos are ones that you should treasure. It’s also lovely that you all enjoyed time on the farm on the shoot, and it was such a natural, fun day.
    I agree with you; photo cameras are good but professional photographers can be stunning!

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Absolutely! An indoor shot was never going to be for us and I’m so grateful we found such a great way of bringing out the best in our little guy! Thank you so much

  12. Oh wow these shots are just amazing! You don’t need to convince me – I’m a firm believer that professional shots are SO worth the money. Thanks so much for linking up these gorgeous pictures at #sharethejoy this week and glad the shoot was so much fun for you all x

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thank you Michelle and thank you so much for hosting. I hope you’re recovering after your procedure and my love to you and your family at this difficult time xx

  13. Wow what an amazing photography session and the photo are just magical. I love the first one especially – the look on Oscar’s face is just full of pure joy. Kerry sounds like an amazing photographer and patience is definitely an essential skill for working with children. #TwinklyTuesday

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thank you so much Louise! She’s fantastic at what she does, so unobtrusive and fast. You’d need to be with my boy!

  14. I love everything about this post! The pictures are just gorgeous, I adore the one of Oscar in the barn, beautiful. This is such a wonderful idea, I’d absolutely love to do something similar with my little guy. Especially love how fab they were with his autism, my brother was autistic and I love to see the boundaries breaking down. Thanks for linking up to Marvellous Mondays, hope to see you again next week! Kaye xo #MarvMondays

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Oh Kaye that so lovely of you to say! We had the most fantastic time and I agree I love the barn one, looks like something out of a magazine! Thank you for hosting and hope to see you again on Monday

  15. This sounds like a lovely experience, and he clearly loved it! Gorgeous photos! We haven’t done any professional shoots of the girls and have been wondering if we should. I like something like this better than the usual studio ones, though – it’s more natural and interesting. #sharethejoy

    • mrssavageangel says:

      I’d definitely recommend it, but do your research first and work with someone you feel comfortable with. I don’t believe there’s much to be said for just ‘having photos taken’ for the sake of it (especially when you can pay a lot of money for it). Hope you find someone you like x

  16. This made me cry! What beautiful shots and what an amazing idea. Your whole experience sounds amazing x

  17. Oh my gosh, such gorgeous photos!!!

  18. Ahh, these are insanely cute! What wonderful pictures 🙂

  19. They are wonderful pictures 🙂 horses and ponies provide fabulous therapy for kids. I take my two horse riding once a week and Sir absolutely loves it. He so calm when he’s around them 😀

  20. These photos are just so gorgeous! He looks so very happy with his new friend and you got so many fantastic photos of your little boy. I would love to do this with my boys, but it’s too far away from us. Fantastic that she was so patient and understanding and even getting a special party bag and balloon for him. Those are the kind of photographers that you really want to photograph your child.
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

    • mrssavageangel says:

      They really are diamonds to be found. We’ve held off for so long through a fear of not finding the right person. I’m so glad we did!

  21. These photos are so perfect. They’re absolutely stunning and the photography sounds so lovely!! He looks so, so happy. What incredible memories captured so beautifully! I wish this photographer was close to us! Thank you so much for linking to #whatevertherweather. xx

  22. Oh wow, these pictures are absolutely stunning and they capture the spirit of your Oscar beautifully. He’s not defined by a “label” in these, he’s so happy in these.
    What a wonderful photographer too xx
    #SSAmazingAchievements

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