Hannah & Grace

We have just had the privilege of photographing Hannah and Hamish’s beautiful wedding in Wellington. Back in Nelson two days later, we met with them again. This time we were photographing Hannah riding her horse (Grace) along the beach at Rabbit Island during a Nelson sunset.

Bride gallops on her horse along Rabbit Island beach.

We had previously photographed Kirsty and Mathius along Rabbit Island, so we had an idea of what we were in for. Hannah’s parents, Robert and Linda came along for the shoot, Robert kindly offered to assist us with lighting, he was also very helpful with suggestions on what to look for while clicking the shutter.

Bride gallops down the beach on her horse

Hannah first met Grace back in 2003, at that time Hannah was 14 and Grace was 5 . It was love at first sight and also the beginning of a strong partnership. Over a ten year period they have both achieved numerous national dressage titles, NZ young rider dressage champion three years running. Hannah and Grace were the first combination from NZ to compete at the World Young Rider championships in Frankfurt, Germany where they finished 12th overall.

Together Hannah and Grace have achieved goals well beyond their wildest dreams. Grace is an amazing horse, who always tries her heart out and she will always be an incredibly important part of Hannah’s life.

Bride kisses her horse during sunset in Nelson

The goal for us was to capture technically perfect images, (from a horse point of view). Well, that’s easier said than done. Robert mentioned that the best horse photos are when the horse has her head and ears up and that the legs must be in symmetry (that was the tricky part). Not to mention that we must also make sure that Hannah is looking comfortable on a horse with no saddle.

New Zealand Equestrian rider Hannah Appleton hugs her horse

Bride sits on her horse as the sun sets in Nelson

The sun was setting very quickly and time was at the essence as the light was changing every minute.

Bride wearing her white wedding dress rides her horse on a beach

Robert did a great job, I had him running around all over the place. When using lights for this type of work, it’s one shot at a time. My camera can take up to 14 frames a second, that’s certainly not going to help me here.


Horre and bride sunset photos


Extended trott with bride

Now, this image is going to be featured in the New Zealand Equestrian magazine that’s due out at the end of May. Apparently, this shot of Hannah riding Grace during an extended trot (see, I’m also getting up to date with the horse lingo) is technically perfect or pretty close to it?


Link >> Read more wedding stories...