Friends…this is Olivia, another one of our  2020 #rbinfluencer team members!

Shooting with horses is always an experience, let me tell you.  Over the past ten years, I’ve shot senior portraits with LOTS of horses – some sessions even included multiple horses (which is always actually easier, by the way, because when one isn’t feelin’ it, we can swap him out for another one lol).  So when Olivia said she wanted so shoot with her horse at Don-E-Brook Ranch, I was naturally on board!

My “horse clients” always amaze me in their innate confidence when working with these incredible animals.  I’ve never been afraid of horses and have grown up around them, but I would not consider myself a horse expert or anything of the sort.  So when they get annoyed or irritable, I just back away and let my client handle it!  And the do!  It’s so awesome watching these young women just take control!  They do it without that need to actually control the horse – it’s more of a dance that they do; this intuitive collaboration of mutual respect and love.  It’s both beautiful and intimidating to watch.

gen z podcast smiling girl and horse

Olivia exudes confidence – in all things, not just in working with her horse.  She just presents herself that way, so it is super easy to shoot with her.  She is a ton of fun and just super chill.  Need to change into various dresses in a barn? No problem.  Want a shot of her on the horse up on a hill where the horse does NOT want to go?  No problem … until the horse won that argument 🙂

She just rolls with it all. And as a result, we got some gorgeous shots of her – with and without her horse – in some beautiful dresses.  The late summer golden hour was in full effect for her session and y’all know how much I adore that!

gen z podcast a girl and her horse

Since I’ve shot at Don-E-Brook before many times, I know how the lights sifts through the stalls at a certain time of day … how it catches all the dust in the air and filters in – in just the right way.  We had to ask a horse to let us use his stall for these shots but he obliged 🙂

The red and blue in her outfit really pop against her hair color and THAT LIGHT.  Love!

gen z podcast red skirt and denim jacket
gen z podcast smiling girl
gen z podcast kissing a horse
gen z podcast on the horse ranch
gen z podcast girl in a red dress
gen z podcast girl in red dress walking her horse

The color of this dress is KILLER against the blue of the sky and the brown/yellow dead brush lol!  Thankfully, we didn’t have to deal with any kind of brush fire on this day – but that brush is why SoCal has been on fire for several weeks.  We desperately need some rain and humidity!

I love these of Olivia in the field, though – direct sun doesn’t scare me and I always try to infuse every session with at least a little bit of it.  The color and editorial nature that it brings is really wonderful for creating variety and depth in my images.  If you’re a senior photographer and don’t know how to shoot this way, message me – I would love to help you navigate that!  (and if you aren’t in my free facebook group for senior photographers, click here to join – it’s a great mix of marketing and mindset and lots more).

gen z podcast cream floral dress

As the sun was setting, we knew we had to hurry to grab the last rays before it set over the hills. At this ranch, we lose the light a little faster than in other parts of the Santa Clarita Valley. So we grabbed the last ones with her horse and then headed down to the wash where we could grab a little bit more of the setting sun – these last ones of Olivia are my faves. 

Soft light, a beautiful girl in a pretty dress out in the wash – is how I built my senior photography biz in 2008.  It’s where I cut my teeth …. practicing in soft “easy to shoot in” light; before I knew how to manipulate it to shape it into what I wanted it to do.  Before my 85mm 1.4; before all my upper level gear.  Like most photographers these days, I literally started with what I had and what I had was NOT great.  I just did what I could with what I had and was in a state of CONSTANT learning.  I shot a LOT. 

And I was blessed with the most amazing clients who trusted me and loved the type of images I was creating with them – far different from what they were getting with their school’s contracted photographers.  Images with meaning and intention and depth and LIFE.  The parents of my clients would cry when they saw their child in those finished images … seeing pieces of their little girls emerge in still frames – looks that hadn’t seen in a few years; looks they wouldn’t see ever again.  I lived for that; still do.

gen z podcast blond girl in flowered dress
gen z podcast blond in flowered dresss twirling
gen z podcast girl and horse
gen z podcast horse riding
gen z podcast girl at sunset

Class of 2020, I only have a few spots open for January – March of next year so if you are hoping to get your own senior session with me, please reach out ASAP.  I’m happy to send you all the info you need or chat with you (on the phone or via text – 661-505-8470).  I love guiding my seniors and their families through the process of a boutique senior portrait experience – but you need to reach out and let me know what you’re looking for!

And Class of 2021 – you guys might not be thinking of senior portraits yet, but I sign up my Influencer Team in JANUARY – as well as open my calendar for ALL session dates (regular clients and influencer model team) … they are first come, first booked.  Because my mentoring and coaching is taking a huge chunk of my time, I can only offer a few dates; once they are gone, they are gone. 

Reach now to make sure you get on the VIP list – which means you’ll get info first on how to sign up for the Influencer Team, as well as open dates for Class of 2021. 

Click HERE to get on the list and click HERE to watch a short IGTV video I did explaining the process for my influencer team signups beause I do things differently from most other senior photographers – always have 🙂

Thank you to Jami Cox for the gorgeous hair and makeup – as usual! 

And thanks Olivia for such an amazing day – I love the images we created together!!!!

xo, Renee







gen z podcast girl on a horse
gen z podcast girl and horse silhouette

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