Team Half-Ass and the Photoshoot With Equine Photo Design

Facebook followers of Mulography and Horsemanship Magazine will no doubt have already seen a few teaser images from the photoshoot we did a fortnight ago with Anita of Equine Photo Design. It was so much fun and I was so thrilled with the results – we’d already had to postpone due to poor weather, and then when we realised that we were all busy at conflicting times over the next couple of weeks we decided to try for a Sunday evening and hope for the best. Unfortunately, the sun did not want to play and when Anita arrived it was quite overcast.

I had chosen the Smallbrook valley – just down the lane from us – as the destination, because it is one of my very favourite places and wonderfully photogenic as well. It is shady at the best of times and I was worried that we would struggle for photos, but Anita seemed to delight in the challenge and agreed that it was very atmospheric. I knew we would have some good final photos, but I wasn’t prepared for how many amazing pictures there were to choose from (Anita had taken 666 photos in total – a very apt number for a shoot involving Marty – and for so many of them to come out well is a huge testament to her photographic ability)! In fact I really struggled to choose and had to be very cut-throat in my decision making.

Anyway, you didn’t come here to read text … you came here for the pictures!

Xato was not as easy to photograph as Marty, as he generally wears his ears in a world-weary “been there, done that, seen it all” kind of way and will not be enticed into looking alert by people making noise or throwing things into the air. So please do appreciate the effort behind any photo that does show him with his ears pricked!


I’d love to say that we’ve come so far with Marty that we can now let him loose in public, but … this is Photoshop magic, removing his halter and line. I’m relentlessly honest so I had to share that with you, and I hope you enjoy these “liberty” images anyway! Marty looks so cool in this setting.


Heading off up the hill. I didn’t know we were being photographed as we were just heading from A to B, but Anita is a professional photographer and never misses an opportunity! The result is one of my absolute favourites.


And half-way up the hill … it really is very steep, Ben and I are far more exhausted than the mules are!


I love this photo! Ben suggested I have a picture with just me and my mules, and I’m glad he did because this is a fab shot. I’ve bought the commercial rights in order to use it as my new ‘Professional Photo’. I’ve never had a Professional Photo before, how exciting! This image also makes me grin because I am One Girl And Two Mules wearing a Two Girls And A Mule shirt!


More Photoshop trickery – Ben and I are standing off to either side, and the halters and lines have been taken out. It does look like both mules have been Photoshopped in, however. Either way, it’s a great shot of my two boys together!


Xato also got to pose like a wild steed. I think what got him looking here was me frantically windmilling Marty’s leadrope above my head.


I just adore this picture of Ben and Xato. It looks so magical, and the reflected colours in the stream are beautiful.


Marty needed no encouragement to put his ears forward and look flashy. He loves the camera anyway, and being part of a photoshoot was like crack to him. Anita was very complimentary and said how easy he was to photograph as he always knew where to look and how to pose! He was never born to be a practical sort of mule, his destiny has always been to be a supermodel.


Marty isn’t as confident about the water as Xato is, and unfortunately he stepped in a muddy patch when I first began to lead him downstream. This made him think that the route was terribly dangerous and he was definitely going to sink and drown if he went any further. We got there in the end, but as you can see from this photo of us on our way back, he was still wary!


Anita’s husband, Marcin (more well-behaved than my Martin), also filmed the whole event and put together this fantastic behind-the-scenes video. What a cool extra, and a fun way to remember the day!


And, unrelated to the photoshoot but following on from mules-as-movie-stars, Xato also featured in the trailer I put together for Horsemanship Magazine. Not quite as professional as Marcin’s, but I tried! I was extremely envious of his super high tech gimble which allowed for the wonderfully smooth shots.


2 thoughts on “Team Half-Ass and the Photoshoot With Equine Photo Design

  1. Tawny (the other girl in Two Girls) says:

    What a handsome family you are! And what a big head Xato has!

    Thank you so much for your very kind plug of our shirts. You look fabulous in it and simply reinforce to us once again that fit is everything and that all the work we put into nailing that has really paid off.

  2. Anita Walkowska-Hopcia says:

    We love the way you described your and mules experience, Sari! It was one of the most amazing moments in my equine photographer career! I promise to share the blog and photographs of your mules everywhere I can! <3
    Oh, and I need to add that Marcin is very happy that you love the video!


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