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Fantasy photographer Sandra Buus brings magic into the world of horses

Photo: Tales by Sipo

There once was a little girl who loved adventure. As this girl grew up, she discovered the marvelous world of photography and its endless possibilities. These are the words you read on Sandra Buus' website. Sandra is the woman behind the company "Tales by Sipo," which is primarily known for its beautiful fantasy images with horses and their owners. Pictures that are taken out of Vikings, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Robin Hood. On many streaming services and in the cinema, fantasy is a frequently visited genre that is constantly growing and evolving. And for good reason.

Read also: Can horses copy other horses' behavior?

Sandra’s mission

Fantasy is characterized as a genre by a fantastic tale where anything is possible. In the fantasy world, the focus is on the main character and the action, which takes place over an indefinite period and in an indefinite place. The plot of the fantasy is thus detached from the normal world. And that's the whole idea behind the concept, Sandra Buus explains.

People like adventure, and many people dream of getting a little bit of magic into an everyday life that is often filled with practical things and chores.

Sandra Buus

To bring a touch of magic and adventure into the world of horses is part of Sandra's mission. But how did she come up with that idea?

Most of Sandra's customers are ordinary horse owners looking for some magic. Photo: Tales by Sipo.

Many different clients

Sandra started as a completely ordinary photography apprentice. However, during her education, she started taking fantasy pictures and quickly discovered that there was a great interest in different pictures and a market for them.

I have no idea at all how many fantasy pictures I have taken over time. But there are many, and I can feel that the interest continues.

Sandra Buus

One might be tempted to think that Sandra's customers are primarily role-playing enthusiasts or academic riders, but that is far from the truth.

“Most of my customers are ordinary horse owners. They are primarily women between the ages of 20 and 50, and they come from vastly different disciplines. There are many dressage riders, but also riders who just enjoy a good hack. What they have in common is that they want to be immortalized with their best friend in an adventurous way. Who does not want to feel like you are in a movie? An adventure?” Sandra Buus asks.

Most of the pictures Sandra shoots are within the genre of Fantasy Fine Art. Photo: Tales by Sipo.

From idea to finished image

It takes a bit of preparation to plan a fantasy shoot. Often it is Sandra who gets the ideas for the pictures, but before that, the customers have looked at Sandra's website and have selected some costumes and equipment that they would like to include in the pictures.

The location for the photo shoot is also something that Sandra Buus and the customer agree on in advance. But from here it is Sandra who, with the help of a highly developed creative sense, further develops the ideas and makes sure the right pictures are taken on the day of the shoot.

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Most of the pictures she shoots are within the genre of Fantasy Fine Art. These kinds of pictures can be made in both warm and cold colors. Summer can be turned into winter and there is the opportunity to play with smoke bombs, theatre blood, and swords during the shooting. Once the pictures are taken, the editing work starts, which is an important part of the result.

“I work a lot with post-production in Photoshop. Here it is possible to shape the images so that they get exactly the expression that the customer had in mind”, Sandra says.

The Skyrim Bridles are very popular among Sandra's clients. Photo: Tales by Sipo

Most popular costumes

Sandra's customers can borrow costumes, horse equipment, and props when they do a fantasy shoot at Tales by Sipo. The costumes are a very important part of Sandra's work because they make a big difference in the final product.

Sandra often buys the costumes used at local markets or online. All of them are high quality. According to Sandra, this is important, as you do not get the same expression and effect if you use cheap costumes. You can actually see it in the pictures, and it will affect the final pictures in a negative way.

Although Sandra has an impressive collection of costumes and equipment, there are some things that are particularly popular with customers.

• A green wool coat with a matching riding skirt.

• The brown mooring.

• Skyrim bridles.

How do the horses react?

How do the horses feel about all the fuss with costumes, props, and smoke bombs? These are probably thoughts many horse owners will have if they are considering getting fantasy pictures made.

“In fact, I very rarely experience that the horse reacts negatively to anything during the shoot. Some may just need to take a closer look at things, and others may react to a sword glistening in the sun or a smoke bomb. But the vast majority of horses are incredibly cool - even if they have never tried it before”, Sandra concludes.

If you are curious to see more of Sandra's adventurous photos or want to read more about the concept, visit the website www.talesbysipo.com.

You may also like to read: 8 World Records: This is why horses are so cool

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