Kristen Zaffiro, an Ohio wedding photographer, is accustomed to photographing glowing mothers-to-be during maternity photoshoots. Nothing, however, could have prepared her for a recent maternity shoot involving one couple’s horses. That’s because one particular equine stole the show by giving the camera his best smile! Kristen was photographing her cousin and soon-to-be mother, Amanda Eckstein, on the pasture she shares with her husband, Phillip Werner.
“We tried the photoshoot two other times and got rained out, but we finally got together on Memorial Day,” Kristen told PetaPixel. Phil has a 10-year-old daughter who was supposed to be in the shoot but was unavailable on that particular day. They had to hurry because Amanda’s doctors said she could give birth any day because her baby weighed more than 10 pounds. So, to avoid her planned C-section, the group decided to hold the session on Memorial Day.
“First, we took pictures in the pasture with just Phil and Amanda. “We then took the all-terrain vehicle up closer to where the horses were roaming,” Kristen recalled. When Kristen’s team arrived at a shaded area beneath some trees, they began preparing for the shoot. When she took out her camera, the curious horses began approaching her. One of them nearly knocked her off her ladder! Fortunately, this did not occur.
“It’s difficult as a photographer when sunspots are all over the faces. So I was trying to set up the lighting, and the horses were very nosy about the camera and me!” she explained. The other horses eventually lost interest, but one in particular—a horse named Buckshot—appeared to want to join in on the fun. He chose to stand right next to Phil, and what happened next was the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen.
“That’s when I said you should smile for me!” So when he seemed to smile, I laughed, and that’s when he really carried on and on!” Kristen explained. Buckshot began with a humble smile, but as they continued to laugh, he increased his goofiness by breaking into a toothy smile. Buckshot, 12, is known for his playful personality, so this isn’t surprising. While they were trying to get photos with the other horses, Buckshot would keep walking by, as if he was trying to get their attention.
“Amanda says he’s definitely a character who likes to be the center of attention, so when I laughed, he just kept going,” Kristen explained. “That’s why she’s rolling her eyes in a few photos — I’m sure she’s thinking we’ll never finish this photoshoot if this horse acts up.” Buckshot, according to Amanda, is also known for causing havoc on the farm. “He’ll open the gates and let all the other horses out,” she predicted.
“He thinks it’s hilarious to break through fences. He’s always doing silly things, like untying horses in the middle of the night.” His name is the one he brought with him. Because everyone told them that renaming a horse is bad luck, they just stuck with it. Kristen later posted the amusing photos to Facebook, captioning them, “This photo session… I couldn’t stop laughing! Who knew that if I told THIS horse to smile, he’d do it! “Best maternity shoot ever.”
Her post has gone viral, with over 138,000 reactions, 30,000 comments, and 324,000 shares as of this writing. Many people are now looking forward to a newborn photoshoot with Buckshot. Amanda and Phillip, on the other hand, have stated that they will wait a little longer before introducing their newborn baby to him. “He can get a little rowdy,” Amanda admitted. “But, at the same time, he adores children.”