Kristen Zaffiro, an Ohio wedding photographer, is used to capturing images of glowing moms-to-be during maternity photoshoots.
However, nothing could have prepared her for a recent maternity session that involved one couple’s horses. That’s because one particular equine stole the show by flashing his best smile for the camera!
Kristen was conducting the photoshoot for her cousin and soon-to-be mom, Amanda Eckstein, on the pasture she runs with her husband, Phillip Werner.
“We tried the photoshoot two other times and got rained out, but on Memorial Day, we finally got together,” Kristen told PetaPixel.
Phil has a 10-year-old daughter who was supposed to be in the shoot, but she wasn’t available that day. However, they had to rush it because Amanda’s doctors said she could deliver any day as her baby already measured over 10 pounds.
So before her planned C-section, the group decided it was best to push through with the session on Memorial Day.
“We did pictures with just Phil and Amanda first in the pasture. Then we took the all-terrain vehicle up closer to where the horses roam,” Kristen recalled.
Kristen’s team began setting up for the shoot upon getting to a shaded area under some trees. When she got her camera out, the curious horses started approaching her. One even almost knocked her off her ladder! Luckily, that didn’t happen.
“As a photographer, it is hard if the sunspots are everywhere on the faces. So I was trying to get the lighting situated and the horses were very nosy with the camera and me!” she said.
The other horses eventually lost interest, but one in particular—a horse named Buckshot—looked like he wanted to get in on what the humans were doing. He decided to stand right next to Phil, and what happened next was the funniest thing ever.
“That’s when I said you could at least smile for me! So when it seemed to me that he smiled, I laughed, that is when he really carried on and on!” Kristen said.
The horse started with a humble smile, and as they continued to laugh, Buckshot turned his goofiness up a notch by breaking into a toothy smile.
12-year-old Buckshot is known for his playful personality, so this behavior is nothing new.
While they were trying to take photos with the rest of the horses, silly Buckshot would keep walking by as if to get their attention.
“Amanda says he is definitely a character and always wants to be the center of attention so when I laughed he just kept carrying on,” Kristen said. “That’s why she is rolling her eyes in a few pictures — I’m sure she was thinking we will never get this photoshoot finished if this horse keeps acting up.”
Amanda said that Buckshot is also known for starting trouble on the farm.
“He’ll open the gates and set the other horses loose,” she said. “He thinks it’s funny to bust through fences. He’s constantly doing silly things, like we’ve had horses untied in the middle of the night.”
As for his name, it’s the one that he came with. Since everyone told them that it’s bad luck to rename a horse, they just stuck with it.
Kristen later shared the funny photos on Facebook with the caption, “This photo session… I laughed so hard! Who knew when I told THIS horse to smile, he would! Best maternity session ever.”
Her post has gone massively viral, garnering over 138,000 reactions, 30,000 comments, and 324,000 shares at the time of this writing.
Many people are now awaiting a newborn photoshoot with Buckshot included. However, Amanda and Phillip said that they will wait a bit before introducing their newborn baby to him.
“He gets a little rowdy sometimes,” Amanda said. “But at the same time, he loves kids.”
Thanks for the laughs, Buckshot!
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Photos: Photography By Kristen