Unicorn Photo Shoot

Toddler dressed as a fairy princess poses with a unicorn in a magical photoshoot in Creston, California.
Sunset Hooves Photography.

Last fall, I made a little money writing for the newspaper so I did what any other sane mother would do. I blew it all on a photoshoot where my daughter got to pose with a unicorn.

That’s right, a unicorn.

Who needs groceries, anyway?



Sunset Hooves Photography.

I found the photographer, the very talented Amanda Terry at Sunset Hooves Photography, on Facebook.

I instantly fell in love with her portfolio. She dresses up her horse as a unicorn with pink flowers and frills and captures the precious moments of children interacting with a unicorn in the wild, rural countryside.

All with good lighting. I was hooked.




Two little girls in Kohl's dresses pose with a unicorn in magical photoshoot in Creston, California.
“THE DRESSES.” Sunset Hooves Photography.

I pored through Amanda’s work and promptly went super-stalker by DMing  her straight away, saying something like “Hey, you don’t know me, but I want to book a session and OH YEAH can you find out where your previous client bought her daughters’ dresses?!?” [Pictured left.]

Being the cool lady that she is, Amanda quickly obliged. (They were at Kohl’s). Then I went out and bought the exact.same.dress for my two-year-old daughter. #sorrynotsorry.

In typical crazy mom fashion though, about two days before the photoshoot, I decided to ditch the already purchased stalker dress and instead use my daughter’s fairy costume from Halloween.

And, oh. my. god. Best decision ever:

Little princess in fairy wings and a sparkle dress poses with magical unicorn in Creston, California
Sunset Hooves Photography.

Fairy princess in flower crown poses in an open field in Creston California.
Sunset Hooves Photography.

This all went down when Wyatt, born in December 2015, was about 2 months old. It took several weeks for me to be able to break free from his tiny baby clutches since the photoshoot coincided with prime-nursing time (bedtime) to get the best light just before sunset. Plus, the rural Creston location was about 30 minutes from our house in Paso Robles.

When photoshoot day finally arrived – Clara had caught a cold a few days prior. Figures, right???? And she was feeling prettyyyyy miserable.

But … unicorns.

So I threw on her dress, cranked up the car heater, and said, “Cold bugs be damned!!”  Somehow I also convinced Bowen to pacify one extremely upset infant for two whole hours (hell hath no fury like a baby denied the bedtime boob) ’till we got back.

I was a mom on a mission.

Fairy princess reaches out to a magical unicorn under the sunset in Creston, California.
Sunset Hooves Photography

And it was so worth it.

Well, for us anyway. Not sure about the hubs with the crying baby.

But Serenity the Unicorn is flat-out majestic.

She had a beautiful pink floral halter and a big white horn and a flowing mane. Plus she was super sweet and calm.

Amanda the photographer has a colleague during each shoot who holds the reins on Serenity the entire time and then Photoshops her out of the final shots so no one can tell. I thought this added safety feature was so cool that I asked Amanda to take this behind-the-scenes-pic for me:

Magical unicorn nuzzles toddler dressed as a fairy princess in unicorn photoshoot in Creston, California.
Sunset Hooves Photography.

The pair also carve out some time for a ‘meet and greet’ with Serenity at the beginning of the photoshoot so your kiddo can get acquainted with the horse in all her very large animal glory. This setup was really nice because horses are massive creatures compared to tiny humans. Having a few precautions in place made the entire process seamless, and sets it up for some amazing UNICORN HUG shots like this:

Magical unicorn nuzzles toddler dressed as a fairy princess in unicorn photoshoot in Creston, California. Unicorn hugs.
Sunset Hooves Photography.

Clara really liked the whole experience. Well, duh, you say. Because magic! And unicorns! I may have liked it more, though – lol.

But Clara specifically liked touching Serenity’s hair and she giggled when Serenity nudged up against her. Then they hugged. And I died of magical-fairy-swoon-ness. Naturally, I had to sneak in some shots with me at the end.

Little girl leads unicorn through California's wildflowers.
Sunset Hooves Photography, Facebook

And now you guys have a chance to get in on the magic, too. Amanda was out of town until recently, and now she’s back through April 8, 2017*! Her unicorn photoshoots will take place in the wildflowers off Shell Creek Road in North County. Clients have a choice of several morning timeslots at the cost of $200 each. It’s an amazing deal: the package includes at least 20 edited images posted to an online gallery for download. To book a shoot, message Sunset Hooves Photography on Facebook.

*2023 UPDATE: Sunset Hooves Photography is still offering these photoshoots. Amanda charges more now, offers additional features, and has a website: www.sunsethoovesphotography.com.

Sunset Hooves Photography.

Meanwhile, if you need me, I’ll be deciding whether hanging ALL 20 PHOTOS in our house is weird.

I’m … thinking not.






More Pics

Disclosure: I wasn’t compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own. I just really like her work! All photos in this post are by Sunset Hooves Photography, except for my Instagram post marked below.

Instagram photo of little girl's photoshoot with a unicorn in Creston, California.
Tonya Strickland | @two.n.tow | Instagram
Mother and daughter stroke a unicorn's flowing white mane in Creston, California.
Sunset Hooves Photography.
Unicorn and fairy princess look out toward the fields in Creston, California.
Sunset Hooves Photography.
Sunset Hooves Photography.
Sunset Hooves Photography.
Sunset Hooves Photography.

In black and white:

[Sunset Hooves Photography.]

Sunset Hooves Photography.


About Tonya Strickland

Tonya Strickland is a journalist and Instagram influencer in the family and travel niche. A former newspaper reporter, Tonya shares unfiltered #momlife content about places to go with kids. Her family moved from California's Central Coast to Washington state in August 2020. Their adventures now continue in the Pacific Northwest.

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