Shannon + Mesa | Horse and Rider Viking Session | Elkhorn, WI

Winter in Wisconsin can be unforgiving, with biting cold winds and snow-covered landscapes. However, if you are looking for a badass who will do anything to capture the moment, look no further. For Shannon and her Belgian Warmblood gelding, Sirius Blue, known as “Mesa” around the barn, the freezing temperatures only added to the impressiveness of their epic horse and rider Viking session at Liberty Lane Stables.

The journey to the backwoods was an adventure in itself – with a few “why did either of us think this would be a good idea?” moments. We set on horseback to reach the perfect location. Magic, the Mustang mare, served as my transportation for this adventure, proving her versatility, and carrying me through the snow-covered trails, alongside the pair. Through giant snow drifts and whipping wind, the four of us braved the elements to create portraits that would capture the essence of “doing it for the thrill” but with a Viking twist.

Shannon went all out in Viking makeup and a handmade costume of tooled leather and rabbit pelts. Her teal hair, intricately styled in Viking braids, added an additional touch of wild to the look. Accompanied by Mesa, who dressed to match the medieval theme – this pair pulled out all the stops to make this session as legendary as possible.

The overcast sky set the perfect backdrop for our portraits, with fresh snow coating the landscape, and knotty, bare trees weaving around us. Mesa, initially reluctant to traverse the snow-covered terrain, soon embraced the role he was playing and embraced his winter warrior. His performance was one of power and drama as if he understood the importance of getting into character.

The cold seemed inconsequential to Shannon, whose resilience mirrored the fierce spirit of her channelled Viking warrior. Wielding a beautifully crafted axe, she navigated the winter landscape with confidence and determination (or was it cold? We’ll never know). The contrast between the delicate intricacies of her attire and the power of Mesa created a captivating visual story. Shannon’s teal braids danced in the winter winds as Mesa, with his majestic presence, added a touch of gravitas to the scene.

When you’re game for anything and like to push the envelope like these two always do, it pays off with powerful images like these. The portraits captured Shannon’s Viking vision brought to life amid the unforgiving winter. Shannon and Mesa, with their unwavering spirit, showcased the strength of character and connection between the two of them, leaning into this crazy adventure for these unforgettable memories.

horse and rider Viking portraits of a woman riding horse rearing in the snowy woods

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