Ellie + Skye | KB Performance Horses | Newport Beach, California

Ellie + Skye | KB Performance Horses | Newport Beach, California

Showing up to this session was THE most confusing experience for me! I had ZERO clue there were stables and horses in Newport Beach (I mean I heard there were, but it seemed like an urban legend to me!).

Ellie had warned me that Skye is a typical mare, when she is with you and on her game she is perfect and when she is not in the mood well she is a mare, but I thought “they’re in the western pleasure world how bad can it be?”

The Hunt | Wanderlust Skulls + Botori Equestrian | Branding Session

The Hunt | Wanderlust Skulls + Botori Equestrian | Branding Session

I’ve been driving thorough Vasquez Canyon since I was 8 years old and always admired the beautiful landscape! As I grew into my art and would make a point to drive down the canyon at golden hour did I know that one day I would HAVE TO shoot here! The problem is, getting a horse to not move so they don’t fall off a cliff side isn’t exactly the most appealing idea! So instead I asked Karina to wake up at sunrise with me to shoot a branding session for my my girl at Wanderlust Skulls!

How to Quit your 9-5 with Horses in Focus: An Equine Photography Podcast

How to Quit your 9-5 with Horses in Focus: An Equine Photography Podcast

Back in 2017 Giana and Sara sat down to talk all things black backgrounds, but then ended up talking business for a few hours before coming up with the grand idea to start a podcast. Here we are a year later and releasing the Horses in Focus Podcast to share what its like working and photographing horses as well as tips and tricks to help you grow a successful business in the equine industry!


Sara: We see a lot of questions wondering “when is a good time to go full time with your photography business” so we felt it was important to share our stories and how we came to the decision to pursue our business. (2:00)

Paris + Lucas | Los Angeles Equestrian Center | Los Angeles, California

Paris + Lucas | Los Angeles Equestrian Center | Los Angeles, California

This last year I team up with the LA Equestrian Center to do a giveaway for one of the boarders and Paris was the lucky winner! Not gonna lie I WAS SO GLAD SHE DID BECAUSE SHE WAS SUCH AN AMAZING HUMAN! This has nothing to do with the fact that she brought my horse Marco some Cinnamon Pop Tarts after learning they were his favorite treat!

When Paris and her trainer went to look at him, she instantly fell in love!

Emma + Captain | Goldenwest Stables | Huntington Beach, California

Emma + Captain | Goldenwest Stables | Huntington Beach, California

My favorite little model child Emma got to grace my camera again with her new buddy Captain! Emma was one of those girls that really helped kick start my business moving to Orange County after I photographed her and her favorite lesson horse Cruiser.

Cruiser was retired this last year and poor Miss Emma was devastated! Luckily her amazing trainer Kara brought a new American Mustang, Captain, into the program and just like that: Emma had a new best friend!

Susan + Bleu | Horse Spirit Ranch | Bonsall, California

Susan + Bleu | Horse Spirit Ranch | Bonsall, California

Susan contacted me after I had done some black backgrounds at Horse Spirit Ranch earlier that summer. She decided after losing her mare unexpectedly a few years back, that it was time to get in front of the camera so she could have more then just show photos of her horses. The mare was Bleu’s mother, so Susan has had him since before he was born! They met on a lovely evening in March 17 years ago. His mother was maiden so they were very surprised at what she saw on the straw! She said her eyes were so big that she will never forget it!

The Hunt | Ellany Equestrian + KF Clothing Branding Session | Huntington Beach, California

The Hunt | Ellany Equestrian + KF Clothing Branding Session | Huntington Beach, California

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Karina of The Hunt. How did our story start? Horses, duh! We could sit here and share some hilarious back stories of how our friendship started and grew, but reality is our passion for killer brands and desire to change the narrative on social media is where our working relationship started and has brought you this collaboration we did with Ellany Equestrian + KF Clothing.

Randi + Namaste | Rancho Tujunga | Sunland, California

Randi + Namaste | Rancho Tujunga | Sunland, California

Real talk, how many of us these days find our horses on Facebook? Yup, I found my last horse Sawyer in a Facebook group and sold him to his new owner the same way! What a world we live!

So it doesn’t surprise me one bit when clients tell me the same thing! Randi found Namaste while scrolling the site one day and couldn’t resist the sweet face you’re going to see on him! If you’re up for it, comment on this blog where you found your last horse! Was it Facebook?

The Horses of Big Sky Equestrian Center | Black Background Horse Portraits | Orangevale, California

The Horses of Big Sky Equestrian Center | Black Background Horse Portraits | Orangevale, California

My dream finally came true of photographing a Friesian for a Black Background Equine Portrait session! I DIED! Thank you everyone at Big Sky Equestrian Center for having me out a second time in 2018!

I’ll be returning to NorCal May 21st-26th 2019! Black Background Equine Portraits by Sara Shier Photography

Alexis, Duke + Lucy | Joey Pedroni Stables | Petaluma, California

Alexis, Duke + Lucy | Joey Pedroni Stables | Petaluma, California

“You are an amazing women Sara! You inspire me so much I’m so happy I had the chance to meet you. I LOVE the photos you took of us I seriously can’t shop looking at them! Thanks again for the shoot you’re incredibly talented” - Alexis

There are not enough good things I could say about Alexis! She was quite possibly was my favorite human on my NorCal trip this last fall! It had nothing to do with that comment she left on one of my Instagram post when I was going through a moment of weakness (burn out is a real thing my friends!).

Justin + Delaney | Lifestyle Session | Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Justin + Delaney | Lifestyle Session | Rancho Palos Verdes, California

”Hi Sara thank you so much for our beautiful pictures! We just LOVE them and I can’t wait to get one printed! We loved working with you, you were great! We just loved how personable you were and made us feel so comfortable, and not awkward as we both don’t like to be in the spotlight. And we loved how you were so flexible working with our dog! Thank you so much for everything!” - Delaney

The Horses of Bella Mar Training Stable | Black Background Portraits | Watsonville, California

The Horses of Bella Mar Training Stable | Black Background Portraits | Watsonville, California

First stop on my Fall NorCal trip of 2018 was Bella Mar Training Stable! Thank you for having me out and letting me meet 13 members of your crew!

Black Background Equine Portraits by Sara Shier Photography

My Letter to the Universe 2018

My Letter to the Universe 2018

Back when the tumblr blogging days were a thing on that hipster social media lifestyle... I'd write a letter to Universe every single year. 

2018 WAS THE YEAR OF THE RAT RACE and I learned a lot!

I honestly couldn’t tell you what was right, left, up or down. I put over 20,000 miles on my car, took some flights, shot my first

Merry Christmas from the Christmas Ponies of SSP!

Merry Christmas from the Christmas Ponies of SSP!

There are a million reasons I just LOVE Christmas! The feeling of home, Christmas lights, the cheerful music, and endless amounts of cookies are just a few! But I also get SO EXCITED about the Christmas photos that come with this time of year! Merry Christmas from all the horses that got in the holiday spirit with me this season!

Alden + Ari | The Muckenthaler Cultural Center | Fullerton, CA

Alden + Ari | The Muckenthaler Cultural Center | Fullerton, CA

I will probably forever be reposting this quote that Ari shared after I photographed her and Alden’s engagement session because it resinated with me SO MUCH!

“I was once a cynical misanthrope. Determined to live and die alone. But kind souls kept appearing in my life—as friends, family, supporters...and now I am so excited to live and love each and everyday. There is love all around us. Love is not just that lusty hype we see on tv. It's bigger than that. It’s caring enough to listen. It’s offering your support. It’s bringing you coffee in the morning. It’s treating others with kindness and respect.

Happy 1 Year to US!

Happy 1 Year to US!

October 15th 2016 I decided to rebrand and revamp my business and started offering mini sessions for just $50 dollars.

October 27th 2017 I left my job, October 28th I sold my horse, and October 29th I moved down to Huntington Beach to start my journey as a full time photographer

Here we are October 30th 2018 to mark 1 year of being a full time photographer. It has been the hardest and most rewarding year of my life. My heart is so full and I am ever so grateful to everyone that has believed in me and allowed me to pursue my biggest goals and biggest dreams.

Lauren and Gallon | Russell Ranch | Davis, California

Lauren and Gallon | Russell Ranch | Davis, California

Lauren is literally my favorite human ever. 5 months after my May Northern California trip and getting the chance to photograph her and her boy Gallon, she still jumped on the opportunity to have pictures done!

Gallon has changed a lot and it really made my heart happy to see how far he has come. If you don’t remember, Gallon was a rescue through the CANTER organization that Lauren volunteers at

Tara + Angel | Whispering Creek Equestrian Center | Cupertino, California

Tara + Angel | Whispering Creek Equestrian Center | Cupertino, California

Its always a big confidence booster when a client waits 5 months for you to come back to Northern California and STILL wants to book you to photograph their daughter + her horse! You do a “I’m loved” happy dance!

My Favorite Christmas Black Backgrounds from 2017

My Favorite Christmas Black Backgrounds from 2017

Its that time of year where horse’s turn into fluff balls and Christmas Card photos need to be captured! I don’t know about you but it is a PRIORITY to include my horses in the holiday festivities! I offer Black Background Christmas Mini sessions every year and with dates being released TODAY! I thought I’d share my FAVORITES from last year!

Crazy to see how much my work has changed in 1 years time!

Lauren + Darco | Blenheim EquiSports International | San Juan Capistrano, California

Lauren + Darco | Blenheim EquiSports International | San Juan Capistrano, California

Lauren switched barns to start riding with Hillary Ridland at Blenheim EquiSports International which is where she met her sweet boy Darco. I sometimes feel like I did an injustice to just how cute Darco’s face is! He has the sweetest personality which matches so well with Lauren!

Its always so nice when you get a fellow artist as a client! Lauren photographs for fun and already knows how to OWN IT in front of a camera! By the end of our session, I was like, “Girl, just go do all the model things!"