Behind the Scenes - Photographer Dustin Snipes at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna

Team Custom SLR

We'll take you inside the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna, where award-winning sports photographer Dustin Snipes was commissioned for a unique shoot with prized horses and volleyball players. Get the behind-the-scenes details below!

Spanish Riding School Horses and Beach Volleyball Players

Photo credit: Dustin Snipes/Red Bull Content Pool


How did this project come about? What was the inspiration? 

The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship is being hosted in Vienna this year, so the idea was to show something iconic to the city, like the Spanish riding horses and the (former imperial palace) together with beach volleyball players.

Between arrival and shoot day, how much time did you have to scout and prep for the shoot? Did you bring everything? Did you rent? 

My assistant Caleb and I arrived in Vienna on a flight from Los Angeles and immediately went to the location to scout. We spent about an hour at the location walking through logistics and pre-planning lighting for the shoot the next day.

Before I arrived, I used Google images to view photos of the palace and because there were a lot of very large windows I used Google maps and the app Sun Surveyor to figure out of the sun during the time of the shoot.

I brought 4 Siros L lights with me, 2 focus umbrellas, 2 p45 reflectors and 1 Broncolor 150 Octobank.

Luckily I was fortunate enough to get Broncolor and Slach camera store to help me with the additional equipment.

What challenges did you face? 

We only had one hour with the horses. Even though they are highly trained (and expensive), they are still very timid animals.

Spanish Riding School Horses and Volleyball Players in Vienna

Photo credit: Dustin Snipes/Red Bull Content Pool


What gear did you use? 

I used a Canon 5Ds R with a 16-35 and also a 1Dxmk2 with a 24-70. 

I had 8 lights on site but only ended up using 6 for the shots.

Is there something special that you learned specifically with this shoot?

Planning and preparation are always key to a successful shoot. You have to know how to solve any problem that may come up.

Beach volleyball players inside the Spanish Riding School in Vienna

Photo credit: Dustin Snipes/Red Bull Content Pool


Any shoutouts? 

Thanks to super assistant Caleb Adams for helping trouble shoot things and Broncolor and Slach camera store in Vienna for the lighting support.

Check out the behind-the-scenes video of the shoot here:


behind the scenes

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