How did I become interested in shooting?

I have never been connected to hunting or shooting in any form, nobody shoots in my family, but when I married Henry, he introduced me to the hunting community. I started attending family hunts, and gatherings but never actually had the chance to go shooting until we received a present from his Uncle – a hunting course to get our Swedish hunting licenses which included a clay shooting session. 

We went to the club, and on my first stand I broke 24/25 clay pigeons! I immediately fell in love with clay shooting and therefore ended up shooting 16,000 cartridges on my first year and participated in 3 competitions, of which I won 2 of them in the ladies and 4th on the men’s/general ranking.

Since then it has been a series of things that have also contributed towards everything that goes around shooting for me, because now my shooting journey has become more than just a hobby. Sometimes I shoot for work, others I shoot for competition, others I manage to just shoot to enjoy and have fun with friends, but it has really become a big part of my life and it has brought me great opportunities in my life.

Why and how I started my Instagram

When I started shooting, everyone I asked around in the club when they started shooting, and everyone told me they had started shooting when they were 10 or 15 years old, sometimes even earlier, and I felt a little pressure there because I started shooting when I was 29 years old. So I really wanted to do something to improve and get to their level as soon as possible.

At that time I was communications director at The CEO Magazine and many of my clients were on social media. I was familiar with digital trends and I realised that one of the only tools where you can send a direct message to anyone in the world was Instagram, so I went on Google and downloaded a list of the top 10 shooters in the world, and searched for them one by one on Instagram and asked them for tips. I will be forever grateful to David Radulovich who even gave me a quote for my website when I explained to him what I was doing with social media. 

I started sending messages asking for tips, including my videos so they could see what I was doing wrong, and the majority of them took the time to reply. Some even followed me back and my Instagram exploded.

Where did my passion for country clothing come from?

My mother has such an amazing style for clothes that she made me interested in fashion at a very early age. However when I started shooting I realised that there were many technical and camouflage clothes that didn’t really go with my style, so I started looking for brands outside of Sweden that were a bit more in line with my taste for clothes and that is where I found many Spanish, Austrian and British brands that I still wear and recommend to many of my followers. 

I have nothing against camouflage and technical clothes, I actually think that the most important thing on a hunt or a shoot, is to stay comfortable. Many people think that when you go clay shooting you shouldn’t dress up too much, but I think that it is these people that don’t shoot comfortably when they get invited to a shoot where you need to dress elegantly and they shoot worse. If you train dressed up a little bit, you get used to boots for hunting, gloves, vests etc. And on the other hand, I think it is a matter of respect for traditions: in many of the clubs where I shoot now, a certain etiquette is required and men for example are not allowed to go in short trousers.

In parallel to posting videos of shooting, I sometimes share tips on how to wear traditional tweed fabrics with a modern touch combining luxury country clothes with more affordable pieces from Zara, Massimodutti etc, so I work with brands arranging photoshoots and giving them exposure in my social media and in events, to the point that one day Chevalier called me to ask me to design a capsule collection.

If you want to see the clothes I designed you can find them in my online shop:

When you have an instagram account that gets some traction, I believe it is important to keep up the good content and have a clear strategy to be able to give some added value to its followers. A lot of people complained that when I shared links to some of the clothes I posted, they were in different websites, so when someone wanted to buy the entire outfit I was wearing they had to go on different websites and it became a hassle, so I started my own e-commerce site and built a shop with the help from my friends at Offscript and now my followers have all my clothes under the same shop and no longer need to go to 10 different shops to find my full outfits.

My favourite clothes/items for shooting:

My favourite brands for shooting are Rey Pavón, Anna Lascata, Chevalier, Harris Rae and Schöffel. I think they all have something in common and it is the best quality for people like me who spend quite some time in the countryside. Another reason why I love these brands is that they also have pieces that can be worn in the city. One of the things I love doing with country fashion is experimenting with clothes and accessories and I recently found an item that allows you to go shooting without the need of a shooting vest. It is a thing we use a lot in Spain when we go on partridge shoots, but in this case, it can be worn in the shooting ground too if you forgot your vest, or if you don’t want to go shooting with a full country outfit–which happens often, especially to these people who go shooting straight after work.

I am talking about partridge or Game bags, so I will leave a video here so you can see how to wear them:

Another interesting thing related to mention is that something that to me is of utter importance is that the vests I wear cover a girl’s bottom. The reason for this is a comment I once got from a follower on a video I posted where I was shooting in a competition, alone in the stand, and behind me I had a group of people… the comment said “I don’t know if those people are looking at the bird or your ass”. And it made me feel so uncomfortable that I decided to design a shooting vest which covered the bottom with an elegant cut. So I made this vest: 

Thank you so much for reading this and if you are looking to upgrade your shooting wardrobe, check !

Written by Andrea Neira, My Shooting Journey