Whether you are advertising your horse for sale, displaying his likeness
around your home, or including a picture in a newspaper or magazine
article that highlights his accomplishments, knowing how to photograph
your horse correctly is an integral skill. A good photograph
enhances your horse's good qualities, while a bad photograph can highlight
all of his faults. In fact, a poor photo can even exaggerate
those faults! And you certainly don't want that!
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Taking good photographs of your horse takes a bit of practice, but with a
little time and know-how, plus the following tips, you'll be shooting
great pictures of your horse in no time.
Welsh pony guarding its territory
in the mountains of Wales, England.
Pay attention to the kind of film you use. Good-quality film
such as Kodak or Fuji can make a huge difference. If you are using
a 35 mm format, opt for 200 ASA. Using
a digital camera?
The higher the pixel resolution the better. A digital SLR camera
is especially useful for framing and focusing your image accurately.
Weather matters, so pick the right day. Bright is good, but
too much sun can work against you by creating dark shadows, and can be
especially problematic if you are shooting a dark horse. If you've
scheduled your shoot on a sunny day, try using a flash to eliminate shadows.
What's black and white, and runs all over? A zebra!
When it comes to grooming, take some extra steps to ensure your horse
looks his best. If appropriate to the discipline in which he
participates, braid his mane and oil his hooves. Make sure his coat
and his tail are shiny and well-brushed. No hairy, dirty horses allowed!
Watch your background. An uncluttered, natural background such
as a field, woodland, or pasture is a good choice. Don't choose
locations such as barnyards or driveways that have stuff in the
background. Look at the details before you click.
Make sure tack is clean, and
that anything your horse wears in the photo has been recently
scrubbed. Riders and handlers who appear in photos should be
squeaky clean too.
Get some help. You can't take pictures and position the horse
too, so find someone to help you who knows how to pose a horse to his best advantage.
Quarter Horse mare sticking out her tongue.
Strike the right pose. The angle and position of the horse are
key to a good picture. For a full body shot, stand the horse with
both front legs together and one hind leg slightly behind the
other. To minimize parts looking too large or too small, focus on
the middle of the horse, and do not shoot from too high or too low.
Make sure the horse looks alert, with bright eyes and both ears
forward. Stay away from the horse's front and rear ends, and
concentrate on photographing your horse from the side.
If you are taking shots of your horse in action, you'll want to
capture his power and impulsion. A good way to do this is to
photograph him with his leading leg extended.
Shoot lots of pictures! While skill is certainly involved, some
of the best horse photographs are taken at just the right moment.
So keep clicking and you are sure to get a shot that shows your horse at
This networking organization provides guidance on relevant
horse photography business topics. It also strives to encourage
professional integrity and career development through education,
communication and mutual support, while promoting their members
in numerous markets. www.EquinePhotographers.org