8 Tips for Your next Horse Photography session
Admittedly, having an expensive camera with advanced features and some post-processing skills will be helpful in horse photography. However, the first step to taking really beautiful horse pictures is of course, knowing how to actually shoot one. To get you started with horse photography, here are a few no-nonsense tips to inspire you.
- Know what type of horse photo you want to get. Do you want to get candid snapshots? Headshots? Conformation photos? Or shots of your equine friend in action? Usually, horse photographers take action shots first so it will be easier to shoot conformation shots once the horse has released his pent-up energy. Horse photography for selling horses commonly requires conformation photos, headshots, and movement shots. You can take photos of your horse with a human, freely moving around, and decked out with a saddle with someone riding him.
- For serious action shots, set your camera to a mode with a faster shutter speed such as Action or Sport mode. Take as many shots as you want so you have lots to choose from later on.
- In horse photography, lighting is very important so whenever you can, always shoot in outside locations. Morning and late afternoon offer softer lighting which is what you want in your horse pictures. Days that are somewhat overcast tend to have better lighting than overly-bright days. Early evening produces warmer lighting which is best for accentuating horses with warm-colored coats such as dark palomino, bay, and chestnut.
- Try choreographing scenes whenever applicable. Plan the angles and movements you want photographed. If you’re shooting the horse with a rider, make sure to inform the rider of your plans.
- Although getting right in the action of horse photography can sometimes be tough, always try to get closer to your subject and try not to use your camera’s zoom feature since this will more often than not result in grainy pictures. On the other hand, when shooting events or shows, using a telephoto lens with a more powerful zoom can be your best friend.
- If shooting with a rider, make sure to take lots of shots since you are trying to get shots of your two subjects in harmony and not separate from each other. Professional horse photographers advise that the rider’s chin should be turned up, with the horse’s ears pointing forward.
- While shooting for movement shots, try fitting the whole horse in the camera’s visual frame or viewfinder since you can easily crop your pictures later on. Likewise, the background should be a main consideration since it can considerably make or break your shot.
- A little knowledge on post-processing your photos will go a long way so you may want to brush up on some Photoshop skills for this.