Here are some tips for a successful session that leaves you happy with the end result.
- Find a professional photographer that understands and has worked with horses.
- Make some decisions about what you really want your images to look like, then be sure to share your expectations with your chosen photographer in your pre-session meeting.
- Prep for the day of your session by making sure your horse is groomed, your tack is clean, and you have discussed color coordination with your photographer.
Horses have the ability to not be the most cooperative clients. If you are looking for lifestyle photographs of your horse in his/her typical environment, using a photographer who understands and speaks horse (body language, ear movement, etc.) is a plus.
I have owned horses for most of my life. I've spent over 10 years as a riding instructor, have shown my own horses at different levels, and have taken students to many horse shows in different disciplines (hunters, dressage, and western). This knowledge is extremely helpful when it's used behind my camera.
I am not afraid to walk into a field of horses to obtain a photograph of a single horse. I know what to expect with horse physiology and movement based on reading the body language of the animal.
I also know that horses need to be desensitized to equipment, especially when lighting needs to be used to illuminate the environment, because horses can easily react to an off-camera flash or strobe.
The more your chosen photographer knows about horses, the better your end result will be.
- I have experience photographing horses.
- I have experience photographing horses and their people.
- I have had a number of horse-related sessions in the past year and I can share some of my work with you.
- I have some client testimonials you are welcome to review.
What Are Your Expectations?
In your pre-session discussion, let your photographer know CLEARLY what you are looking for and expect from your session. Do you want to be in the photos with your horse? Will you be dressed in street clothes, riding clothes, or perhaps a period costume?
I always ask my clients for the coat color of their horse and height measurement. Based on that initial conversation, I send clients a tip sheet on how to prepare and what color schemes might be appropriate for their session. Sometimes I may even visit the farm site to scout out adequate areas for photos, based on what the client has requested.
Client expectations are important to me, as I want every client to absolutely LOVE the end result of their sessions.
Most professional photographers have a good knowledge of software that helps them digitally develop their image, so fixing wisps of mane, or a last minute dirt splotch on your horse, is something they should be used to.
Visually speaking, you want your tack to be as clean as you can get it. If you are dressing in riding clothes, your gear should be spotless. Give your horse a good groom an hour before the session so his/her coat will shine.
If your photographer is using a prime lens for portrait work, it will pick up every nuance in the image.
The backdrop of horse shows is such that there can often be a lot of unnecessary people and horses in the way of the shot. A person who knows exactly how to get beyond this, and what to expect, will make the final photographs something to be cherished.
Below is a small slideshow of just a few images for idea purposes.
Capturing simple, lasting images of you and your horse, should be a goal on every horse owner's list.
These three simple tips will get you started on the right track to a great photo session, with excellent results!
For more information, or to schedule an equine session, feel free to contact me by going to the "contact" area of this website and filling out the form.