This post was first published on www.cavvysavvy.com.
Do you like to take photos of your horses? Perhaps you feel like you are not a photographer, but want to get some great shots to sell that horse?
Here some simple tips to make your photos stand out when you are selling horses online, or in a paper. You may have a great-looking horse, but if the picture is bad, it won’t get much interest. You might think you are not a good photographer, but trust me, even an amateur can take nice photos with a little practice. I have discovered 5 tips for taking better horse photos.
1. Pick the right angle. One of the absolute worst angles is when you stand by the shoulder and point your camera along his side. This is a natural tendency, since we generally approach a horse from the front. But it makes his hindquarters look small and his head big.
Standing at the shoulder makes the hindquarters look small.
Try this: Stand slightly behind him. This will give his hindquarters better proportion with his head and shoulders.
Same day, same horse, better angle.
2. Face away from the sun. Lighting is one of the worst mistakes people make with their photos. Early morning or late afternoon has beautiful lighting, but even photos taken at noon can be good if you make sure the horse is facing the sun, and you aren’t.
Try this: Make sure the sun is behind you, or beside you. This will light up the horse to the best advantage.
The golden evening sun highlights this dun gelding.
3. Watch your background. Try to keep a relatively clean background. By ‘clean’, I mean, try to photograph your horse in a field, open pen, or something similar. Try to get the horse away from other horses, so he doesn’t have the illusion of extra heads or legs.
Good angle and lighting, but the extra legs and cluttered background are distracting.
Try this: Have your horse stand in front of an open barn door, the dark interior of the barn makes for a good photo. Check out the photos in this post.
4. Get his ears up. It is OK if he is turning an ear back toward his rider, for instance, but otherwise try to get his ears pricked and alert. If his ears are laid down, he will look disengaged.
Try this: Have a helper to make sounds and action. If you are by yourself, get your camera ready then make a small sound. Usually they will look and prick their ears for a second or two.
Ears up, facing the camera.
5. Action shots. Especially if you are trying to sell a working horse, people will want to see it in action. Work some cows, run some barrels, whatever your horse does that makes it awesome!
Try this: Action shots can be tricky – so take lots, to make sure you get one you like. If you have the ‘action’ preset on your camera, use it. It will help you capture that fast action.
Lane Stevenson, at a ranch rodeo in Laramie, WY.