5 Horse Photography Tips - Take Great Photos On Your Own
Wish everyday could be a horse photography shoot? Here is a short list of my top 5 tips to take better horse photos on your own while you’re waiting for your portrait session.
Never take photos looking straight at the front of the horses head - take them from an angle. Just like people have unflattering angles, so do horses. Generally speaking, taking a photo from straight on, is not a good look. Wait for the horse to change positions or move around them to get a better angle. (Remember, rules are meant to be broken: I say “never” take a shot straight on but that might be a bit of an overstatement - in the right circumstances, a straight on shot can work…)
Have someone on hand to help and direct the horse's attention. They can hold the lead rope, give treats or grain to the horse and generally keep the horses attention so that you can focus on getting the shot.
Natural light towards the end of the day is best - taking outdoor photos in the middle of the day can be difficult even for the pro’s. Direct overhead sunlight can cast really unflattering dark shadows. If you wait until the end of the day (about an hour before sunset) you’ll get the best light. Position yourself between the sunlight and the horse for the nicest light. (Be careful to watch where your own shadow is being cast!)
Focus on the eye - whether you’re using a smartphone or a digital camera, try and ensure the eye of the horse is in focus (unless you’re specifically trying to draw attention to another feature of the horse). When horses are in motion this becomes infinitely more difficult so try and aim for a larger target, like the horses barrel, to ensure they are in focus.
My top tip for horse photography on your own, will help you capture the elusive ‘ears forward shot’ - here’s how: use a second phone and play horse nickering sounds. Yep, that’s right! (Always ensure you start at a fair distance from the horse so as not to surprise them.) Horses will almost always be curious about the sound of another nickering horse and this trick has always worked for me.
Give these tips a try and let me know how it goes!