4 Tips for The Horse Photographer

horse photographerPhotography itself is divided into several niches and every year, each field gains more notice. For example, you don’t see photographers work both as a wedding and commercial photographer. This time, equine photography is gaining more attention and maybe you are also another enthusiast who wants to try becoming a horse photographer.

It’s different from others and is certainly a fun job to have. You get to meet different kinds of horses and capture the majestic looking creature through your camera.

It’s about enjoying the job

Truth to be told, equine photography doesn’t necessarily pay much due to the fact that not everybody owns a horse and the distance you have to take to travel to each stable. In recent years, many professional photographers are removing themselves from horse events and riding competitions. It is mainly because they can’t even break event with what they spent on hotels, gas and everything else.

You also won’t likely be able to receive many calls to take pictures of horses and their owners that many times. But when you do, it’s certainly exciting to realize how fun it can be to be able to capture precious moments of owners and their horses.

Long and wide

Both long and wide shots are great pictures to include in the gallery. You will enjoy taking long shots of the horses as they are pretty big creatures. Their bodies also extend to the back, so long shots will greatly improve focus on their and owner’s face while giving you a nice bokeh at the back.

Wide shots can make add some fun into the gallery. Horses are certainly regal and all, but close up when they are eating, they can be just as funny as any other animals!

Make sure to align the owner with the horse’s face on long shots. If you don’t, the horse or the owner’s face can get blurred out.

Insurance and safety

Another important thing to remember in horse photography is that you are dealing with a prey animal that can get skittish. Horses can be easily agitated and when they are, they kick with their back hoofs which can seriously hurt. Always stay within the horse range of view and don’t squat or sit on the horse side. It’s also a good idea to be introduced for the first time by the owner and spend some time together to get it used to your presence.

You never know when you will make the mistake however, so getting insurance is important. You need to ensure that your gears are covered and your clients won’t be able to sue you $50,000 for their horse’s injury that supposedly happened when you were shooting.

Get the owner to relax

Another thing about horse photography is that you will notice that your clients are pretty awkward in front of the camera. Posing for a professional photographer has probably made them pretty tense and stiff in front of the camera. So instead of getting them to pose, get those people to look at their horse and pet them the way they usually would. The more natural it is, the better the pictures will be.

You can see some really natural-looking pictures taken by a professional horse photographer. Emma Ziff Photography has got some of the best examples.