Horses are one of the most beautiful animals in the world. When you photograph a horse, you want to capture their elegance and grace in your photographs, but if you don’t know how to take the best pictures, they can turn out looking similar to a giraffe or a hippopotamus. It is important to understand how to photograph these magnificent animals so that your photos show off their beauty. Continue reading to learn all about horse photography.
Make Sure That You Understand Horses
If you plan to spend some time photographing horses, it is important to understand them. They are intuitive animals that can read your feelings, and they will react to how you feel. Horses are a type of prey animal, and one of their survival instincts is this ability. If you are afraid of the horse or uncomfortable, they will sense it and respond by fearing you.
When you start equine photography, you need to spend some time getting to know these animals. It is important to learn how they respond to you, and you can learn how to put them at ease. You can spend some time talking to people who spend their lives around horses to learn everything you can about these incredible creatures.
Some of the best equine photographers have experience with horses. This gives them a distinct advantage because they know how to make sure that the horse is relaxed and calm for the photo session. Learning how to interact with horses will help to ensure that you can take stunning pictures.
Horses are large animals, and if they are frightened, they can suddenly jump up in the air, bolt, or kick out. If you don’t know a horse very well, you need to trust the horse’s handler. This person will be able to tell you how to interact with the horse and any specific quirks that this horse might have.
Some horses are more trusting than others, and you need to know whether the horse you are photographing is jumpy or gets scared easily. You should remember to stay in front of the horse and be calm and gentle in your movements. Let the handler guide you so that the session is productive and you can focus on getting the best possible shot.
If you can get to the photo session a little early, you can take a minute to get to know the horse. Observe it in its stall, and show it that you are a friend. This will help to ensure that the horse is at ease when you are taking photographs. This is one of the keys to horse photography.
Plan for Your Setting
There are many different ways to photograph horses. Some people want portraits done in a studio-like setting, while others want portraits done outdoors. You can also photograph horses in their paddocks or while they are engaged in sport. Each of these types of photography is very different and will determine what equipment you need.
If you are photographing horses in the barn, you need a black backdrop that you can hang on the wall behind the horse. You should set up carefully because it can frighten horses if you throw it up too quickly. You can bring your lighting with you and set it up, but be careful to have the lighting cables out of the way so that the horse can’t get tangled up in them if it gets spooked. You will want to let the handler introduce the horse to the space before you start your photography session.
If you are shooting outdoors, you should make sure that the lighting is good. Find a spot where you have a definite background without a lot of distractions. You can photograph the horse with a tree or a barn behind it, and remember that it is important that you plan the background of the photos.
You might be shooting the horse in action, and you will need to have the right lenses and settings on your camera. You should take photos in burst mode because it is tricky to get the exact shot that you want. You will want to take a lot of photos to make sure that you have a selection to choose from.
Learn How Horses Move For a Successfull Horse Photography Shot
When you do horse photography of horses in motion, you need to understand how they move. It is important to learn when a jumping horse reaches the top of the arc of the jump, or when a galloping horse has its legs fully extended. This allows you to get the best possible photographs.
You can find a local barn and ask if you can come out and observe their horses in motion, or you can watch YouTube videos to study and learn how their bodies move. When you understand the physics of their motion, you will be better able to capture the most incredible photographs of horses.
You should also consider the angle that you will shoot from. When horses are in motion, shooting from a low angle will produce the best images. You will want to be below the horse shooting upward.
Remember to Take Detail Shots
There are so many wonderful details to photograph when you are doing equine photography. In addition to portrait shots and action shots, you will want to take photographs of the smaller details. The horse’s eye is soft and gentle, and when you learn to capture it, it can be a breathtaking shot.
You can also take photographs of the horse’s head, its bridle and ears, or a hoof. These can all be very interesting photographs that pick up on the unique details of the horse.
It is also important to photograph the horse with its ears up and forward. When horses are alert and paying attention to their environment, they prick their ears forward. You can get their attention by subtly rustling a paper bag or making a clicking sound. You might even have someone else focus on getting the horse’s attention while you take the photographs.
Take Some Great Candids
Horses each have their own personality, and you will want to capture this when you are taking photographs. Make sure that you get some photographs between the posed shots. You can catch some incredible moments that are unique to your subject, and it will allow the horse’s personality to show through.
You might catch the horse shaking its head or with its tongue stuck out, or you could capture it with its head turned to the side. These can be great shots in the world of equine photography.
Final Words About Horse Photography
Horse photography is challenging, but it yields some fantastic photographs. You can capture these majestic animals in their natural habitat or you can create portraits for their owners. You will always want to start by learning as much as you can about these animals. Understanding their personalities, their conformation, and how they move will help you to capture the best photographs.
There are different ways to photograph horses, and you can choose one or take a few different types. You might want to take portraits in the barn or outdoors, or you can take action shots of horses in motion. You can create amazing photographs of horses if you take the time to understand them.
If you would like to learn more about horses you can check this blog about horses and donkeys.