Horses are known to be some of the most stunning animals in the world. They are known for their graceful presence and majestic movements. That is why these superb beasts make a beautiful subject for photographers. However, Unlike most pet photography, taking photos of horses needs a different approach. That is why in this article, we are going to give you some tips for you to make sure that you take beautiful photos of horses every time.
Make sure that you’re comfortable with horses – Take note that animals can pick up on your emotions, especially horses, because they are known to be intuitive creatures. Your movements and emotions can affect their response to you. Remember that horses are prey animals, and if they feel that you’re afraid or anxious, they will also become nervous. That is why before you attempt to photograph horses, make sure to learn more about them and be comfortable around their presence.
Always pay attention to safety – In every pet photography, safety is the most important thing you should remember. This goes both ways, and you have you make sure that you and the horse are both safe before and after your photography sessions. Make sure that you talk to the horse’s handler because they know how to handle their horse the best. Remember to respect their limitations, follow their directions, and do not even think of crossing the boundary. This is because when horses are upset, spooked, or frustrated, they can tend to trample, kick, and bite.
Bring the equipment that will compliment proportions – You have to make sure that you bring the photography gear that complements the horse’s proportions. That is why we highly suggest that you don’t use any distortion lens, such as an artistic lens or wide-angle lens. Most likely, you will find yourself using standard lenses that can produce an image that closely matches what the human eyes can see. This way, your photo will look more natural to the viewer.
Remember to use continuous focus or burst mode – As we mentioned, having great gear matters, but also knowing how to use it is essential. This is why to produce beautiful pictures of horses, and we suggest that you use features such as continuous focus or burst mode. This is because you will never know when the horse will get excited and start playing and running. When you use burst mode, you can ensure that you will always get the right shot even if the horse turns its head, blink, or move around.
Always be mindful when you’re using flash – Try to avoid using flash and just use natural light as much as possible. This is because most horses can get frightened by the sudden light. That is why it is best if you can take your photos during the morning or around sunrise. If you really have to use flash, make sure that you ask the horse’s rider/owner first.
Remember to take detail shots – Portrait or full-body photographs are always beautiful but do not forget to take photos of the details as well. From the horse’s bridle detail, ear, or eye, all of its features can be exciting and unique. Taking photos of these beautiful detail can allow viewers to see it from a somewhat ignored perspective.
Choose beautiful background – This is a fundamental tip for any kind of photography. It’s because if the background is too similar to the color of the horse, your photo will tend to fall flat. What creates interest in an image is the contrast between the background, foreground, and the subject. We understand that you cannot always control where the horse is going to stand, which is why horses are commonly photographed within stables or barns.
Tension poses create the best portraits – Horses are known to have a muscular physique and elongated necks; that is why if you want to take a beautiful portrait of a horse, always be mindful of tension poses. Try to take a photo of a horse while its neck is bent so it will have a more elegant and agile appearance. You can use a treat to make the horse bend its neck forward.