My turn to ask advice

This is a discussion on My turn to ask advice within the Composition forums, part of the Photography Tips category; I've photographed countless events, portraits, wildlife, etc. I've even photographed cats and dogs and such. I was asked to shoot pix of a girl and ...

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I've photographed countless events, portraits, wildlife, etc. I've even photographed cats and dogs and such. I was asked to shoot pix of a girl and her horse. I would like to ask if anyone has experience with horse photos. Both "posing" and composition, but also how to shoot near horses. I know you never want to walk up and spook one. Anything else? I don't want a hoof-shaped dent in my head or even more importantly my camera! ;P

  • #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    So Cal transplant to Kansas!
    It all depends on what type of shots you are taking. Action, portrait or ? One piece of advice I can offer is to never sneak up on a horse. Always make a slight noise as you are approaching. Never approach from the rear, a horse can not see directly behind itself and will kick now and ask questions later. No quick movements such as jumping down off a chair if you were up trying to get a different angle. ASK!!!!! The horse owner will tell you his/her horses temperment and whether the horse can tolerate different things. Some horses just don't care and you can do anything, and others will take offense at the slightest wrong move! (Just like people!)

    If you are going for action shots, ask the rider about the horses sensitivity to you moving around, where is the best place for you to stand out of the way, and most importantly, if you are going to use a fill flash, ask if the horse will mind it!

    For action shots of horses, timing is everything! Again, this depends on what type of riding they are doing. You want different angles for different disciplines. I would suggest that you look at some websites of other photographers or of magazines of the discipline of the horse and rider you are going to shoot.

    I hope this helps! Please feel free to pm me or to reply to this thread and I will try to help if I can. I am only an amatuer photographer, but I have been around horses for almost 40 years so I feel qualified to comment!

    I will be out of town for the next 4 days so if you don't hear right back from me that is why!

    Good luck and I hope you will post your results!!


    My Favorite number of the alphabet is Purple!!!

  • #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    In addition to Elaine's comments which are spot on, the equine photography world is pretty closed and the best way in is to work with an existing trainer or owner. Depending on the type of shooting you do that is the easiest way to get the access you will need for really good shots, unless you happen to already have a valid press pass that will be recognized at the event.

    Also as she said check around the internet, there are many sites dedicated to Equine Photography out there including a dedicated forum.
    Steve J

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