HORSE PHOTOGRAPHY: Easy Tips For Instantly Better Photos

Horse Photography 101

If you own a horse, at one point or another you’ll probably want to snap a few pictures of your beautiful steed. I know from experience that this is easier said than done.

So, in order to help other horse owners like myself, I’ve put together some of the best tips that I’ve learned over the years. I’m BY NO MEANS a professional photographer, but these tips will definitely improve the quality of your horse photography.

Before we get started, be sure to check out my Youtube Channel where I’m sharing weekly horse videos! The link opens in a new window so you can come straight back here.

Without further ado, here are the horse photography tricks of the trade that you need to know.

Horse Photography Tip #1: Use the Best Camera You Can

Horse Photography Tips

My first tip for anyone interested in taking better pictures of their horse is to use the best camera you can.

The good news is that most smartphones these days have some pretty incredible cameras, so even if that’s all you have to work with you’ll still be able to get some incredible photos if you know what you’re doing.

I purchased a Canon T6i DSLR camera (link to price on Amazon) last year that has really improved the quality of my photos and videos. I asked a few professional photographers and they all recommended this camera as a great entry-level option for photography/video.

Horse Photography Tip #2: Recruit the Help of a Friend

One of the keys to taking great pictures of your horse is getting both of their ears to face the camera.

Believe me when I say that this is harder than it sounds! It’s difficult to focus on taking great pictures when you’re also trying to make all of the weird sounds you haven’t made since middle-school in order to get your horse’s attention.

Because of this, having a friend stand behind you as you’re taking photos to get the horse’s attention for you is very helpful.

You might even consider packing a backpack full of noisemakers for them to use just to make sure the sounds are interesting enough to draw the horse’s attention. However, you should be careful not to spook your horse in the process. (See my guide to desensitizing a horse here.)

Horse Photography Tip #3: Good Lighting Is Everything!

Safe horseback riding

If your goal is to take professional quality photos of your horse, one of the best things you can do is take photos during the “golden hour.”

The golden hour occurs right after the sun rises, or right before sunset. Taking photos at this time of day is ideal because the light is softer than it is during the middle of the day.

Professionals have been using the golden hour for years to take high-quality pictures, so harnessing it for your horse photos is definitely a good idea.

Just make sure your horse is ready to go before the golden hour starts, otherwise, you might miss your window of opportunity.

Horse Photography Tip #4: Learn Some Basic Composition

Composition in photography is the art of arranging the different elements in your photo in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing for the viewer and clearly communicates the main focus of the photo.

For beginners, the easiest way to do this is by using the rule of thirds.

Most smartphones and professional cameras have a grid overlaying the image. The rule of thirds involves positioning the subject of your photograph in accordance with the grid in order to improve the composition of your photos.

I highly recommend watching a few videos on how to use the rule of thirds to learn how to apply it to your photography!

Horse Photography Tip #5: Editing Matters! 

The last and one of the most important tips I’ll leave you with is don’t forget to edit your photos. Seriously, you can turn an average photo into an incredible photo just by making a few editing adjustments. 

If you’re not sure where to start with your editing, you can always begin by playing with filters or presets to see what looks the best for your photos.

If you’re using an iPhone, one of my favorites editors is called Afterlight. If you’re editing on a desktop, Lightroom or Photoshop are both great options. A great free option that can be used on both phone and desktop is Canva.

I hope you’ve learned something useful from these tips! If you’d like to keep reading, check out my article here on How to Avoid Barn Drama. (P.S. Did you know I’m on Youtube? You can support my site by subscribing to my channel here for weekly horse videos!)

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Carmella Abel, Pro Horse Trainer

Hi! I’m Carmella

My husband and I started Equine Helper to share what we’ve learned about owning and caring for horses. I’ve spent my whole life around horses, and I currently own a POA named Tucker. You can learn more here.

Thank you for reading, and happy trails!

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