Getting professional photos of your horse is fun. Whether the purpose is to create unique art for the walls of your home, include them in your family portraits, create marketing materials and website content for your business, or simply post a horse for sale, you want the best photos possible. As the photographer, I want the best photos possible as well. I love to photograph them. An opportunity to catch your horse’s beauty and personality is an honor. While they are fun, they’re not always easy when it comes to photography. Here are a few tips from the photographer to help you get the best results.

  • Schedule

The day you have photos taken can be busy and stressful, which is why I encourage people to plan ahead. Knowing how many tasks need accomplished, and how long each will take, provides an accurate time schedule for the day. Your list will keep you on time and stress free. Less stress means more fun!

  • Ride or Exercise

You’ll want to make sure your horse doesn’t have pent up energy come the day of the photo session. Even horses that are out on pasture may not choose to use up their energy. I suggest riding or lunging your horse the day before, and also the morning of the shoot if you can find the time.

  • Haul

If your session is taking place somewhere other than their barn, or comfort area, be sure to haul them several times in preparation. Horses that don’t get exposure to the trailer and new settings will be anxious dealing with those things. We want your equine partner to be relaxed. Using a clean trailer is a good idea, especially if your horse is a light color. Aluminum dividers will sometimes leave a mark on their hind quarters, so you’ll want to keep that in mind as well.

  • Wash

Clean horses that have been well groomed photograph so well! I encourage you to set aside time for bathing and grooming to showcase his or her beauty. You’ll definitely want to wipe their eyes and nose areas with a damp cloth. Any tack that will be used will look best clean as well. This can be done the day before to save time. Don’t wait until the day of the shoot to decide which tack or headstalls will be used!

  • Take a moment to be calm

As you know, your horse feeds off of your energy. If you are in a rush and feeling uptight, chances are your horse will too. Pause to remember to relax, and allow him or her a few minutes to do the same. This step will really pay off!

I hope this helps!

~Kendra Marvin