Photographing a Horse Profile: Positioning Yourself
- May 15, 2019
- Savanna Simmons
Photographing a horse for sale or standing at stud, that sort of thing, can be a little mystifying, but when you break it down a little, it can be pretty easy to show a horse’s best attributes. I try to represent the horse as best I can with what he really is. I think it’s important to be honest.
But, when shooting a horse up close from the side, at the point of the rib, some photos can make a good looking horse look bulky, uneven, long, and just plain terrible.
So, I present what not to do number one: Stand too close to the horse.
Back up. Like really back up. Get that 70 to 200 lens and use it. This will eliminate distortion that is caused by a short lens trying to encompass a long horse. His ribs will be large, back long, and head and hip puny if you’re too close. No one wants that.
So to fix that, number two: move yourself to the hip.
Now, I know what you’re going to say, the head will be even smaller! (Though a nice little head isn’t a bad thing, proportionate is better.) I drew out a little math for you below, and yes, it is smaller, and we’ll fix that in step three. We’re attempting to limit the amount of distortion when trying to fit a big long horse into a small camera frame, so by moving yourself to the hip, the rib is less the center of attention and the back doesn’t look longer than it actually is.
Number three: angle your horse’s head and neck toward the camera.
Once again, we are by no means trying to make the horse anything that he isn’t here, but you can definitely end up making the horse look like something he isn’t with poor photography. By bringing his head around, the hip, rib, and head are about the same distance away from the camera. See, math! Not really, but it gives the horse the opportunity to look proportionate and true. I’ll talk more about properly placing the horse in the next blog. Stay tuned!
About Savanna Simmons
I'm Savanna Simmons and I live north of Lusk, Wyoming, on the Four Three Ranch with my husband Boe and our sons, Brindle and Roan. I grew up evolving my horsemanship with clinicians like Ray Hunt, Joe Wolter, and Jack Brainard, but not within a...