Horses are an integral part of nature with a compelling air to them. They are considered to be friendly and majestic plus they are widely adored by humans. Horse photography is a practice that aims to capture that very feeling but it can be difficult. Similar to photography dealing with other animals, you need to have the right approach to beautiful horse photography and to horses themselves. Naturally, wild horse photography deals with living beings, who are bound to be dynamic, which requires some tips and skills to enhance photo quality. With this guide of horse photography tips, we will simplify the process by giving you helpful tips that you can implement the next time you deal with horse photography. Of course, this also applies to horse and rider photography.

10 Best Tips for Horse Photography

1. Prioritize Safety Measures

When it comes to horse photography or animal photography as well, it is crucial to practice safety measures beyond everything else. You should always keep in mind that horses and many other animals are really sensitive and can pick up on your behavior and nervousness. They are also prone to act erratically if they get spooked. For instance, the sudden flashes from your camera.

There are solutions to this, however. One, you can simply follow the rules set by the one in-charge or the caretaker of the horses. Two, you can arrive at your destination early and get comfortable with the horses. The more friendly and comfortable you get, the easier it will be for them to trust you.

2. Choose a Comfortable Location

This is something that will lend into the safety factor of all parties and the overall quality of the horse photography shoot as well. Pastures, big backyards, gardens, and similar locations make everyone comfortable while giving options to the photographer to experiment with different angles and more.

Horse Photography

For example, it is only in such locations that you can attempt to take pictures of horses in their element, such as galloping around, eating grass, etc. These open, spacious, and comfortable locations will also give you the opportunity to take horse and rider photography, which simply would be too difficult if done anywhere else.

3. Equip the Right Gear and Lenses

Of course, as we discussed before, your camera shouldn’t be a reason for the horses to become erratic or wild. In addition to that, you should also equip lenses that enhance your horse photography. One common good practice is that photographers use standard lenses instead of going for something artistic or fancy like ultra-wide. The reason for this is that the standard lens allows you to capture horse photos in the most natural way and add a focus on their form. Also, lenses such as telephoto lenses allow you to take photos from afar without disturbing the horses. Many photographers always have telephoto lenses as they feel safer and more creative.

Also, you must make use of post-production image enhancement software to boost the quality of your photos. Apps such as the image enhancer from VanceAI can assist you in many ways.

4. Avoid Using a Flash

It is much, much better to simply plan your horse photography session during the morning or afternoon at a spacious location. Having this setting for your horse photography pretty much eliminates the need for flashes in the first place. However, if you must, at least consult with the caretaker of the horses and maintain a very safe distance.

Using a flash for Horse Photography

5. Try to Experiment with Backgrounds

When it comes to horse photography, it is perfectly understandable to have them in known locations such as barns or open grass fields. However, if you can, you should think of other creative places or at least backgrounds to contrast your horse with. Maybe play around with huge rocks or take your horse photography to a beach. There are plenty of smaller things you can do to mix things up and give your viewers a completely different perspective on horses and their complexion. But if you want to have the horse without a background, a photo enhancer  with a removal tool might be helpful.

Horse Photogaphy with backgrounds

6. Prepare the Horses before the Photoshoot

While horses don’t require as much preparation as we do before a photoshoot, giving them a slight cleanup can enhance your horse photography by a considerable margin, especially on closeup photos. There is nothing too fancy required anyway, as you can enhance the looks of your horses with simple brooming. If you have multiple horses that are all well-groomed, you will certainly see the difference as they look uniform and neat.

By extension, you can also make sure that they are in good health, well-fed, and in a happy state.

7. Capture the Details of the Horses

As much as those horses look absolutely majestic galloping among the open fields with an aura of confidence, there are multiple ways to highlight your horse that are different from the traditional. For one, you could simply take closeup photos of horses, adding a more personal spin to your horse photography. Especially if you have groomed your horses, you can take advantage of it through closeups.

Capture the Details for horse photography

This photo perfectly focuses on the horse and its form. It gives a detailed look at the hair, eyes, and the face overall. Post-processing is also a way to retain details as many as possible and to do so, an AI image upscaler is all you need to have.

8. Use Burst Mode and Continuous Frame

Considering you are taking your horse photography outside in places such as open fields or barns, it is only natural that the horses will start galloping and playing around. For those moments, the burst mode setting in your camera is one of the best. It captures a bunch of photos at once, increasing your chances of getting that perfect frame. Another equally important setting is the continuous frame. This feature allows you to seamlessly follow your subject as they move about in their natural way.

9. Communicate with the Horses

They might not speak our language but they definitely understand signals and gestures. Try to get friendly with horses and guide them to places where you’d like them to be. Even if that proves difficult, you can always seek help from their caretaker. In fact, you can also conduct some horse and rider photography that involves the caretaker.

Interaction for horse photography

10. Experiment with Horse Portrait Photography

Horses do share a special bond with humans. In many cases, they are even partners who participate together in events and competitions. In other cases, it is the bond of having shared years together. Either way, that emotion is universal and capturing that bond in a frame can speak volumes to basically anyone, regardless of them having a horse or not.

Horse Portrait Photography

To do that, you can try various portrait photography techniques that put emphasis on the person and the horse. It can be as simple as the person holding the horse close or smiling at it. A lot of horse photography prints can give you inspiration as well.

Also read: Best 10 Sunset Photography Tips

Conclusion

With these horse photography tips, you can take your skills to the next level. Horse photography is really dynamic, more so because your subjects are living beings. It is important to establish a level of comfort and safety before going ahead with the actual photography. However, once you’re past that hurdle, you will not only take away photos, but also memories. In addition to that, be sure to make use of expert tools like VanceAI to give your photos that extra edge.

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