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Posing Ponies!

One thing that I was so glad that I did during my years as a horse owner is take lots of photos of my horses.

I would take photos constantly. They looked so beautiful and of course I had my phone on me and it would only take a second to snap some shots. Now they are no longer with me, I am so glad that I have those memories to look back on.

It is fun to practice photography on your pet and you can capture some really stunning shots with an iPhone or Android. Now that I am a professional artist good photos are even more important and luckily from my years of playing around taking pictures of my ponies I have lots of reference material.

I can turn good photos into excellent portraits and it’s amazing the difference a decent photo makes. Here are some tips on how to take gorgeous photos of your horse. One day you will be so glad you took them, I promise!

First give your horse a good brush, Trigger is a model now darling! Make him shine! Next, make sure he is standing on a flat surface. A hill will make him look either croup high or too upright at the front.

You can get someone to hold him or tie him up loosely. You can have a nice clean leather headcollar on him if he’s tied up or his best bridle if he is being held. I can remove tack if need be in a portrait but quality leather also looks gorgeous.

You should make sure you have your back to the sun and that the sun is shining on your superstar. This will give them that lustrous sheen.

Get close enough so that the photo is not from too far away, this will help the details of his coat and eyes to really pop. From too far away they will look a little fuzzy if you zoom in. Also shift Trigger about so he is standing square, this is important if you want his whole body in the shot. Standing them so their legs are square shows off their conformation the best. If you are focusing in on the head that’s not so important.

Next get someone to rattle some feed in a feed bucket, you want those ears up and those eyes interested! Then move around taking photos from the side and front. They say that social media influencers can take hundreds of photos to get that one ‘good’ one and with Trigger it’s no different, so don’t be afraid to get a bit snap happy.

When you look back over your photos later you will be surprised how little changes in your positioning and Trigger's head and body can make a huge difference and the more you take the more you can choose from when deciding which ones to keep. You will get better at seeing what positions work best in photos.

One factor to bare in mind is not to get too close to the nose when taking the photos, horses have long noses and this can make them look even longer. You want to stand close but not too close. Another factor is the horses markings especially face markings. A wonky blaze or an off set star can create an optical illusion and create changes to their facial structure in the photo that you will not see in real life. This is you getting to know your precious one and which side is their good side and what angels are most flattering to them in a photo.

It can be handy to have your phone in your pocket every time you are with your horse. You may turn him out into his field and he will take a moment to gaze into the distance with his head up and ears pricked, that is a time to quickly snap a few photos. Or he may be looking completely adorable one morning with his head over his stable door, again get snapping. You can always delete the ones where he blinks and flops his ears back later but you might just capture that one amazing photo where he’s looking like a cover star for Horse and Hound. Most of all have fun!! And years down the line you will be able to look back fondly on pictures of your heart horse and be so glad you took them.

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