I’ve heard that some people are self proclaimed shoe addicts and then there are those hidden and secretive who look for much less savory photos on the web, me I like searching for potential horses to buy. I’ve spent, ah maybe we shouldn’t try to count them up, hours looking at photos, devising new search criteria, just finding possible equines within reasonable driving distance.
Well, I think this time spent looking may qualify me for knowing what gets attention and it’s not out-of-focus, can’t tell what you’re looking at, large headed, who didn’t care enough to do a good job photography. If the first photo thumbnail isn’t good there’s no reason to waste time opening the window to see more. And if there’s no photo why use the web at all. Just one photo – then it should be an excellent side view of the whole horse – but just one photo is not really enough.
There’s a difference between photos used to sell a horse and photos for art or horse appreciation. A buyer wants to know the horse has good conformation. They need to see the whole horse on level ground from the side standing usually without a saddle.
As a horse buyer, I don’t care about unknown people smiling at me, in fact I only want them showing something valuable the horse can do in a way that’s pleasant. I want to see the horse, I want to see that it’s healthy and worth the money being asked for. I’m an experienced horsewoman so I don’t mind a bit of excitement, but many people want calm and safety.
The camera used for these photos was a Canon Powershot A710is. I checked its price on Amazon today, list $399, but they had used ones in good condition at $100-150. Most cameras can do a reasonable job. Shooting basics; sun behind you, horse on level ground – sideways, telephoto all the way out and you move to frame the horse, shoot with the camera about the same height as halfway up the horse (to avoid short looking legs). Having a horse helper to keep the horse’s attention and position is very beneficial, you want the horse to look pleasant, attentive and not grumpy or warped in shape. Clean and shiny helps too.
What if you’re not in it to sell your horse (fyi none of my horses are for sale, I acquire and keep. That’s why mostly I just look) and you just want some good, appealing photos? Many of the same things apply, but shadows can really make your photos more dramatic as can closer – part of the horse views.
Drama is good but so is color and appealing scenery. The scenery can be the reason the mood is the way it is, playful, calm or restful.
It comes down to playing with your camera a bit, noticing the light and letting the horse be beautiful. And if you’re telling people he looks much better than the picture, take some more pictures. You can do it!