You know how beautiful your horse is, but it can be difficult to take photos that show it. Whether your goal is to get a pretty picture for your desk or a great "for sale" shot, follow these steps to get a better photograph of your horse:
• Pick the right setting. You want a level area with a background free of any clutter that will distract from your horse. An open area against a plain barn wall is a good choice, or in a field in front of a line of distant trees. One common error is overlooking a random telephone pole that "juts" out of the horse's head. Also consider your horse's color—a dark horse will look better against a lighter background, for example.
• Pose your horse. If the ground isn't perfectly level, position your horse with his rear pointed uphill. Get him to stand nearly square, then arrange his limbs so that the foreleg closest to the camera comes slightly forward and the same hind leg is slightly back. This creates an attractive frame and avoids the "three-legged" look. It might help to have a friend standing out of frame, holding a lead rope to keep him in position.
• Choose a good camera angle. For a side view, stand right at the girth line, then back up until you can see the entire horse in one frame without cutting off his ears, nose, tail or feet. To take a head shot without distorting it, stand dead center in front of his chest, then take one step to the side. Include a glimpse of his neck, shoulders and the top of his forelegs to make his head look proportionate to the rest of his body.
• Catch his interest. You don't want your horse to look dull or bored, but getting an alert expression with both ears forward can sometimes be tricky. You may need to enlist a friend or two to stand off to the side, waving a flag, singing or doing something that will focus your horse's attention without stimulating him to move.
• Check the frame. Before you start snapping, check for lingering shadows and unexpected guests, like a meandering barn cat, in the background.
• Take lots and lots of pictures. Snap as many photos as you can, slightly varying each one: Make the horse look in one direction then another or change the settings on your camera. The more photos you take, the better your odds of capturing that one perfect shot.