Photographing Horses

Photographing horses when you’re not a horse person can be difficult. You might notice your photos looking just a little awkward, but you can’t place why. Here are some photos and tips that will help explain the best moments you will want to aim for when shooting horses in action!

The neck is a good indicator of whether the horse is moving nicely, or not. You will want to aim for the neck at a moment when there is a curve to it, with the head looking more down than up. Horses with their heads to the sky don’t look great. When the neck goes down for a moment, arches, or looks strong and muscled, that’s when you should hit your shutter…a lot.

The trot is the jogging gait, when the horses legs are moving in diagonals: the front left and back right feet move forward, followed by the front right and back left feet moving forward. There are tons of awkward moments during the trot – the pretty moments will be when the horses legs are fully extended. Ideally, there might even be some air under the front hoof while the leg is fully extended! The grey horse below is shown in an awkward position first, then an alright position, right after the front leg hits the ground. The brown horse is shown in the same awkward position, then a lovely position, right before the front leg hits the ground.

The canter is the “skipping” gait, where it might seem like the horse is hopping slightly. You absolutely need to capture the horse in an upward moving moment for the canter, otherwise both horse and human look rather awkward. Aim for the front legs to be in the air, with the hind end lower than the shoulders. If both front legs are bent, it will likely look great!

Galloping is the fast, running gait. The same rules apply for the gallop as the canter, but it is easier and there are less awkward moments. Aim for the front legs to be in the air, off the ground!

Head over to our Modeling Page for the details on both the horses pictured here!