An image to advertise a horse for sale needs to be just as beautiful and well-executed as a portrait that will hang on a wall. Aside from the obvious elements of technical correctness such as exposure and sharpness, there are a number of other key factors that go into a professional, appealing and accurate representation of a sale horse. We have a large equine populate in north Texas from Whitesboro to Weatherford, so read on for tips on how to put your horse's best hoof forward when advertising for sale. Just as in any show pen or arena, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression!
You might think it goes without saying, but it needs to be said; groom your horse before photographs are taken! Brush the coat, comb the mane and tale, clip bridle path, ears, nose and long hairs on the legs, you may also consider applying coat and hoof shine products.
Use a properly fitting halter and simple lead; loosely fitting halters can make a horses head look long and unattractive and your favorite sky-blue-pink lead rope will only distract from the horse. Bonus points for a classic leather halter with clean silver - no tarnish!
A clean background is essential to help buyers focus on a horse's conformation, so move away from the barn, and the hauler, and the telephone poles, etc.
Foot placement is key, make sure all four hooves can be seen and bonus points for the specific placement of the "far" legs (the legs furthest away from the camera) to be "heel to toe" inside the near legs - and make sure the horse is solidly on all four feet and not forward or back thereby throwing off what otherwise might be a great conformation.
Angles, angles, angles; knowing where to stand, and at what height, in relation to the horse can make a world of difference in the perspective of the image. Stand at the wrong angle and you can make a back look longer than it actually is or a shoulder looking straighter than it actually is.
Get those ears up! There are a number of ways to do this, but it's key - nobody wants to buy a flat-eared horse!
Lastly, consider hiring a professional photographer to create the most favorable images of your investment. It takes at two to three assistants to make all of the above happen seamlessly and quickly; a handler and a foot-setter and if handy, a third "ear-getter-upper", so focus on that and leave the image capture to the photographer!
Contact me if you'd like to discuss photographing your sale horse(s).
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Contact me to discuss your sale horse photography needs, multiple horse / barn discounts available. Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography is a Certified Professional Photographer with the organization Professional Photographers of America; a designation held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry and professionalism. Penny Whistle specializes in both on-location and studio photography providing pet, equine, couple & engagement, family and high school senior portraits as well as corporate headshots and commercial photography services in her studio located in historic downtown Carrollton as well as on location in Coppell, Grapevine, Southlake, Flower Mound and surrounding communities in Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas.