Say Carrot!: How to take your horse’s picture like a pro

Ever wonder how professionals make their equestrian portraits look so… professional? Sara Beth Raab of Creation Studios reveals a few top-secret tips.

From Sara Beth:

As resident horse photographer extraordinaire I want to share with all you lovely horse lovers a few tips on how to photograph a head shot of your beautiful equine friend. Think of this photo as the photo you’d send in for his modeling portfolio.

1. Groom your horse. Seriously. And pick his nose, ears, and eyes.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

2. I personally love to photograph horses in their CLEAN bridles instead of a clunky halter and ugly lead rope–not saying your red white and blue lead rope is jank, I’m just saying that it distracts from your lovely horse’s head. If you must do a halter please use a CLEAN leather one with a black or leather lead.

Photo: Creation Studios

3. Location is everything! My favorite place to do head shots of a horse is right inside the shade of the barn aisle. Usually the light there is bright enough to black out the background behind the horse. Other great places are against the barn facing the shade or outside in the shade facing dark woods. I’m not typically a huge fan of direct sunlight unless it’s the pretty sunset kind.

Photo: Creation Studios

4. Don’t use your phone. Most camera phones have a wide-angle type lens. If you use the wide angle part of a lens, you risk your horse looking like this:


5. To expound on the above point, if you are using your point-and-shoot camera zoom in a bit so that you are not using the wide angle part of your zoom. (If you are using your friend’s fancy DSLR camera use a lens 50mm or greater.) The wide angle lens really does funny things to your otherwise wonderfully put together mount. That being said this may mean you will need to step back a bit.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

6. Which brings me to my next point. Bring friends to help. Have someone in charge of positioning your steed and have another person to help get the horses attention. Otherwise your pics may look like this:

Photo: The pros at HN

7. Be safe. It doesn’t take much to get a horse to look at you–don’t over do it. Save your cap gun, air horn, and fireworks for another day.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

5. Consider hiring a pro. Seriously, don’t you have better things to do then jump around like a monkey trying to get your pony to look at you? I happen to know a pro that travels!

If you would rather leave photography to the PRO contact Sara Beth at or call the studio at 901-626-3460. Located in Memphis, Tenn. Available for travel for barn photoshoots and summer camps. 

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