Are you a horse business owner or equestrian entrepreneur in east Tennessee or north Georgia who is completely lost when it comes to equestrian brand photography?
You know you need to up your visual game because the images and videos you are sharing aren’t getting the job done.
How do you even find a photographer who can visually create the personality of your equestrian brand?
What if you don’t like the images? Sweet lord, now you’ve gone and spent all that money?!
Would you have to be in the pictures? Good grief, who wants to do that? It’s sooooo awkward. Eek!
And how would you know what to do with the images? Stick them in a drawer? Put them on social media once? Then what?
Can a professional photographer really do something that an iPhone can’t? Seriously, what’s wrong with all those videos and blurry selfies?
Your barn is a working barn. It’s not picture-perfect.
And really, who has the time to figure all this out? You’ve got a business to run.
Whoa, Girl, slow down!
You’re starting to spiral…
You’re busy! You have a life and a business with ten trillion things that you are juggling.
I get you. Really. I do. Know why?
Because I AM you.
I know, better than anyone, what it’s like to run an equestrian business.
It’s time-consuming. It’s 24/7. It’s a labor of love.
But, lucky for you, you stumbled upon all the equestrian brand photography details in one location.
You’ve got questions? I’ve got the answers.
So grab your adult beverage of choice. (Me, I’m all about the margaritas)!
Snuggle up in your favorite spot.
And, spent a few minutes learning about the oh-so-confusing (but soon not to be!) world of equestrian brand photography.
Contents: What you will Learn in this Guide
• What is Equestrian Brand Photography?
• What’s the difference between a commercial photographer and Equestrian Brand Photographer?
• Why should you brand your horse business?
• Why you need to brand your horse business
• Branding can create the right look for your equine business
• How do I know what images I need?
• Why do I need an Equestrian Brand Library?
• How do I know if my Horse Business is Ready for Equestrian Brand Photography
• What is in an equestrian brand library?
• How does an equestrian brand library differ by business?
• How to find the right equestrian brand photographer for you
• What do you get when you book an equestrian brand photographer?
• How much does equestrian brand photography cost?
• Where can you use your equestrian brand photography?
• How often should you update your equestrian brand photos?
What is Equestrian Brand Photography?
First of all, let’s get right to it. What the heck is equestrian brand photography, anyway?
In the past, you have most likely heard of commercial horse photography.
Commercial horse photography focuses on businesses that sell products and services to equestrians.
Commercial horse photographers work with brands to bring their advertising vision to life.
Shoot me now. Sounds kind of boring to me…
Equestrian branding photography, on the other hand, is a subset of commercial horse photography.
While both commercial and equestrian brand photography deal with products and services, they have different approaches.
Equestrian brand photography works with businesses, yes. But, it is more candid and uses a storytelling approach to bring your brand to life.
And I love a good story…
Equestrian Brand photography tells the story of the person and brand. It focuses on capturing images that tell the story of you and your business.
A little bit of storytelling…
A little bit of magic…
And, now we’re talking my language…
This is frequently what equestrian solopreneurs and small horse businesses are looking for.
A little bit of storytelling…a little bit of magic… And, now we’re talking my language…
What’s the Difference between an Equestrian Brand Photographer and a Commercial Horse Photographer?
So, wait. What’s the difference between an equestrian brand photographer and a commercial horse photographer?
The difference is mainly in the approach.
A commercial horse photographer works with the marketing department of the business to bring an advertising vision to life.
They will focus on the product and/or services of the business.
Equestrian branding photographers also bring a brand to life by focusing on products and services.
But they also focus on the face and personality of the brand.
The you of your horse business, if you will.
Why Should you Brand your Horse Business?
Branding a horse business is a visual way to show the personality and life of your equine business.
Think about this for a second.
You properly brand your business. You attract the right clients. Your clients are happy. They tell other potential clients.
And, boom! Your bottom line increases.
Heck ya, a little more cash in the pocket never hurts…
According to a study by Insider Business, it takes 12 positive customer experiences to negate one negative experience.
Wouldn’t it be easier to repel the ones who are going to be unhappy before you ever talk to them?
Wouldn’t it be easier to attract the right ones right from the start?
The reality is that the LKT (Like-Know-Trust) factor is hard at work, even when you are not speaking face-to-face with a potential client.
It’s in every social media post, every website page, every blog post, and every image or video.
Your customers want a brand that they like, know, and trust.
They want to know before they ever talk to you that they are part of your herd.
Why you Need to Brand your Horse Business
Your brand is not just your business name and a Facebook page you update on the fly occasionally with a somewhat blurry photo of what was happening that day.
I know, I know. What?!
There is much more to branding a horse business than that.
A brand certainly has physical elements, such as a logo.
But it’s actually what people think and feel about your business.
As Seth Godin said, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.”
There are several reasons why it’s worth branding your business.
People are creatures of habit. We crave familiarity and consistency. We like to know what we are going to get.
Even if it’s something mediocre. Think of McDonald’s.
You know when you go there you are going to have a consistent experience of mediocre food served fast.
Think of the retail store Target.
You know exactly what you are going to get at a Target store.
“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.”
You let the Target store tell you what you need…
Nah, I’m just kidding. But you get my point.
You know what to expect when you go to a chain store or restaurant.
Think about the last time you were in an Ariat store. You reached for that pair of boots and you knew that they were a quality pair of boots meant to last. You knew exactly what to expect before you ever touched those boots.
Or the last time you reached for a pair of Levi jeans. You knew those jeans were going to hold up no matter what you put them through.
But what does that mean to you when it comes to your equestrian business?
It basically means that high-quality consistent branding can affect your bottom line.
In fact, according to The State of Brand Consistency report by Lucidpress consistent branding can increase revenue from 10% to 20%.
Branding Can Create the Right Look for Your Equine Business
We live in a digital age.
Any small business owner should recognize that a quality online presence is critical.
Clear, sharp on-brand images can make or break you when it comes to websites and social media.
I’m sure you have noticed that our attention spans are getting shorter. And we are absolutely bombarded with images and videos 24/7.
So what does that mean?
That’s where high-quality, well-planned images can place you above the chaos and help you to stand out.
It means to break through the noise to your ideal client, you need imagery that captures attention from the first moment.
Great images that speak to your ideal client are one of the most powerful tools you have as a business owner.
From a veterinarian to a fly spray manufacturer, it doesn’t matter what service or product you provide. Quality images tell your brand story, the values and personality of the brand, what you do, and how you can help clients.
Let’s talk about why Equestrian Brand Photography is Important…
Ever hear the saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”?
If that’s the case, why wouldn’t you want to make sure that your potential clients are bowled over right from the get-go?
Great equestrian brand images make it clear what you do, how you do it, and the personality of your brand.
A business with a physical location must keep its storefront windows attractive.
They need attractive and functional signing.
Need new images for the walls of your vet clinic? Got you covered!
Need headshots with personality to hang in the lobby of your building? No Problem!
Need new images for your printed advertising materials for your booth at an event? Not an issue.
A business without a physical location relies on its website and social media to serve as a digital storefront.
If you are a business with both digital and physical locations, you need imagery to be client-ready.
From designing a shot list to photographing, and image delivery, we take this off your plate so you can concentrate on building your business.
Images incorporate all the things of branding into the visual voice of your business.
In short, it shows what your business is all about and how it is or isn’t the right fit for them.
How Do I Know What Images I Need?
Each business has its own unique needs.
We work together to create your personal shot list.
Searching for images that align with your personal equestrian brand is time-consuming.
Website / Social Media Images
Digital or Print Advertising Campaign Images
Print Images for Banners and Brochures
Stock images that speak to your ideal client
Do you have lots to say on social media but you know without an image your great caption isn’t going to be seen?
Imagine having the images you need available when you need them.
Custom images that speak to your ideal client.
Clear, sharp, on-brand, and waiting for you when you need them.
Product-based businesses may need images of the product in use.
They also might need product labels or images in the ideal environment.
They need images that make potential clients want to aspire to.
The business might need images that speak to a lifestyle or images of the label of the product.
For equestrian services, we plan a shot list.
It includes images that feature what you do, how you do it, the brand values, and personality.
People have an innate need to belong to a group. Let’s make sure that your ideal clients find your herd instead of your competitor.
Why do I need an Equestrian Brand Library?
“I don’t need an equestrian brand library. I’ve got plenty to say.”
I absolutely agree.
Anyone who’s been around equestrians for 5 minutes knows that when it comes to horses, they have a lot to say….
But they often don’t have the image or graphics they need.
And in a visually-driven world, images are everything.
Did you know that our brains are hardwired for images?
The human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text. In fact, It takes only 13 milliseconds for the human brain to process an image.
Unless it’s one of those weird ones like that white gold / blue black dress from a few years ago, remember that?
I couldn’t wrap my mind around how people were seeing blue and black when that dress was clearly white and gold.
You will never convince me otherwise…but I digress…
If you want potential customers to remember what you say, tell them with an image.
Not only can we process images faster, but we can also retain them longer.
Here are a few shocking stats:
Did you know that people remember approximately 10% of the information told to them three days later?
But, pair the information with relevant imagery, and people retained 65% of the information three days later.
According to a recent study, most people only read 20-28% of the words on the page.
If you want potential customers to remember what you say, tell them with an image.
What is in an Equestrian Brand Library?
A well-curated equestrian brand image libraries include a combination of images, videos, and graphics.
Images should include lifestyle images and environmental images of products or services. Headshot and candid photographs of the business owner and employees.
Your brand library should include graphics like your logos as well as curated videos.
If your equine business has a location, then your image library should include images of that too.
It’s important that an equestrian brand image library be customized to the brand.
Your images should be infused with your brand values and the personality of your brand.
You want your ideal clients to feel your values and personality without you having to say a word.
After all, an image library for a high-end equestrian clothing store, is not going to have the same feel or image needs as the image library for a local riding lesson instructor.
Nor should it.
Your brand library should also include behind-the-scenes images. And images of the inner workings of the business.
Depending on your product or service, you might also consider custom stock images that appeal to your ideal customer.
How do I know if my Horse Business is Ready for Equestrian Brand Photography?
So, how do you know if your business is ready for an equestrian brand photographer?
Frquently, small businesses think that creating a logo and slapping it on a Facebook page is all the branding they need. In fact, they skip the branding process completely.
If that’s you, you aren’t ready for equestrian brand photography.
Here’s why: You need to have at least a general idea of WHO you are trying to attract, WHAT you have to offer, and where your business is heading in order to create equestrian brand photography that will speak to your ideal herd.
So, how do you do that?
If you want to start the branding process, I highly recommend you take a peek at these blog posts.
How to Create a Mission Statement for a Horse Business
Brand Values for a Horse Business
How to Create a Vision Statement for a Horse Business
How does an Equestrian Brand Library differ by Business?
As I mentioned earlier, a well-curated equestrian brand library should be infused with the personality and values of your brand.
So while 2 horse trainers might have a similar shot of them standing in a barn door, the picture itself should be customized to the brand being photographed.
The personality and values should stand out from the image.
So, these examples below are just to give you an idea of how different careers might have different images. It doesn’t touch on how those images might be customized to the particular brand.
Consider an Equestrian Blogger who spends time divided between her barn and laptop. Her image library might include:
- Photographs of her horses
- What she likes to snack on or drink while writing
- The environment of the barn
- The tools she uses – such as her laptop and phone
- Shots of her working
- Images of her riding
Or let’s consider a local horse trainer. For a trainer, an image library might include:
- Photographs of her working with a variety of horses or students
- The tack and horses she works with
- The environment she works
- The branded t-shirt she always wears
- The equipment she uses to schedule her clients – computer, phone, etc.
- Speaking with her students
- Giving a class to her students on horse care
- Video snippets from lessons
- A curated brand library shows what you do and how you do it.
But, more importantly, it also shows the personality of your brand. It shows how it makes your clients and customers feel.
And, these things allow your potential clients to picture themselves working with you.
It invites your potential clients into your world before they ever pick up a phone and contact you.
How to Find the Right Equestrian Brand Photographer for You
Making sure you end up with the right equestrian branding photographer for you means doing research and asking questions.
After all, you don’t want to spend time and money to end up disappointed with your images.
Before you start researching, ask yourself these questions. It will make it easier for you to find what you are looking for.
- Do I need an equestrian brand photographer who specializes in horses or am I happy with a brand photographer who doesn’t work with horses or the horse industry?
- Do you like the photographer’s style? Have you visited their website and social media accounts?
- What level of service do you need/want?
- Do you think you would enjoy working with this person? Would you enjoy the experience?
Once you have an idea of the photographers you want to talk to, there are several questions you should ask before you book the photographer.
Asking questions in advance set you up for success.
Below are just a few of the questions you should ask a potential equestrian brand photographer before you book them.
You can download a free guide that walks you through all the questions.
It also gives you space to jot down notes as you speak with a prospective photographer.
How long have you been in business and how much of that is working with horses?
What forms of payment do you accept?
Do you have a payment plan?
What types of businesses do you enjoy working with? Would we be a good fit?
What’s your experience with brand photography?
How much retouching do you do for brand photography?
What happens if my computer dies and I lose all my photos?
What do you get when you Book an Equestrian Brand Photographer?
A lot of what you walk away from with your session is going to depend on
What Photographer you have Booked
What Level of Service they Provide
At a minimum, you should expect to receive a select number of images, in different sizes and orientations, for a certain price. As well as the correct licensing and rights that you will need for your images.
Depending on the photographer you select, there might be other options available to you.
- Payment Options
- A planning session before the shoot
- Advanced shot list plan
- Brand workbook
- Video footage
This is why it’s important to speak with your potential equestrian brand photographer. You want to make sure you know what you are getting.
How Much does Equestrian Brand Photography Cost?
Pricing an equestrian brand session is custom to each business based on several factors.
Years ago, people needed a quick headshot and that was it.
But with the rise of digital platforms, days of having one simple headshot have gone out the window.
However, there are a few exceptions.
If you are:
- An equestrian business owner who is just starting out
- A horse business owner who hasn’t developed a brand at all
- Haven’t built your website yet or you aren’t active on social media
In those cases, a simple headshot might be what you need temporarily. But, a headshot isn’t a long-term plan. Remember that when it comes to thinking long-term for your business, think equestrian branding photography.
Even when you run an in-person business, so much of your business is still conducted online.
That’s where an equestrian brand specialist comes into the picture.
An equestrian brand specialist:
- Explores your equestrian business brand
- Guides you through an entire process
- Develops a custom shot list designed to support your branding and marketing
- Creates images that showcase your equestrian brand
- Produces images that clarify your online presence
An equestrian brand specialist helps create images that speak directly to your ideal clients. That helps you sell yourself and your equestrian business.
That makes the right potential clients dying to be part of your herd.
No matter what though, each shoot starts with a discussion.
For more details, reach out for a custom quote today.
Considering working with me?
I work with equestrian entrepreneurs who are looking to get visible in their market. Together we develop high-quality, impactful, and thoughtfully designed equestrian brand photography.
If you want to know more about working with Ride the Sky, you can find more here. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. Or, just reach out, and let’s schedule a call to figure out what you need to take your equestrian business to the next level.
Where can you use your Equestrian Brand Photography?
It’s more of a question of where can’t you use them.
After all, you are investing effort, time, and money in creating your custom equestrian brand photography.
Let’s make sure it’s out there for everyone to see…and your ideal clients to obsess over.
Here are just a few examples of what you can do with your equestrian brand images:
Website About Me Pages
Digital Book Covers
Facebook Cover Images, Profile Pictures, & Posts
Instagram Grids, Stories, & Reels
LinkedIn Posts, Cover images, & Profile
Twitter Cover Images, Profile Pictures
YouTube Covers and Profile Pictures
Printed Books and Book Covers
Networking and speaking events
Podcast Graphics, Guest Speaker Images
How often should you Update your Equestrian Brand Photography?
In general, plan on updating once a year, or once every two years.
Why? There are a few reasons.
- You may look different.
- Your products or services may have changed.
- You might have a new location, new horses, or new employees.
There are a few other factors to consider when figuring out how often you need to update your equestrian brand photos.
- How often do you post on social media?
- Do you have any existing images in your equestrian brand library?
- When was the last time you updated your website?
- How many employees do you have?
- What’s the weather like where you live?
Let’s take each of those one at a time and talk about them.
How often do you post on social media?
If you are always churning out new content or you’d like to, you are going to need more images overall.
It is true that only some of your social media followers see any given post. And you absolutely can repeat graphics and images. But you don’t want to repeat them too frequently.
I mean seriously, how long do you follow those accounts that post the same 10 images on repeat?
In the case of a business owner who frequently posts, they might want to consider shorter branding sessions more often. Such as quarterly or bi-annually.
I mean seriously, how long do you follow those accounts that post the same 10 images on repeat?
This allows for a consistent amount of new images.
What does your existing equestrian brand library look like?
If you already have some images in your brand library, you might just need a refresh.
If you are starting from scratch and don’t have a large budget, a smaller package might work better until you are more financially stable.
If you are rebranding or starting from scratch, you might want to consider going with more images to give you a jumping-off point.
If you are a new business or have never invested in business images to begin with, then you might want to consider going with a larger assortment of images.
When was the last time you updated your website?
If you look at your website and the first thing you think is, “ugh…it looks like something from the 80s…” It’s time.
Get the images you need for your website.
How many employees do you have?
If you have employees that are the front face of your business, you want to make sure they are included in your images.
What’s the weather like where you live?
Seems kind of out of place but hear me out. Imagine that you had your branding session at the height of the fall. All your images feature the lovely golds, oranges, and brown colors of autumn.
But now it’s spring. And everything is green, flowers are blooming, horses are slick. But here you are on social media, still sharing those gorgeous fall colors.
Some places, like Florida, pretty much look the same year-round.
But if you live in a place where the seasons change, consider making sure that you have images for all seasons.
Want to Know What It’s Like to Work with Me?
I am an equestrian brand and pet branding photographer in Chattanooga, TN.
I work with entrepreneurs and small business owners to create high-quality, impactful, and thoughtfully designed branding photography so their potential clients can get the like, know, and trust factor.
If you want to know more about working with me, check out the Meet Betsy page and the Equestrian Branding Page on this website to start.
Then you can also head over to my LinkedIn, Instagram or my Facebook page here.
Or just reach out and let’s schedule a call to figure out what you need to take your equestrian business to the next level.
It doesn’t matter the size of your equine business. A one-woman show or a large corporation.
Every business can benefit from an updated set of images that speak to its ideal herd. It’s time for you to get visible in your market and start showing people what you and your equestrian business have to offer.
Download the free 15 Questions to Ask an Equestrian Brand Photographer Before You Book below.
Betsy Bird of Ride the Sky Equine Photography spends her days doing insane things to make horses look at her. Clearly, she’s desperate for attention. Outside of acting like a total weirdo, she invests in growing her business, mentoring aspiring photographers, hanging with her favorite dog, Nitro, dealing with her teenagers’ angst, and planning her next big wheels-up adventure. Betsy is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) with the organization Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The CPP designation is held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and is a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry, and professionalism. Betsy specializes in creating storytelling magic for horse girls of all ages. In other words, she enjoys working with fun-spirited clients who need horse portraits, equestrian senior, and equestrian brand photography. She even throws in some dogs for variety because what true horse girl doesn’t love a great pup too? Based in Chattanooga, TN, Ride the Sky Equine Photography works on location in Tennessee, North Georgia, and beyond.