Have you wondered why you should use a horse photographer? Does it really matter or make a difference?

Maybe it goes something like this: You’ve thought about it and you have decided that it’s time to take the plunge and get images of your horse.

You’re ready to capture the special bond that exists between you. Or perhaps you wish to design a beautiful piece of wall art so that instead of looking at generic flowers on your wall, you can look at the animal you love most in the world.

Whatever your reason, the time has come to capture your beloved animal in print.

Most people who aren’t familiar with photography will think that hiring any photographer will do when it comes to pictures of their horse or with their horse. I’m here to suggest to you that when it comes to capturing beautiful images with your horse, an equine and equestrian photographer is the way to go.  Here’s why:




A Background in All Things Horse


First, the majority of equine photographers have a background with horses. They either were or are currently equestrians themselves. Perhaps they grew up on horse farms or had a boarding barn that they spent every waking moment at during their formative years.

In my case, I have lived and breathed horses my entire life. I grew up on a small horse boarding farm, trained and showed horses throughout all of my school years, served as the announcer and ran the secretary’s stand at horse shows, planned and co-hosted horse clinics, spent every summer at horse camp, and competed in local, state, and national horse judging competitions. See what I mean? A background in all things horse!

Regardless of how it happens, the majority of equine photographers fell in love with horses FIRST and photography SECOND. Knowing the sacred bond between horse and rider, the equine photographer is better equipped to read the moments and to capture the emotions that flow between human and horse.


two western horses with tack standing together



An Understanding of Horse Conformation


Secondly, understanding the conformation of a horse. Understanding horse conformation goes a long way to making sure that the horse looks his or her best when it comes to images.

Ears, angles, positions, and sets are all critical parts of equine photography. In fact, they are all critical with equines, before you ever even get to the photography part of it.

While there is a lot of posing that goes into human photography, there is also posing that goes into horse photography – and it’s a whole different beast altogether. After all, you are communicating with an animal, not another person.




Knowledge of Horse Behavior


Third, equine photographers know horses.

Horses are 1200 pound animals with minds of their own. They are big, unpredictable and can even be dangerous to individuals who are not aware of what to look for when it comes to working with them.  Even the most docile or tame horse can cause a major injury or accident in the blink of an eye.

While a horse can be unpredictable, a seasoned horse photographer is going to be more likely to read the warning signs and respond in advance which will make the entire experience safer, and ultimately, more enjoyable for everyone involved.



Cowgirl and Appaloosa Horse in field



A Profound Love of the Horse


I would venture a guess that the majority of horse photographers love your horse almost as much as you do. I know I wake up at night sometimes thinking about someone’s horse and wondering how he or she is doing, how they are healing from an injury, how they did in their recent show or event, or if they are thinking of that crazy lady who fed them peppermints and carrots.

Love of horses is in the blood of some people and with that comes a profound sense of caring about the well-being of your animal.  Not just during your photography session but even before and after.



In Conclusion


I hope that this gives you something to think about the next time you are trying to decide what type of photographer to hire to capture your beautiful animals.

Should you decide that hiring an equine photographer is the right way to go for your situation, click here to read some of the questions you should ask an equine photographer before you hire them so you make sure to get the session you want!

Interested in learning more about the Ride the Sky Equine Portrait Experience? Click here to learn more.

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. When she’s not celebrating the stories of the amazing horses in her clients’ lives, she invests time and energy into perfecting her equine photography skills and growing her business, hanging with her favorite rescue dog, Nitro, and planning her next big adventure. She also tries to spend some time educating and entertaining her fans and potential clients by blogging and posting on social media about whatever catches her fancy at the moment. 

Betsy is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) with the organization Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The CPP designation is held by fewer than 2,000 photographers nationwide and is a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry, and professionalism. Ride the Sky specializes in on-location photography for equines. Ride the Sky also has the option of bringing the studio to the stable. Based in Chattanooga, TN, Ride the Sky Equine Photography works on location in Tennessee, North Georgia, and beyond.

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