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Taking better horse pictures

From: Cyndi

Dear Jessica, this probably seems like a really trivial question, but it's important to me and to our local riding club. I'm sort of the official photographer for the kids and their horses. I don't know much about photography in an artistic way, but I can usually keep the subject of the photo in the middle of the picture (joke). Anyway I've been taking photos of the kids on their horses, and "conformation" photos of the horses, for about three months now, and I don't like the results. My camera is pretty fool-proof when it comes to focus and light and stuff like that, but for some reason the horses all come out looking really short-legged. I never noticed until some of the kids asked me if that's how their horses really look. I put them in the same poses they were for the photos, and I looked carefully, and they don't! But in the photos they really do look as if they have shorter legs. Can you help me take better photos that actually look like the horses?????

Thanks Jessica, I know you can help me, you know everything!

Cyndi (and a lot of horses that don't REALLY have short legs)

Hi Cyndi! I certainly don't know everything, but thanks for the compliment. ;-) You're lucky, though, because although I know very few things about photographing horses, I DO just happen to know the answer to your question. It's very simple:

When you get ready to take that conformation photo, don't just stand there. Kneel, squat, crouch, or sit in a chair, but get yourself down low so that the part of the horse directly across from you is the area just behind the elbow. Then take the picture.

That's it -- that's all there is to it! You can make any normal-size horse look short-legged by taking the picture standing up. I found this out the hard way. ;-)


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