Learn how to get fab photographs of your horse!


1. Working with Light

Lake District fell Ponies

How do you get the best out of any photograph before even pressing a button? 

All photographers would agree that assessing the light first before you snap, is the key to a great photo.

The light conditions and where the sun is positioned can make all the difference from an ok photo to a great one!

Light and shadow

It can be frustrating when a gorgeous pony starts to dance in front of your camera and the light is all wrong.  Take this photograph. Can you see that he has two tones of light shining on him? The bright light is distracting and taking away the details of his lovely dapples.  When photographing horses, I always wish for a cloudy bright day.

The wrong light
Equine portrait photographer

Top shade

Grey skies or shade create the perfect light conditions for any photoshoot, as it gives you a great base to work with when editing.  Cloudy conditions provides ‘even light, so nothing distracts the eye.  If I’m on a photo shoot and there is bright sunshine, I’ll always head to a canopy of trees, the side of a building or inside a barn first.

The golden hour

But it’s not all bad light. Wedding and landscape photographers will often refer to a particular time of day as ‘golden hour’. This is when the sun is rising or setting, low in the sky and not to harsh.  Everything turns golden. This light can really enhance an image and is often why landscape photographers can get up very early in the summer.

Lake district fell pony
Country house equine photoshoot

Defusing light

If getting up early isn’t quite your thing, then look at ways to soften the light. This photograph (on the left) was taken around 11am on a winter’s morning.  It was a very strong light, which I defused through the trees.

Place the sun on your back

When doing event photography, sometimes you’re in a limited postion to where you can take your photographs. If you can’t put the competitor in shade, try and keep the sun on your back. This will keep your subject more even with light.

Skelton Show equestrian
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro at Liverpool International Horse Show 2018


Indoor event photography can be really challenging. Not only do you have limited light and often artificial light, the subjects can move quickly, limiting your choice of settings and risking the quality of your image. This photograph on the left was taken at the Liverpool International Horse Show a few years back, of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro.  A much anticipated pair that were performing a display to pack crowds.

The arena went dark as the pair started to move around the arena. The light was a little too dark for my liking, but every now and again, the spot light hit onto them both. This made for a great atmospheric photograph.


Look at where the light is coming from, are you in the best position?
Assess if you can make a photograph better if you moved your subject?
Can you defuse the light source, by softening it through trees or standing in shade?

1 to 1 training available

I offer 1 to 1 training which can be done remotely via Zoom or Skype.

Ideal if you’re wanting to improve the photographs you take of your horse, or your thinking about turning professional.  An hour session tailoured to suit your needs. For more information, please contact me below or visit here.