Horse Show Photography Tips

Every time I go to a horse show (whether for myself or a friend) there is always a camera involved.  And lots and lots of pictures!  I have always been one to take a lot of photos and do my best to preserve memories with a photo.  These days most of my pictures are of my OTTB!  He sure does mug for the camera too!  Aly Rattazzi of Rather Be Riding Photography was kind enough to offer us some shooting tips while at horse shows.  Click on the link at the bottom to like her on Facebook and see more incredible pictures she has taken!



Horse Show Photography Tips

Hello, my name is Aly Rattazzi and I am the owner/photographer of Rather Be Riding Photography. I have been taking pictures for as long as I can remember, but started my business almost 2 years ago. Today, I am going to give you some hints and tips on how to capture those perfect moments at shows that you can treasure forever 🙂

-For starters, every horse and rider that comes into the ring has something special about them. For riders I look for things like a flashy stock pin or accessory, creative embroidery on a show shirt or saddle pad, or a unique helmet or show coat. For the horses, it can be anything from cool markings, a blingy browband, a big, soft eye, a flowing forelock or tail, or some piece of tack like the saddle or bit or bridle that really stands out. Once I pick out these key aspects of the horse and rider pair, I take artsy shots that really focus on the stand-out attributes in addition to the traditional action shots.
-As far as action shots, different disciplines require different timing on the horse’s movement. For example, when shooting gaited horses at a gait, you want the outside leg at its highest point. For Dressage doing basic movements or Hunters on the flat, you want either the inside or outside front leg at its greatest extension out. When capturing any canter shots, you never want to capture it on the down-beat; ALWAYS get the up-beat of a canter. Depending on what kind of camera and shutter speed you have contributes to what your timing is. Every camera is different. When taking jumping pictures, getting the horse right after take-off is always the ideal shot. Different kinds of jumps can produce different kinds of pictures; Jumps that are wider, for example, can give you shots with more air time, and if you are really good, can create some really cool landing shots.
-Practice, practice, practice. Like anything else in life, the more you practice at something, the better you get. Don’t be discouraged in the beginning if your shots aren’t perfect. The more you shoot, the better you will be and the more stuff you will learn.
-Be very careful when shooting in low-light situations. Horses don’t appreciate having a bright flash go off in their face, so make sure your flash is turned off. Whenever you are shooting, you must be knowledgeable to what is going on around you and you ALWAYS make the horse and rider’s focus and safety comes first. No one likes a rude photographer, and being careless can create dangerous situations.
-Always make sure that your camera is focused and ready before taking a picture. Fuzzy pictures aren’t good.
-Last, and certainly not least, HAVE FUN! Photography is an amazing hobby, and getting to photograph something as powerful and majestic as horses is truly a blessing.
I hope that my hints and tips can help you get those picture perfect shots at your next show! Thank you!
Aly Rattazzi
Rather Be Riding Photography


2 comments for “Horse Show Photography Tips

  1. March 28, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Great article and beautiful photos! Thanks for the tips!

    • March 28, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the comment! 🙂

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