How to take a good conformation shot, like the above?
1. Select the site.
- Choose an uncluttered area; no cars, equipment, etc.
- Choose a site with a “contrasting” background.
- The area directly behind the horse should be more or less the same colour or intensity throughout.
- Find a site with level ground. If you can, identify a reference point (such as a fence or groundline) to gauge horizontal balance.
2. Pick a good day and a good time.
- Best times of day are about an hour or two after sunrise or before sunset. The light at this time will add a “glow.”
- Shoot with the sun behind your shoulder and slightly from the rear of the horse.
- For most horses, a bright overcast day is best. Overcast light is more evenly distributed, with fewer harsh shadows.
- When shooting in bright daylight, use a flash to eliminate shadows.
3. Prepare your horse.
- Your horse should be immaculately clean.
- Plat your horse if he/she has a nice neck.
- Use a clean leather halter/lead or bridle.
- You will need 2 people. One will hold the horse, and one will get the horse’s attention and take the photo.
4. Position your horse.
- The camera should be at a distance so that the horse “fills up” the frame.
- The cannon bones of the legs nearest the viewer should be vertical; the far feet should angle slightly inward so that all four feet are visible. The horse should cover a lot of ground but should not be “parked out.”
- Turn the horse’s head slightly toward the camera.
- The horse should look alert and curious, with the neck arched.
5. Take many, many photos!