'A picture is worth a thousand words' is all to true when it comes to selling horses. 9 times out of 10 when you're scrolling through the adverts, it's the picture that catches your attention - and hopefully for the right reasons!
If you haven't been out competing or just didn't feel the photographer caught your horse in it's best light, don't worry. In this blog we demonstrate how to (...and how not to...) get the perfect photo from the comfort of your yard.
All you need is your horse, a smart phone - and preferably a fair weather day! For demonstration purposes, these photos were taken just an hour apart, and you might not believe it's the same horse...
First we'll demonstrate how not to do it...
What's wrong with these photos?
The horse is standing square at the front, so you can't see all four legs clearly
The ground is sloping away, so the horse is too uphill
There's a lot of clutter in the background which is quite distracting
The horse doesn't stand out from the background wall colour
The horse doesn't looks especially clean
... or particularly interested in what's going on!
...And now we'll discuss how to perfect that shot...
Positioning your horse
If possible, a team of three people will get the job done most efficiently. One to photograph, one to hold, and one to get the attention of your horse.
Take a left-side profile of the horse, with it's entire body at a 90 degree angle to the camera.
Ensure the ground is level, so that your horses proportions appear accurate
The horses' nearside legs should be square, with the offside legs offest, so that you can clearly see all 4 legs in the photo
Make sure your horse isn't resting a leg - all 4 feet should be firmly on the ground
Get their attention - rustle in your pocket or grab a bag of carrots! Hopefully their ears will be forward and they'll look alert and interested in the job at hand!
Try to keep the handler out of the photo - or crop them out afterwards!
Fill the frame - don't stand miles away. But equally, make sure the entire horse is within the photo, allowing a bit of of space around all the edges. This ensures your photo will look it's best when it's cropped to fit the HorseQuest website perfectly!
Where to take the photo
Simplicity is key! It doesn't matter where you take it as long as the background is uncluttered, so as not to distract from the horse. So it could be in the arena, in front of a wall or hedge. But move that wheelbarrow or water bucket from behind the horse!
Think about the contrast. If your horse is bay, don't photograph in front of a dark wall! Leafy, neutral backgrounds tend to work well for most colours.
Good lighting is important - preferably outdoors or a well lit indoor space with some natural light. So you may want to look at the weather forecast and plan in advance!
Making them look their best
Hopefully the above photos serve to demonstrate how a quick bath / tidy up can make all the difference! Make your horse look competition ready!
Pop on a bridle or a smart headcollar and some hoof oil
Brush their mane over to the correct side, so you can see all the definition in their neck
You may even choose to plait their mane should you wish
It might take a bit of patience, but it'll certainly be worth the effort! Just one good photo is all it takes to capture someones interest! And don't forget that all HorseQuest adverts include 3 videos too, which then allows viewers to see the horse in action.
And a final tip from us - once you have captured the perfect photo for your advert, make sure you upload / send us the file at it's original resolution, so that the quality of the photo is sharp.
Photos can be emailed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via WhatsApp to 07516 977082.
If you'd like to place an advert on HorseQuest visit: www.horsequest.co.uk/member/place-an-ad