We all love our animals and showing them off. Whether that is in the arena, with friends and even more so on social media. Capturing these moments is something we all do so we can treasure a memory forever, although shooting the beauty of something you see with your eye is more challenging than it looks!
Whether you take photos for fun, are looking to improve your social media presence or are looking to take up photography as a profession, there is one thing in common with all of them – we want the photos to look almost better than they do in reality.
There is one photographer we know and love who always manages to find every horse, human and dogs ‘good side’ and we sat down with her to spill the beans on a few simple tricks to get you on your way to shooting like a pro.
Our favourite photographer and BARE veteran, Allira Fontana, shares her top 5 tips to creating killer content on social media.
Knowing how to take the perfect pic for social media is a must, but how can you do that with just a smartphone? Easy, just follow my 5 tips that can help anyone take better photos no matter what type of camera you have!1. Lighting is the key
The word photography literally means “drawing with light”, and that’s no coincidence. Light is everything in photography, and it doesn’t matter if you are setting up the most beautiful shot if the lighting is not in you favour.
My favourite time of the day to take photos is the 1-2 hours before sunset, when the sun is lower in the sky and not as harsh. People don’t squint, the sun is so beautiful shining through the trees and in summer it’s so much cooler.
But, what happens if you simply can’t take photos that late and you’re stuck with middle of the day light? Look for a big block of shade created by trees and position yourself in that, ideally with some big open sky to look into so your face is still well lit.
2. Think about the foreground and background
A clean background and foreground is a must. Taking photos with a messy background is very distracting and doesn’t look professional. If you are photographing on an arena I suggest picking up any poles or manure, if you’re in the stables remove any rugs or clutter hanging around. Choose to photograph in clean paddocks with a nice background of trees and green grass, and, depending on the season, look for flowers or colours in the background.
3. Ears forward = smiling
This rule is very important for both horses and dogs, ears forward and up is the equivalent to a person smiling. But, how do we do it?
For horses, I use an app called “All Ears Selfie” to make horse sounds and position my phone in a way so the horse looks off to the side and not directly at me and the camera. Horses don’t tend to look flattering staring directly into the camera, and the app I use has an awesome feature where I can delay the start of the sound and length the sound plays for. A YouTube video of a horse neighing will also work.
For dogs, I use sounds that I know will grab their attention. For example a squeaker, treat packet, crying puppy dog sounds or bird callers.
4. Have a purpose
Don’t just go outside and take photos without a plan, make sure you have purpose or a goal when taking photos. If you have someone taking photos of you and your horse, then make sure you have a plan of what type of photos you need. Do you need ridden images, or more portraits of you and your horse, maybe portraits of your horse only, or you need to promote your sponsors products?
Once you have a plan about the type of images you need, have a think about a way to create engaging content.
5. Create engaging content
Photos of a product or supplement on a fence or sitting on a mounting block is nice, but think of ways to make the image more engaging. Your followers will more likely engage with content that is interesting than a boring photo of a product just sitting there.
For example if you are promoting a supplement, capture photos and videos actually pouring it into your horses feed with you in it, your horse eating it out of your hand (if applicable), have the product in the foreground and your horse eating in the background and even get content of you unboxing or receiving it.
6. Have fun!
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Creating content should be fun, not a chore. Always keep your horses best interests at heart, NEVER do anything unsafe for a photo.