Equi-Tog Tips, sometimes I doubt myself and think what the heck am I doing writing a post like this. Then I remember this is all stuff I’ve learnt, so why not share it?
A well-known and very respected photographer once told me it’s not what you post but more what you don’t post. Think about it for a while. As tempting as it is to post funny or embarrassing pictures, if that were you would you want that shared on social media?
Take last year’s Derby Meeting for example. A famous rider did take a rather unfortunate tumble. Spectacular tumble in fact and the young lads in charge of putting up the fallen poles found it very amusing. When they saw the picture, they exclaimed that I had to post it and that it would go ‘viral’. Whilst this may have been true the rider in question probably would not have found it amusing, so the picture remains on my external hard drive. Yet to see the light of day.
Equi-Tog Tips: Will it sell?
The background. This is another tip imparted by the same photographer as the previous. Big events don’t like empty seats, and nor will they be impressed if you share loads of images of said empty seats. Sometimes it is unavoidable but most of the time it is possible to position yourself in a location where you can show the event and the rider off. At the same time when everyone else is in the same place getting the same shot don’t be afraid to go elsewhere. This is not the case during the prize giving. In order not to distract the riders the photographers must stick together!
Equi-Tog Tips: Golden Hour
Now when I started I had no idea what the golden hour was. It took me a while to figure it out but when I did it helped me massively. The golden hour is the hour after the sun has come up and the hour before it goes down. It allows a wonderful soft light that is very flattering and ethereal. Be mindful of the high sun and shooting at midday. It can be very challenging, causing the models to squint and harsh shadows. At the same time seek depth with your pictures. This can be achieved by getting down low or using images like the hedges to add interest to your images. Angles are key to this though.
Equi-Tog Tips: Learn your equipment
Spend time getting to know your camera, learn the settings, read tutorials and practice. Then practice some more. Your lens hood is also provided for a reason, use it. Us horsey girls are always resourceful and I’ve seen pictures of an overreach boot being used! Editing is the icing on the cake when it comes to photography. I look back at my old work and I cringe! Spend the time to refining your editing and develop your style. I also thought the lens hood was a useless accessory. Until someone pointed out how it protected the lens! Oh yes, well that is actually quite obvious. On that note get yourself a spare lens cap- you WILL lose one. Mine is under the seats at Olympia…..maybe we will meet again.
Also, don’t waste time photographing dirty ponies. Set the standard, send out some tips before the shoot. Clean shiny ponies make for the best pictures and saves time editing. Often you’ll be told oh but you can airbrush that out right? Ummmmm it’s not really the point.
Last on the list is the magical flat lay. When it’s raining, and you can’t play ponies get the camera out and make a flat lay. Sometimes this involves me lying flat with the dog and other days my creative juices flow and make loads of flat lay images that are fab for Insta. SO, there you have it, my tips that’s I have learnt as I have gone along. Hopefully they will help any budding Equi-Togs to be.