Equipment for Equestrian Photographers

equipment with low f-stop

Common Equipment of Equestrian Photographers

Lately I have been taking on a personal project that has absolutely nothing to do with weddings.  You guessed it, I have been dabbling in a little equestrian photography.  For those of you who don’t know, having personal projects is a very important part of being a photographer.  It is one of the things that can keep us sane with the every busy photography industry.  I figured I would share some common equipment that is required for this type of photography.  Hope you enjoy and make sure you start a personal project soon, now that the photography season is coming to a close. 🙂

Special types of photography require special types of photographic equipment. Makes complete sense, right? Well, this is especially the case with high action photography. When you have a constantly moving subject, you need equipment that can keep up, while maintaining its capturing abilities for photographs that are crisp and clear, no matter what action it’s catching.

There’s a little more that goes into finding the right equipment for making the most of your equestrian photography adventure, and a lot of that depends on where and when you will be filming your beautiful equine subjects. Let’s start with the camera. Horses move fast! They are mystical and agile creatures who jump and romp and swoosh their tales. You want a camera that can capture their mane mingling with the wind, and you want to be able to see every strand if it’s part of your photographic style.

At this time, we are really impressed with just about any camera by Canon and Nikon. They both make killer DSLRs, and they may not be cheap but they will help you capture some of the most enchanting equine imagery you’ve ever imagined yourself capable of. The reason why Nikon and Canon are especially great for equestrian photographers is because they have a strikingly fast shooting speed. I shoot Canon so this post will definitely be biased…wink, wink. The Canon 5D Mark IV is capable of delivering an astonishing 10 fps of continuous shooting, The Nikon D4s is capable of shooting at 11 fps which gives this camera a slight edge, but not enough to justify spending the $6000 on it. Not to mention I already have a ton of money invested in equipment.  No matter which brand you go with, both Canon and Nikon are excellent companies and make top of the line equipment.  It comes down to personal preference.

I will not be covering lens choice in this article because it would end up taking me 10 hours to write the thing.  Just know that while the camera is important, the lenses you use are even more important. Choose lenses with a 2.8 or below because you need fast lenses for fast horses!

Sometimes more equipment for equestrian photographers is needed, especially if your equine venture takes you to bold new and unpredictable landscapes as is often the case. It’s always a great idea to have a GoPro ready to whip out in the case you wish to keep your expensive DSLR tucked away and safe. GoPro’s rule. They are the ultimate of ultimate in adventure photography, and that means when you find a horse frolicking freely in the rain, you will still be able to capture their majesty to your hearts desire no matter the inclement weather conditions.

Since you will have all of this fabulous gear on you, you are going to have to make sure you get yourself one of the most important pieces of gear for any traveler photographer, especially equestrian photographers who are always on the go with their subjects. This calls for a one of a kind rucksack with a multiplicity of pockets and compartments for storing little things like USBs and chords, to bigger things like tarps and lighting. One of the most highly recommended rucksacks in undoubtedly the National Geographic NG 5158 Zaino Serie Earth Explorer. You can mark our words on this one; it is made especially for photographers, with separate pockets fitted precisely for tripods, lenses, the works.

One of my favorite things about equestrian photography is there are always new and exciting opportunities awaiting you. You get to travel along with your subjects and make many equine friends along the way. So that you never miss out on a single moment, equip yourself with the best of the best, then go out there and make it happen.

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Building Value For Wedding Photography

Building Value For Your Wedding Photography Clients

In the last blog, “Wedding Photographers Hear It All”, I went over how to deal with pricing objections from potential clients.  But I didn’t get into a whole of detail about some of the things you can bring up.  Below are some of the things that you can take into consideration when talking to leads. Keep in mind; this is just a summary so when you speak with leads use your own perspective.

Wedding Photo Love

The first thing I like to do is reiterate that their wedding day is one of the most important days of their life, and you want great photographs to look back on in the future.

On your 20th, your 30th your 40th anniversaries, you want to be able to look back and remember that day clearly. That’s why it is so important to have a great photographer at your wedding to document the day.

Photography Sales Psychology

Here is where some sales psychology comes in. But hiring the photographer is a big decision. There is so much to consider, each photographer offers different packages so it’s going to be difficult to go through all of options. And sometimes it’s tempting just to go with the cheapest one you can find. To learn about the various wedding packages popular with photogs visit Long Island, Wedding Photographer.

It’s such a large expense you might be tempted to save some money and hire that photographer who is charging half what every other photographer in the area is charging. If you feel like you have established enough report at this inject fear. This isn’t just any fear this shit actually happens and I get calls all the time asking if I’m available at a days notice. You know what I’m about to say don’t you?

Nightmare Wedding Day

You hired a photographer off thumbtack, Craigslist, or off their Facebook page (because they don’t have a website). Everything seemed great over the phone. You liked their personality and they were telling you they will cover your 10 hour wedding for $700 bucks and give you 3000 images all retouched.

Well this photographer realized after your talk that they just bit off more than they can chew so they start watching videos on how to photograph a formal wedding. Well as they continue watching the videos and learning there’s a lot more that goes into a wedding than just taking a bunch of candid photos their palms start to sweat.

The day before your wedding they decide they don’t have the equipment or expertise to cover your wedding so you get a call from that photographer telling you they are stick or someone in their family is in the hospital.

Not to say things don’t come up but the thing is professional photographers will do everything in their power to show up at your wedding not matter what life has thrown their way. Well now you’re stuck with no photographer and the stress of finding another one.

This is where things get even more stressful because most photographers book out 6 months to a year in advance. So the chances of you finding a professional photographer in such a short amount of time is slim to none. So then you are forced to either not have a photographer or hire another amateur to cover your wedding.

Touch On Why Wedding Photography Is Expensive

Kissing wedding couple Black & White

Going over why photography is so expensive is not something I love doing but they way I see it, if a potential client asks I feel obligated to respond.

First thing is the quality and quantity of work. Some photographers might offer large packages that include albums, online albums, video and 8 hours of work with a second photographer, while another may cost the same but only provide 6 hours of shooting and an album for the same cost. Which one is the better choice? It will depend on what you are looking at.

The photographer with the large package may be just starting out and trying to build a portfolio, while the other photographer may have years in the business already and is able to provide a much higher quality experience.

He may know all the tricks, covered other weddings at your particular venue, and have a reputation for being an excellent photographer. So even though you may get a little less for your money, you would have the comfort of being confident in his work, and not worry about the quality of the images.

Another major factor in price is the equipment. Some photographers are comfortable using older equipment they are familiar with and so can keep cost down by not having to replace with the latest, while others like to keep up to date with the newest and best equipment on the market.

It may or may not make a difference in the image quality, however newer equipment, even though it does cost more, is able to produce some great effects and can be less invasive. There is also the software, some photographers are getting into online albums and photo retouching and enhancing, these programs can be very expensive, but they offer an amazing result and can be well worth it.

Finally there is the marketing to think about. Print and radio ads, bridal shows, and Internet advertising, it all costs money and those costs have to be accounted for in the price of the work. This Long Island Photographer uses her blog as the primary method of tracking clients but not all us are that lucky! There are many ways that photographers can advertise, all of it can be costly, but it is a necessary cost that goes along with running a successful business.

Yeah, I sometimes bring up the cost of marketing and running a business.  Remember, they asked why it was so expensive so I’m just answering their question!

Stay in the loop for the next article but until then, keep building value!


Why Is Wedding Photography So Damn Expensive

Wedding Photographers Hear It All

I have heard it all as a wedding photographer but one thing that always seems to come up is why the hell are you so expensive? Well not in those exact words but that’s basically what people mean.

wedidng photography is expensive

As photographers you have to stand your ground and on your price list and not give in to filling your schedule with lower income sessions/weddings. I’m not saying this to come off high almighty but you have bills to pay, insurance, mouths to feed and a whole host of other things that require you to charge what you are worth.

Over the years I have learned the art of selling without really selling. What do I mean by that? Well you have to remember future brides and grooms are first time buyers. This means they really don’t know what they are looking for when they first set out in hiring a wedding photographer.

It is your job as a business owner (not artist) to explain to your potential clients the differences that exist in our market. You will actually be doing them a favor by spending 10-20 minutes going over key differences between your services and those who got a nice camera and shoot as a hobby.

If you don’t do this those same potential clients that liked your work and took the time to contact you end up going with a very low budget photographer. None of us want that because after they get their images back they are going to have a very bad taste in their mouth about professional photography even though it was their fault for hiring an amateur.

Just Married putting rings on finger

This will have a huge trickle affect on the photography market because do you think when that couple has kids they are going to be likely to get professional newborn photos done? Or even family portraits? So by educating clients you are essentially helping the entire photography industry.

Don’t feel like you have the extra 10-20 minutes to talk to your leads about the ins and outs of wedding photography? I get it, there are those leads you get where straight out of the gate they ask “how much is this going to cost me”. Yes some of these people are just pricing shopping but there are others who just don’t know what to ask.


You have to remember this is a new experience for them. They may view you a photographer/artist as intimidating because they don’t have an artistic bone in their body. It’s not that hard to create a canned email response with answers to the most commonly asked questions and end the conversation with “I would love to schedule a time to chat with you about your wedding day”.

Talking with the potential client over the phone will allow you to not only make sure you get a good vibe from them but build value about your services. You can overcome objections a lot easier over the phone than email. Pre-qualifying clients is one of the most overlooked things for photographers and I encourage you to think about doing this.

In the next article I’m going to give you some things you may want to address when speaking with your leads.

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