Making Money With Equine Photography
 By Artista   •   18th Jan 2011   •   8,429 views   •   21 comments
Making Money With Equine PhotographyI'm a published photographer for a few equine magazines in Las Vegas, and additionally work as a graphic designer. I get paid by my parent company, in addition to making a 90% commission on events, and routinely get booked to freelance small shows, where I make 100% of the profit of anything I sell. I want to provide some of my tips for making money with horse photos. And it's easier than you might think!

I'd like to start by saying I'm a huge supporter of the Open Source community. Open Source is a term used to describe a community of photographers, artists, programmers and developers that donate their hard work to the public for free in the hopes that people can use their work and create something new. Royalty Free Stock Photography is a part of the open source community, which means the photos taken are available for free-use to other artists. With that said, all of the photo's that you see here are available for free use, and available at my deviantART stock account

So what does it take to make a good photo? Thousands of dollars of camera equipment? Professional schooling? Special chemicals or graphic arts programs? In most cases – while these can help – it's unlikely that they create the perfect photo. The key to good photography, is always the photographer. And of course – never underestimate the power of the Open Source community!

When shooting horses, no matter the kind of camera you're using, keep a few things in mind:

-Always try to shoot in good light.

-Get as close to the subject as you possibly can when shooting – unless you have a lens that specifically allows you leeway to do otherwise (The canon L-series lens is a good example.)

-Never use the flash when shooting close-range.

-Always get permission from the ground-owners to be there.

-Practice, practice, practice.

Whether you show up with a disposable Kodak camera or a $3,000.00 Mark II 5D and a $60,000.00 telephoto lens, if your photos come out good then it doesn't matter what you're using. If you can take flattering photos of people, then you will always have an angle to sell your work. The key is practicing and working hard. Establish your name and be confident you can get that “perfect shot” before you opt to take money for it.

The best way to get booked is to get known. Self promotion is the key to getting recognized. If you have any hope of making profit from shows, you should have an active Twitter, and Facebook account, with constantly updated photo streams showing what you're working on and how you're improving. It's also a good idea to have your own website with a gallery of your photos, organized so potential clients can see what you do – from portraits, to conformation photos, and everything in between.

If you're intending to make a profit from a show, it's a good idea to arrive early and make the grounds-owners aware that you're there so they can help promote you. Set up your gear near the designated area and test your equipment well before the show starts. It's a good idea to bring flyers and business cards with you. (And don't worry about spending money on that – you have a printer, and paper – make them yourself!) Make a poster if you have time – advertise your services. Photos – $5.00 ea, $20.00 for 10.

My mantra is that it's easier to get 100 people to pay 5 dollars than it is to get 5 people to pay 100 dollars. So keep your prices reasonable and you'll probably be satisfied with the result.

Organization is key. Keep track of people who've paid you and their contact information. Have a sign-up sheet ready and make sure you get everyone's contact information. Put images in your gallery online and let people pick and choose what they want to buy. Offer your photos for free to local horse magazines and tack shops. Having 'photo credit' goes a long way to being hired.

But having trouble with the photo's looking “just right?” Open Source is here to save us again! There's a long list of completely free photo-editing software on the market. Some of the best are: The GIMP, Photoscape, Paint.NET, Artweaver, Photoplus, Pixia, and Magic Extreme. If you're renting a professional camera you can expect to spend about $80.00 (according to – a site I use) and then additional money on your choice of lenses. Local camera stores in your area will often cut you deals because there's no shipping. So if you're charging $5.00 a photo and sell 60 photos (easy to do, especially when people have multiple horses, or want more than one picture, or the show has more than 100 competitors) you can expect to make over $300.00 – not a bad profit for doing something you love!

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This is exactly what I'm going to college for! This article was very informative, thank you!
  Jan 18, 2011  •  6,127 views
T W I  
Great article!
Well written and informative. :)
  Jan 18, 2011  •  6,626 views
I love photography. I really want to do it more but i have a stinky camra....
  Jan 18, 2011  •  6,623 views
Wanderin Boy Memorial  
Great article Artista. I learned a lot :)
  Jan 19, 2011  •  6,626 views
Photography WAS something I was practicing until my camera broke :( But this is a great article.
  Jan 19, 2011  •  6,628 views
I just now got a camera of my own and I figured it out. Now I need to practice taking good quality photos. And we need wireless internet because it sure holds me back. DIAL UP IS ANNOYING I can't even post photos. I will have to talk to my parents more. Because I need to advertise once I practice and such. Thank you for this article though, because I liked it and it was very informational.
  Jan 20, 2011  •  6,647 views
Falling Up  
I'd definetly love to try this. :)
  Jan 22, 2011  •  6,647 views
cool! my dad's a photographer and i think I'll have to show this article to him! :D
  Feb 2, 2011  •  6,624 views
BME Sports  
Thanks! This was helpful!
  Feb 3, 2011  •  6,640 views
Victory Sporthorses   
cool article very creative imagination
  Feb 5, 2011  •  6,663 views
No Walkin Farms9  
Great article. I love photography and have taken a few classes on the topic in high school and college. I'm not too good at animals yet. lol. But like you said practice, practice, practice.
  Feb 5, 2011  •  6,636 views
Seven Sins  
wonderful article
  Feb 6, 2011  •  6,642 views
  Feb 6, 2011  •  6,784 views
Yay :) Something on photography :) Super great article !
  Feb 7, 2011  •  6,631 views
Dark Pride  
Interesting and very informative.
  Feb 9, 2011  •  6,649 views
Amazing article with great tips =]
  Feb 12, 2011  •  6,647 views
Thank you! I was looking for a way to make money this summer!
  Feb 13, 2011  •  6,665 views
Geat article! Very good pictures!
  Feb 17, 2011  •  6,651 views
Little Bitty Farm  
Great article!
  May 9, 2011  •  6,660 views
Carpe Diem  
I want to do that so bad xD I love photography. Great article!
  6 days ago  •  6,623 views
this is exactly what im wanting to do. i already do photography for my tracking company my gpa and i own. this is awesome
  Jan 12, 2013  •  6,729 views
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