HOW TO take better photos on your horse riding holiday

In the spotlight


It’s only after snapping BILLIONS of images one-handed, astride a equine that I’ve been able to master horse riding holiday photography. Undoubtedly, it’s hard to take focused, well-framed images when you’re riding a horse. But it’s not impossible.

First, it comes down to your choice of camera, read an earlier blog post, where I wrote about the compact cameras I recommend and why an iPhone just won’t cut the mustard. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a lover of the iPhone when my feet are firmly placed on the ground, but not so great one-handed, when riding a horse.


  • This may sound obvious, but make sure you stop your horse before framing the shot. This will increase your chances ten-fold of shooting a shot that is in-focus. If I have a horse that doesn’t want to be held back from the rest of the group, either position yourself up the front so you have time to stop and frame the shot. Rather than expecting your horse to stand still when the rest of the group are walking off.
  • When framing your shot, think in thirds. This is the golden rule of any well-framed image whether you’re shooting landscape or portrait. The image above wouldn’t have had the same drama if the elephant was framed in the centre of the shot, wouldn’t you agree?
  • Another pointer on framing, make sure you have a subject or point of interest in the foreground of your shot to capture the eye of the viewer.
  • If you’re riding a horse that jerks on the reins when stationery or is impatient to keep moving, let the horse graze so it will give you the time to frame the shot. Make sure you keep hold of the reins.
  • Even though we live in the digital age and have the freedom to take a trillion photos, it’s worth taking the time to frame shots rather than shooting willy-nilly.
  • Also, if your camera has a viewfinder try and use this rather than the live view screen. It will also help with framing and focus.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask your guide to take some photos throughout the duration of your riding holiday. Trust me, they won’t mind a single bit. Also ask your guide, who is the most knowledgable of the region, where the best photos or angles should be taken. If we’re lucky enough for you to join us on a guided trip, we photograph and video every waking moment of your riding adventure.
  • If you’re travelling by yourself, speak to another globetrotter and agree to take photos of each other and co-ordinate to swap emails so you can share images when you’re home.
  • If you’re planning to go-pro, you’ll find this blog post handy in explaining the best angles and mounts to capture the best footage.
  • Its a bit of a predictable shot now but to add perspective its always great to shoot between your horse’s pricked ears. Okay, don’t frame every shot like this, but if you’re wanting to show proximity this is a great way of achieving it.
  • Look for different angles and perspectives. I’m always riding on the wing or searching for higher ground so that I can shoot down on the group. I get tired of shooting a group from behind. Sometimes I’ll canter up ahead and get the group riding towards me.

I’ll be adding to this list as I think of other tips and tricks.  Also, feel free to leave a comment below on what you’ve found works best for you.