Selling a horse can be a long and complicated process and I totally get that taking or finding photos is one small step out of many. That said I PROMISE buyers will be WAY more likely to consider your horse if you put forth the effort and have your sale photos taken in a way that is flattering to your horse. I’m going to describe the number one problem that occurs when you take your sale photos with your cell phone camera in this post and how to avoid it.
All cell phone cameras have a focal length of about 35mm and are considered “wide angle” lenses. On most DSLRs you have the ability to choose what focal length you shoot with and this has a huge effect on the image distortion. To avoid distortion I typically use a telephoto lens. I know that was a lot of big words everyone but hang in there I promise this isn’t as complicated as you’d think. I’ve created two illustrations below to explain the concept of wide angle vs telephoto.
WIDE ANGLE LENS (CELL PHONE)
TELEPHOTO LENS (DSLR CAMERA)
My nerdy brain just loves this stuff but I bet your wondering “What does this have to do with the horse I’m trying to sell?” The distortion created by your wide-angle camera lens distorts your horse and makes his neck longer and barrel shorter. It may not be drastic but when your goal is to get a complete stranger to spend hours of their time to come try-out and possibly spend thousands of dollars on your horse shouldn’t the images depict the animal correctly? Below is an image of the same horse, in the same environment, on the same day with a cell phone camera and with my camera with an 85mm lens. To add perspective, the human eye can be compared to a 50mm lens.
You may also notice I struggled to capture him in the same “pose” due to the camera’s shutter speed (another talk for another day). While the photo taken with my lens is clearly more aesthetically pleasing than the cell phone image, there are still improvements to be made. The photo below is a final product with professional quality editing and THIS is a photo that I can guarantee will attract buyers. This same concept also applies to stallions at stud or conformation photos for other purposes. In short, a professional camera with an interchangeable lens is the right way to go when accurate proportions are important.