Over the past few days of browsing horses for sale (as we all do) I have noticed a continued pattern in fact its something I have been seeing for a long time. Bad images! Now selling a horse is a stressful and time consuming thing, more so if it isn't your profession! I sold our welsh sec D mare last summer and before we decided to put her on sales livery the whole experience was borderline traumatic. You have the emotion and guilt and all you want to do is find your horse a good home while still sell at a decent price.
So what I don't understand is why there are so many adverts out there with poor quality images of their horse being used even the ones holding price tags of £3000+. Imagery is important when selling everything, its what attracts the perfect buyer and ultimately saves you time and as we all know time is valuable. So I thought I would put some tips together. The main one being though when you come to put your advert together don't rush it and just grab whatever images you have at the time on your phone. Make the time to go out and get some decent photographs, get a friend to help you if needed!
Do make sure your horse is clean and looking their absolute best! Give them a bath a bit of elbow grease to get that shine, clip them, plait them whatever you need to do to make them stand out.
Do use good light and a background with as little distraction as possible. So beside a wall, or somewhere with a nice view and preferably on hard standing, not in your dark stable with bad angles and a dirty bed.
Don't use that muddy picture of them in the field with their head down and a dirty rug on. In fact no rugs at all!
Do make sure you get a clear head shot (everyone loves a kind eye and forward ears) make sure there are no dirty headcollars in sight, give your bridle a quick shine for this one.
Standing square. A good shot of them standing square is important, you want to show their conformation off giving your buyer as much information of the build of your horse and also try to get an image showing all four feet.
Don't use photos from last year! Recent photos are important as that is the horse you are selling now.
For ridden shots do use somewhere outside if you can as the light is the easiest to get the clear shots you need. So not that blurry iPhone photo your mate took a few months back in the dark dusty indoor school. If you don't have access to an outdoor arena and the lighting is bad in your indoor school maybe think about hiring one somewhere or if the ground is good ride in the field.
Show what your horse can do. If your advert says your horse jumps 1.20m have a photograph of your horse jumping 1.20m. Same for lateral work. If you are selling a bombproof amazing happy hacker have photos of them doing just that. Showing these things will increase the right buyers interest and make them more likely to contact you.
Don't just use one photograph. There is absolutely nothing more frustrating from a buyers perspective especially for the ones who are willing to travel a long way. We are visual creatures and 6-10 quality images is really what you should be aiming for. Breaking down to this one good headshot, one clear conformation shot, around 2-3 shots of the horse doing the job it's being advertised to do and around 1-2 curb appeal shots so maybe loose in the school or somewhere pretty.
Do use photos of your horse at competition but don't steal the photographers work by screenshoting. Drop them an email and ask their permission.
Do have some pretty shots as well as the informative ones. It will make your Horse stand out more from the others!
It all probably seems like a lot of work but good imagery on your adverts will save you time by reducing time wasters, endless phone calls and PM's asking for more photos will also reduce and you will be attracting more of the right buyer as they won't be skimming past your advert because there is nothing to hold them there! So show off your horses and put the time in and good luck!
Now alternatively you could hire a professional like me. A good equine photographer will get some great photos for you and then all you have to concentrate on is the showing off part (so no bossing your mate around on how to get the good shot while you try to ride, get your horse standing still etc) I offer a package for just this which is a 1.5hr long session and we will work through all of the above, the photos will be lightly edited and you will have a choice of 10 images available to download to use on your advert. PLUS a fine art mounted print of your headshot from the session so you have something lovely to remember your horse with after you have found them their perfect new home. This costs £250.00 Inclusive of travel fees anywhere within Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.
Just a little note that none of the horses in these images are for sale.