Harold Campton has devoted a lifetime to shooting photographs at such events as the American Quarter Horse and American Paint Horse Associations’ world shows, Appaloosa Nationals, All American Quarter Horse Congress and Dixie National. Plus, he has helped set the standards for shooting the “farm” shots used to advertise horses nationwide.

Almost anyone nowadays can get a nice shot, Harold explains, because contemporary point-and-shoot cameras are easy to operate and often include a telephoto lens. Better yet, digital cameras have streamlined the process of sharing a great shot with friends and family. Here, Harold shares a few tips for shooting the best possible photograph of your equine buddy.

*Always stand at an angle flattering to your horse’s conformation and use a telephoto lens to keep his head in proportion to his body. “Otherwise,” Harold says, “you’ll have an extremely long head and extremely peaked rear end on your horse. That which is closet to the camera will be enlarged. So step back and use that telephoto lens.”

*”I use a little toy cow head to get a horse’s ears up for a shot,” Harold says. “When I squeeze the ear, the cow bawls. Invariably any horse will shoot his ears forward when he hears that.”

*Food is Harold’s other prime motivator for getting a horse to point his ears. Someone just out of camera range can use a wad of hay to draw the horse’s attention, or a bucket with gravel in the bottom.

“A red feed bucket goes with us everywhere,” Harold says, “Someone shakes it down low until the horse’s head is where I want it, and because it sounds like grain, the horse’s ears usually pop right up.”

Contact Harold Campton at [email protected]

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