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Self Directed Tutorial
Horses & Humans - Materials only
This tutorial includes the course materials only for our Horses Over Fences course. This tutorial is for self-directed learning with no instructor, assignment or critique. For the instructor taught version of this course click here.

Learn to how to take contemporary portraits of horses and humans that tell the story of the relationship between horses and their people. The tutorial covers setting up your shot and posing tips and well as which camera settings to use and important shooting techniques.

Horses and people have many kinds of relationships. Everything is possible from the meticulously prepared performance horse and rider to a child and her first pony to a cowboy and ranch horse used for working cattle. Each relationship has its own character and context that can be represented in an environmental portrait.

An environmental portrait is an on location portrait made in the subject's usual environment portraying the lifestyle of the subject. The idea is to demonstrate the character and personality of the subject when they are in their natural surroundings. Shooting a person in their environment also puts them more at ease and helps them relax.

These environmental portraits are somewhere in between a posed studio shot and a candid shot where you might capture an incidental shot of a horse and rider going about their business. These environmental portraits are set up deliberately with an eye for detail and an intention to show the working and emotional relationship between horses and humans.


  • Scouting a location
  • How to set up the shot
  • Posing tips
  • Expressions
  • Showing a relationship between horse and human
  • Mounted and unmounted portraits
  • Camera settings and shooting techniques

This tutorial is a 13 page PDF document with detailed instructions and examples.

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