Horse Portraiture

Fellow blogger Mike gave some practical advice on photographing horses.  It got me thinking about the one and only time I’ve ever photographed a horse.

She was the local transport in rural Santiago de Cuba. She (with her long blond hair and quiet patience, I was convinced she was a she. I’ll call her Nicky) allowed me to take some head shots. Looking back I compared my takes to Mike’s advice.

Tip 1: They usually have crud in their eyes.   Nicky did not. At least none that showed up in my photos.

Tip 2: As soon as it gets really hot they’re often covered with flies. Cuba is always hot but Nicky was always moving between people pickup points.

Tip 3: Horses are very friendly and will come up to you to see what you want.  Nicky was on the job with her driver holding the reins.  Having been warned against petting animals in Cuba, I didn’t try testing her patience.

Tip 4: Consider converting to black and white.  Done. Both sets are nice but you can decide which is your favorite.

Tip 5: Get an interesting pose and ideally something in the background. This is good advice.  The context behind the shots was the omnibus transport system in rural Cuba.  As a group of eight turistas and a guide, we’d commandeered the local bus. When we trotted past a group of off-shift factory workers, we (I) felt guilty about delaying their ride home. However  our guide assured us, our tips to the driver amounted to more than a full day’s wages. Besides, he’d go back for them later.

Photos taken in Cuba 2018.


  1. I’ve never asked which horses pull the buggies and carts but I assumed they are the males. And no I did not check them out to see for sure. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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