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How to Take Photos for Social Media Marketing

Photos are now essential if you want to grow a successful social media presence. Some platforms, such as Instagram, are photo-based and therefore require you to include a photo or video with every post. Having a stash of photos on your phone is handy as you can have them ready for when you want to compose your social media content. However, many equestrian business owners struggle to get their photography right and worry that their photos aren’t good enough or aren’t coming out properly once they’re posted. This blog article offers some useful tips to help you get great photos for your social media.

Social Media Photos Don’t Have to Be Perfect

Firstly, remember that your photos don’t have to be perfect in order to work effectively! Social media can be polished and manufactured, but it can also be organic and imperfect. If anything, there is a general trend away from filtered, perfect photos in favour of authenticity. As a general rule, try to avoid excessive blurriness, poor lighting and obstructing or cutting off the main focus of your image. Photos taken on your smartphone are absolutely fine. In order to ensure your photos come out well on social media, use the Square orientation or make sure your photo will work if you crop it down to a square image. Most social media platforms will accept square images so this is always worth remembering when posting your photos to social media.

Experiment with Different Social Media Image Effects and Filters

To make things more interesting, try applying different effects and filters to your photos. Don’t go overboard, though! Overall, heavily-filtered images are going out of fashion and using loads of effects for the sake of it won’t do anything to make your social media feeds any more engaging. Try using a simple greyscale filter, for example. You could also try adding a touch of branding to your images by placing your logo in one corner or along the bottom. If you are going to do this, make sure you keep it consistent and don’t allow the branding to swamp the image.

Don’t be Afraid to use Stock Photos

Whilst it’s always best to use your own photos, stock photos do have their place when used properly. There are loads of free stock images available to use, and there are many more available to purchase. Just remember to never steal photos – this includes taking screenshots from photographers’ (or anybody’s) websites / portfolios / social media. Remember to ask permission before using someone else’s photo and remember that it’s always polite to give credit where possible. If you’re using photos from a stock library, check the terms of use as these will explain where and how to give credit.

Backgrounds Matter

This mainly applies to images of stock, products, or any item (or horse) that is for sale. A plain white background is a great starting point and can be easily achieved at home using sheets, tablecloths or a light-coloured wall. If you’re in the business of selling horses or other large outdoor items (horse boxes, trailers, stables, etc), taking photos on a bright, clear day will make all the difference.


Taking the extra time to set your photos up properly isn’t always possible – if you’re at an event, for example, you may have to just grab a few quick shots and pick the best one! However, staging your photos can make a big difference and give them a really nice finish. If you’re a construction company selling arenas and stable blocks, rake or harrow the arena and sweep the yard before taking photos because the tidy setting will bring the focus to your product and not that pile of horse poo in the corner!

When photographing small items, experiment with different setups. As mentioned before, a white background is a great start, but it’s worth getting a few more natural photos of your products being used or worn as intended, or set up with other objects to inspire your customers to make a purchase. Props such as hay, riding equipment, grass and plants can all help to create an atmosphere.

Consider Hiring a Photographer

Lastly, it may well be worth hiring a photographer to capture some images for your business. There are plenty of photographers out there, some of which specialise in equestrian or equestrian business photography. They can take photos of you, your stock, staff, facilities and horses that really bring out the best in your business and cater for your business needs. They will also be able to make edits and cropped versions of the images.

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