Black Background Portraits FAQs Part 2

Fine Art Sessions

August 10, 2021

back to blog

There’s nothing like a black background portrait to illuminate your horse’s natural beauty and personality, and that’s why horse owners everywhere love these beauties. FYI: they also make fabulous choices for wall art!

Many horse owners reach out to me with questions about getting quality black background images of their horses. They’re usually worried about everything from preparing the right locations on their property to whether their skinny, elderly or recently injured horse will still look good in photos. (Spoiler alert: All horses look good on a black background, trust me!)

If you haven’t yet, check out Part 1 of this Black Background FAQs blog series here.

Ready to find out even more about black background images? Let’s go!

How do I know what kind of black background image I want?

Before our session, think about how you want to enjoy these images.

Do you want a big statement art piece? Look around your home to figure out where you’d hang a big piece, or where pairs or trios of canvases might look good.

You should also spend a while looking at your horse (a hard assignment, I know!). What markings, expressions or particular characteristics mean a lot to you? Which ones would you love to have forever-images of?

Make notes! I love taking detail shots to zero in on markings, showcase those special little ears or focus on your horse’s gorgeous eyes.

Alias Goodbar-By Rachel Griffin Photography 2021-9803_WEB.jpg

Help! The day before our shoot, my horse just nicked his face/scraped his leg/lost a chunk of mane/etc. Can we still take the photos? 

Horses are gonna’ horse, am I right? Don’t worry—we can fix most of these issues with Photoshop, but please reach out to me beforehand with photos so I can see what we’re dealing with ahead of time. I can also take care of big scars, but that’s a lot of editing magic. I’ve even removed a bandage off a pastern before!

Do these images work with black or dark horses?

 Lots of people worry about this, but dark horses are no problem! Photographing a dark horse on a black background can even lead to some cool, artsy shots that don’t always work on lighter-colored horses. White backgrounds are also a great option if you don’t like the idea of dark-on-dark.

My senior horse is really thin/swaybacked/has a wonky leg. Will she still look good? 

Absolutely! We can do a lot with positioning to help downplay issues like this. Your senior horse can still look stunning in these images, and I know you’ll treasure them even more because of your horse’s age.

My mare is not very expressive and has a hard time relaxing. How do you get nervous horses to relax and give you those amazing expressive shots?

Getting the horse to relax and eliciting those awesome expressions are both tricky. The ultimate solution depends on the individual horse, but there are lots of things we can do to help with that! For expression, I have a whole ton of fun tricks and tools to catch different horses’ attention – yes, even deaf horses.

For nervous horses, we just go a little slower during the session to accommodate the horse’s feelings, but the best solution is to just practice standing calmly with the horse in the space where we’ll take the portraits a few days or weeks ahead of time. Of course, longeing these horses is incredibly helpful, too.

How would you highlight eyes and a big blaze?

My horse has a special wonky blaze, so I’m a sucker for close-ups because they allow more detail. This “peeking” shot is always a fun one (picture).

Dailey Family-By Rachel Griffin Photography 2021-4028_.jpg

Can my dog get a black background portrait, too?

Yes, I love barn dogs! When you inquire about your black background session for your horse, let me know if you’re interested in including your dog and I’ll send details about this add-on.

Olivia Cliver Dogs and Connor 69-By Rachel Griffin Photography 2021-4992_blog.jpg

Can I pose with my horse, too?

Horse and rider black backgrounds are included in my top two packages: Premier & Signature.

What makeup and outfits work best for a black background with an owner included?

Just about any outfit can work, but I try to recommend you stay away from solid black shirts/dresses, just because you can really blend into the background and end up looking like a floating head. Slightly bolder colors than I typically recommend for portraits really pop on black backgrounds, too.

Izzy Bland-By Rachel Griffin Photography 2021-6138_WEB.jpg

Do you have more questions that weren’t answered here? Send me an email or leave me a comment on social media. And if you’re ready to book your black background session, click here. I can’t wait to make some magic with you!


share this post: