Last month I traveled to Vernon Hills to take some on-site staff headshots for a medical imaging company.  It had been a little while since I had been out of the city and when I drove by a horse farm with real, actual horses grazing around outside in the sun I couldn’t help myself and had to stop on my way back.

Flattering horse angle.
Flattering horse angle.

Coming from a shoot I had my camera with me and asked the owners if I could roam around taking photos of the horses.  They allowed it… and mentioned that I was the third person this week to ask if I could take photos of their horses, then mumbled something about “city folk” before getting back to work.

While taking some quick shots of these huge, adorable creatures, I started thinking about headshots and finding the most flattering angle for people.  It’s really no surprise that’s where my brain went while trying to photograph horses, which have a pretty difficult shape to photograph flatteringly, and the only angle I had was up their nose since they’re a few feet taller than I.

Unflattering horse angle.

The experience reminded me that photographing people takes some experimentation and patience.  You’ve got to move around a person’s head and capture them at different angles to find the angles that make them look their best.  Up the nose is almost never one of those, though.

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