Animals are perhaps one of the most difficult photography subjects to work with—you can’t exactly ask a cat to smile for the camera and expect it to happen. Photographing equine models comes with its own set of challenges, as one attempts to communicate the intrinsic grace and beauty of these large, flighty beasts. German photographer Wiebke Haas tweaked the art of animal photography for years, and now consistently produces stunning photographs of magnificent animals. Haas decided early in life that she wanted to find something that combined creativity with her love for animals and went on to study to become a certified wildlife photographer.
After working for years in the field, she has gained some insight on how to get the best from her equine models, (which she explains in full on her 500px page). She recommends using a lens that starts at 135mm at minimum, combined with a fast camera that has a fine sensor. Getting to know the breed of horse (or animal) that you are working with helps in terms of creating clean lines and compositions that really extract the beauty of each individual animal. Slowly working to integrate them into the studio area helps to facilitate ease, and a comfortable animal provides the best shots. Finally, be prepared to be flexible and shift your position around the animal, and always be patient when using a non-human model.
Haas feels that when we look at animals we see bits of ourselves, constantly comparing their behaviours and characteristics with our own. Her powerful equine portraits have the uncanny ability to communicate the power, beauty and even silliness of these animals.
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Wiebke Haas.