Photographing your Showstock

Discuss the ins and outs of the showring.
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smoothmule
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Photographing your Showstock

Post by smoothmule » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:59 pm

How many use a professional photographer for you show cattle?
How many take their own photos?

There are always photographers at shows but when you’re wanting to show off your best, or create a flyer or business cards etc, do most of you take your own photos?



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Re: Photographing your Showstock

Post by DLD » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:57 pm

Unless you’re a really good livestock photographer yourself, it’s probably well worth it to hire a professional. Let’s you concentrate on making your cattle look their best, and the photographer can capture that image for you.

I firmly believe that using bad, or even just so-so pictures to try and promote your cattle is one of the worst things you can do for your program. People won’t try to look past the bad things about a picture promoting your stock to try to see the good, even though you can. And if they’re not impressed by the pics they’ve seen, they’re not coming to look, much less buy. That’s why I don’t post many pics of my cattle online - I rarely feel like the ones I take do them justice.

The best example is to look through the online sale sites - it’s easy to tell the difference in the photos and videos from the pro’s and the amateurs. And it’s easy to see that the sales with the poorer quality images rarely, if ever, get along very well.

All that said, there are quite a few people nowadays that have maybe had a photography class or two, or learned from a pro, or just plain practiced enough to get pretty good. If you’re one of them, you may not need to hire the pro’s. If you think you’re good enough, try ‘til you get pics you like really well, then show them to someone (preferably multiple someone’s) that knows show cattle and who will be honest with you. If they say they’re good enough, you ought to be good to go.

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Re: Photographing your Showstock

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:24 am

Excellent response.

I’m convinced the pictures we take with our phones do a lousy job of capturing the essence of animal.
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Nesikep
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Re: Photographing your Showstock

Post by Nesikep » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:27 am

I'm definitely in the group "take enough and you might get a couple decent pics"...

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Re: Photographing your Showstock

Post by DLD » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:51 am

Something I forgot last night - you really need 2 people besides the photographer in the picture pen. One person on either end to push the cattle up, and to stop them and get their heads and ears up. And yes, you really do need a picture pen, too. Something level,with good fences, clean, with neat uniformly short grass (green grass if possible) and preferably free of distractions like highways, railroad tracks, etc... And it needs to be big enough everyone isn’t on top of the cattle, and small enough you don’t get worn out trying to keep them in position. It’s pretty much an accident to get a promotional quality picture out in the pasture by yourself - not to say it can’t happen, but don’t count on it. If it does, like Nesi said, it’ll be 1 of 100 or more.

When we did online sales (I used to help with a bunch, but it’s been a couple of years now), we figured on 5-6 people. A photographer, plus 2 more in the picture pen, and 2 or 3 to clean them up and do a little touch up clipping. Not saying all that is necessary for picturing a couple for an ad or a flyer, but it’s just that a lot of people don’t realize what all goes into most of the pictures they see.

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Re: Photographing your Showstock

Post by Son of Butch » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:37 am

Advertising photography is all about deception... just ask any Cover Girl.
The more $ on the line, the more a professional photographer is justified.

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