The Ultimate Booth Setup
If you are entering the world of horse show photography, you must read this article: Link coming soon!
To get some great exposure at the show you will need a tent set up with a banner announcing your presence. We started with a fairly cheap tent and it was destroyed by a rain & wind storm in ONE DAY!!! My husband returned after setting up the tent the night before to find it shredded in 1000’s of nylon pieces with all the tent poles bent and scattered. It was a sad sight let me tell you! We did some research (a bit late I may add…) and came to know about EZ up Tents. We have used the same one we bought after the first tent was shredded and have used the same tent for over 10 years. We have purchased additional top and sides since our original black faded over time, but it’s been a fantastic purchase and we still use it today. Save up, borrow or beg for what you need to spend on this worthwhile long term investment! They do have a few different quality levels, get the best you can afford! We also use it for art shows selling our Equine Photography. EZ-Up Tent in Black
You will also want to get some sand bags to help with the wind. I had some photography sandbags for my light stands that work well to help secure the tent. You can also buy easy ups matching sandbags. In a pinch you can make your own with heavy duty plastic bags and some sand purchased at Home Depot or the like. They work in a pinch till you can buy some nicer ones. EZ-Up Sand Bags- Great for WIND!!!
Other stuff for the Booth
You will also need a couple of 6 ft folding tables and folding chairs. You can probably find used somewhere but if you are in a hurry you can order them here: 6Ft Folding Banquet style tables I would start with two tables and four chairs. Riders like to sit and look at their images and sometimes you will have trainer and rider picking out the pictures or mom and rider etc. You want to have a few places to sit. But not too many chairs otherwise you will have people camping out in your tent to beat the heat or rain, and that can be distracting for sales. Four chairs is good.
Another couple of indispensable items, 46 Qt Storage boxes and a Dolly/Cart (the clear ones rock). We put our monitors, CD’s, external burners, table clothes, cables…-everything in these boxes. Then we put them on a dolly and wheel to our booth tent. You must get a cart that can roll over grass or on a bumpy paved trail, we like this one as you can configure for whatever terrain you run up against.
Banners & other Promo materials!
Announcing your presence is really important at a horse show or art festival. We get a 6ft banner to hang at the top of our booth and have several to suit whatever event we are doing. They roll up nice and aren’t too expensive. We have used PS print for over 10 years and can order online making it easy for us to get a quick new banner or cards delivered to wherever we are working. For your banner, get their specs of pixel size and then create in that size. This is better than trying to make your card design work in a banner! We do design our cards, banners and brochures to match so even if you can’t print them all at once, have your designer go ahead and design each and then print as you can afford. We have the luxury of Flash being a graphic designer even before he was a photographer, so we don’t have to hire designers for our promo. But I will caution you using really cheaply priced online graphic designers won’t get you very good results. Ask around and find a reputable designer in your area and take the time to do it right. Here is the link: PS Print, best online printer! to PS print where you can upload your designs (remember to ask your designer for all the sizes) directly and have the cards, brochures and banners delivered right to you!
Get a Generator!
Ok, this is an awesome purchase we had to do without for many years…the “Genny” or Generator. We have run entire shows on one of these when we were shooting where there was no electricity available to us. We can set up anywhere with one of these and shoot and sell pictures when nobody else can! This is what we have, small, quiet and less expensive than most. It’s easy to start too (good for me!). Get one if you can, it’s also great for off the grid camping which we have done a lot of working out of the way horse shows. Check em out here: Yamaha Generator- small, quiet and a life saver!
A few last things on your purchase or acquire list, a good mountain bike can get you around quickly to different arenas during a show, for a lot less than a golf cart and you don’t need gas or to plug it in! I would go to a good bike shop and get fitted for a bike. Get one with good suspension, you will often have to ride across grass or on bumpy dirt roads at a show or ranch.
A golf cart is another horse-show luxury we did without for many years. Start by renting them at the show and then when you can, buy your own- we picked up a used one for under $2000. A must for the larger show grounds when covering multiple events and arenas.
That about covers what you will need to do this amazing and fun business, Horse Photography! We sincerely hope this resource guide helps you put together your business and saves you lots of time and money, buying the wrong things! As above we disclosed that there are some affiliate links where we make a small commision on the links we have provided you. You are under no obligation to buy from us and this page, but we so appreciate it if you do. Do check out our other resource page articles! Take me back to the other resource pages please!
~River & Clay~